Well Being

Breakfast May Not Be The Most Important Meal Of The Day, But That Doesn’t Mean You Need To Give Up Hash Browns

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Breakfast No Longer Most Important Meal of the Day

For our whole lives, we’ve been told the key to not passing out, losing weight in a healthy way and passing the SATs can be accredited to eating a big, healthy breakfast.

But now, a new study is telling us that breakfast–or what we know of as, the ‘most important meal of the day’–might not be as important as we thought.

A slew of new research conducted at several different universities and published in multiple articles in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition may take breakfast off its high pedestal and put it back in line with lunch and dinner, deeming it, ‘just another meal.’

I know what you’re thinking: There’s no way pancakes are just another meal! They’re fluffy. They’re delicious! And not eating them would make us sad.

But according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and other institutions, eating breakfast may not be all that helpful when trying to lose weight.

Researchers recruited about 300 volunteers looking to lose weight, randomly assigning subjects to either skip breakfast, consistently eat an early morning meal, or continue with whatever diet regimen they were already on. Sixteen weeks later, the volunteers returned to the lab for their weigh-in, and guess what!

Nobody lost as much as a pound. Unless all of the study subjects were binge-eating Twinkies in secret during the study, eating or not eating breakfast had no impact on whether or not these subjects lost weight.

In another study at the University of Bath with a group of leaner volunteers, researchers determined and measured the resting metabolic rates, cholesterol levels and blood-sugar profiles of 33 participants, then randomly told them to either eat or skip breakfast. The study subjects were then given activity monitors.

After 6 weeks, researchers evaluated their body weights, resting metabolic rates, cholesterol and blood sugar, and low and behold, the measureents were roughly the same as they had been at the start. One teeny tiny difference? Breakfast eaters seemed to move around more during the morning, burning almost 500 calories more in light-intensity movement. The flip side? Breakfast eaters consumed an additional 500 calories each day.

Another myth debunked? Breakfast skippers didn’t wolf down enourmous lunches and dinners, but it made people sluggish first thing in the morning.

So what does this all mean?

Breakfast may not be as high and mighty as we originally thought, and skipping early morning meals may not lead to fatter waistlines or failing the SATs.

More research is needed to fully understand the true meaning of breakfast. But the takeaway is that if you like to eat first thing in the morning, go for it. If not, don’t be scared that you’re going to fall asleep by noon or eat a 2,000-calorie lunch.

But my personal thoughts? Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast is delicious! There’s eggs, bacon, bagels, croissants, peanut butter and banana smoothies, fruit parfaits, HASH BROWNS…do you really want to miss out on all of that?! I didn't think so.

And if you’re one of those people who ‘just don’t have an appetite’ in the morning, it’s okay: There’s always breakfast-for-dinner!

(Image via Shutterstock | Mariia Masich)

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