Eating Breakfast as a Weight Management Tool
Eating breakfast as part of a balanced diet has been a weight management recommendation for a number of years, but you may be surprised to know that it is not supported by research. Observational studies in the past have suggested an association between breakfast and weight loss; however, randomized controlled trials (RCT) are needed to determine a causal effect. In 2014, an RCT was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and found no significant effects on weight loss in adult participants who ate breakfast or skipped breakfast. So are dietitians wasting their time by telling people to eating breakfast? Not entirely.
Setting a Schedule
Eating breakfast on a daily basis can help establish a healthy routine or schedule that can be a tool for weight loss or weight maintenance. By scheduling meals, you are planning ahead and may be more likely to choose healthier options. You may also find that eating breakfast in the morning keeps you from getting too hungry throughout the day and may prevent you from making poor food choices or overeating. The path to weight loss is individual so it’s important to determine what works for you.
Eating breakfast on a regular basis can be an easy way to fit in more important nutrients into each day. However, if you are not smart about your breakfast choices, you may find your morning meal to be a diet downfall instead of a nutrition boost. Try a variety of foods in the morning that include calcium, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Healthy breakfast options include whole-grain cereal with skim milk and berries, whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a piece of fruit, or plain oatmeal with skim milk and fruit. A great way to get more vegetables into your diet is having an omelet with sautéed vegetables for breakfast.
Although more research is needed to determine the effects of timing, nutrient composition, and size of meals on weight loss, you may find that eating a healthy breakfast regularly is the key to your personal weight loss goals.