Missing breakfast cuts more than 300 calories a day

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Losing weight could be as simple as skipping breakfast, new research suggests.

Fasting until lunch causes people to eat around 353 fewer calories a day, a study found.

Study author Dr Keith Tolfrey said: ‘There is a common belief that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day”. However, around one third of children and adolescents in many countries skip breakfast regularly. 

The findings from the Universities of Loughborough and Bedfordshire support a growing body of evidence that restricting calories, via fasting, boosts weight loss by reducing people’s calorie intake and regulating hormones involved in fat storage. 

Losing weight could be as simple as skipping breakfast, new research suggests

Losing weight could be as simple as skipping breakfast, new research suggests

Losing weight could be as simple as skipping breakfast, new research suggests

ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA MAY AID WEIGHT LOSS BY BOOSTING METABOLISM  

English breakfast tea may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism, but only if it is drunk without milk, research revealed earlier this month.

A black brew is thought to raise metabolism as its larger molecules are poorly absorbed in the intestine, which may encourage the growth of weight loss-boosting bacteria, a study found.

Research has previously revealed English breakfast tea only relaxes blood vessels, which leads to improved blood flow, when taken without milk.

The new study also found both black and green tea appear to have weight-loss benefits by reducing levels of intestinal bacteria associated with obesity and increasing those linked to lean body mass, the study found.

Study author Dr Zhaoping Li from the University of California, Los Angeles, said: ‘For black tea lovers, there may be a new reason to keep drinking it.’ 

How the research was carried out 

Researchers from the universities of Loughborough and Bedfordshire analysed 40 girls aged between 11 and 15 years old.

The study’s participants ate no breakfast or 6.3g of Weetabix with 188ml of semi-skimmed milk and 375ml of orange juice, for three days.

Their overall diets were assessed via food diaries, while their physical activity levels were determined by acceleration devices.

Skipping breakfast cuts 353 calories a day 

Results reveal skipping breakfast causes people to eat 353 fewer calories a day.

Although people eat around 115 more calories a day when they have breakfast, that meal alone contains on average 468 calories. 

Consequently, skipping breakfast reduces a person’s calorie consumption by a total of 353 units.

Dr Tolfrey said: ‘There is a common belief that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day”.

‘However, around one third of children and adolescents in many countries skip breakfast regularly.

‘There are many reports that show missing breakfast is associated with obesity, which may have led to premature assumptions that breakfast can be used as an intervention for weight control.

‘But we do not know why eating breakfast is associated with a lower likelihood of being overweight or obese, or whether eating breakfast can be used effectively as a weight-control strategy.’

This finding supports a growing body of evidence that restricting calories via fasting boosts weight loss by reducing people’s calorie intake and regulating hormones involved in fat storage.

Yet, the result contradicts previous research that suggests eating breakfast boosts weight loss by kick-starting people’s metabolism. 

The findings were published in the British Journal of Nutrition.