Eating breakfast may not matter for weight loss
June 4th, 2014
12:01 PM ET

Eating breakfast may not matter for weight loss

"Eat breakfast!" nutrition experts have been telling us for decades. It revs your metabolism! It keeps you from overindulging at lunch! It helps you lose weight!

But a new study suggests the "most important meal of the day" may not be so important - at least for adults trying to lose weight.

Published Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study found dieters who skipped breakfast lost just as much weight as dieters who ate breakfast regularly. The researchers concluded that while breakfast may have several health benefits, weight loss isn't one of them.

So where did breakfast get its cred?

So far, research has generally shown a link between skipping breakfast and the likelihood of being overweight, but it hasn't proven that skipping breakfast causes weight gain. "Previous studies have mostly demonstrated correlation, but not necessarily causation," lead study author Emily Dhurandhar said in a statement from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

There is good observational evidence to support breakfast's place on the menu, says Michelle Cardel, a co-author of the study from the University of Colorado Denver. Nearly 80% of people on the National Weight Control Registry, a group of more than 4,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off, eat breakfast every day. Ninety percent of them eat breakfast at least 5 days a week.

Skip breakfast, lose weight? Not so fast

The study

Researchers split 309 adults who were interested in losing weight into three groups.

One, the control group, received a USDA pamphlet titled "Let's Eat for the Health of It" that described good nutrition habits but did not mention breakfast. The second group received the same pamphlet and was instructed to eat breakfast before 10 a.m. every day. The third group received the pamphlet as well and was told to avoid consuming anything but water until 11 a.m.

Researchers followed the groups for 16 weeks and recorded their weight to show changes over the study period.


Of the 309 participants, 283 completed the study. All three groups lost the same amount of weight on average, showing researchers that eating breakfast (or not) had no significant effect.

"This should be a wake-up call for all of us to always ask for evidence about the recommendations we hear so widely offered," David Allison, director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center, said in a statement.

Study limitations

There were several limitations to this study that should be taken into account when viewing the results, Cardel says.

"The participants were able to choose what they ate every day," she said. "So at this point we cannot conclude anything about how much food you should eat at breakfast or what kinds of food you should eat."

The study authors did not measure participants' appetite, body fat or metabolism, which previous research has shown may be affected by breakfast eating. And the small study was only 16 weeks long, which may have been too short to see a significant effect.


Keith Kantor, a nutrition expert and author of "The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice," says eating breakfast is still a good idea. Doing so creates a routine, he says, and humans thrive on routine.

"Skipping meals... and eating at random times throughout the day requires more of a thought process," he said. "This allows more room for negative behaviors like skipping exercise or grabbing fast food due to lack of planning."

A healthy breakfast, Kantor says, consists of high-quality protein, heart-healthy fats and produce.

"More research needs to be conducted so that we can understand what kinds of foods should be eaten at breakfast... how quickly after waking should people eat breakfast, and how much should people be eating at breakfast," Cardel said.

soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. seejaye

    I lost over 25 pounds years ago, and have kept the weight off. What follows is a copied-and -pasted comment I've posted to other forums.

    Not only do I skip breakfast (note: I DO skip it; I'm a breakfast skipper-of'er), but I don't even eat until late afternoon/early evening (Technically "breaking fast" then – yeah, I know the jargon). You don't need food in the AM to boost metabolism – that can be done with a glass of cold water and, ideally, exercise. I, along with most others, then, naturally, eat more at our next meal when it comes time, but NOT enough to close the caloric gap – we end up consuming LESS overall. Eating 5-6 meals per day doesn't boost overall metabolism (No one has been able to cite such a study). If that method works – which is does for some – then it's because it simply keeps them from overeating, rather than their metabolism running at a higher level by virtue of eating often (again, I've yet to see a credible study on the 5-6 meal/metabolism connection). The supposed increased risk of heart disease by skipping breakfast didn't account for the variable of the participants in the study ALREADY being heavy-set and more prone to heart problems initially.

    I'll include links to my before&after, then one article. I hope some will consider this approach, even though it's not for everybody, it works wonders for some of us, and doesn't feel like "dieting." But I fully expect to be scolded by experts telling how I'm doing it all wrong. I think we should all consider a success-story like my own as something to potentially learn from. Alas, I've always said that losing weight and keeping it off is easy; it's human nature I'll never understand.



    Article by Dr. Berardi:


    June 4, 2014 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dar

      Hi seejaye, I fall into a category similar to what you are describing except it's normal for me to not even think about food until early evening, and I LOVE to cook and eat! I've always been this way. I can remember my mom trying to talk me into eating before school mornings and me not wanting anything to do with it. Now, I am a great weekend morning eater but at work I have a one track mind and it's on my job. I'm lucky in that I don't feel hungry so I'm no martyr it's just the way I'm wired. I also don't care for sweets so that's a plus.

      June 4, 2014 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • lost70lbs

      I lost 70 lbs cutting out white starchy foods and exercising more. Thats all I did. I ate breatfast everyday, light lunch llight dinner. Going all day without eating would make me too hungry– i also have low blood pressure so not eating for too long is bad for me.

      June 4, 2014 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • Nudist Colony Tailor

      I do this too... I don't eat until 5PM and I eat a big salad then before going to the gym at 6:30. I am absolutely never hungry before 5PM. More often than not feeling of hunger is only a Pavlovian response. If you train your body to only expect food later in the day, it will definitely play along.

      June 4, 2014 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
    • Colleen Fowler

      I like you have found that the best way to loose weight and keep it off is a kind of fasting cycle. I do not eat until 6pm. at 6pm I have a snack that averages 150 calories, and then I have a full meal, pretty much anything I feel like having within reason around 8:30 or 9 pm. I no longer experience hunger during the day. I am 52 and take NO medications for blood pressure and am in excellent health. Breakfast and lunch made me hungry and I am much more satisfied with a 1700 calorie dinner then spreading those calories out over the day.

      June 4, 2014 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • Bercana

      I'll always have breakfast regardless of what any study says. I don't understand how people can function in the morning without breakfast.

      June 4, 2014 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
    • fish fry

      I eat when i'm hungry and eat until i'm no longer hungry (not until i'm full). That usually almost always includes breakfast. So yeah, i agree that it's not necessary if you're not hungry, but people shouldn't ignore hunger to lose weight. Portion control and exercise, and eating healthy things is the key, in my opinion.

      June 4, 2014 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
    • Better

      Oh yeah? I eat breakfast so late, it's not until 6am. So I skip breakfast, lunch, dinner, go to sleep, then wake up then have my dinner. It works great for me!

      I actually think this falls into the line of people saying, "I'm a night-owl, so I can't wake up early". We're all human, we can train our body to do whatever we want it to do. Woop-dee-frickin-do.

      June 4, 2014 at 20:09 | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      GReat job on the weight loss! I have also lost weight using the Carbnite Solution which does indeed require skipping breakfast.

      June 4, 2014 at 20:15 | Report abuse |
    • brainwashedinchurch

      Nobody said 100% of people eventually put the weight they lost back on. Only about 98% of them do.

      June 4, 2014 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • Beaver Cleaver

      It is very simple people. Start smoking. Every person I know who quit smoking gained weight. I was having a hard time losing weight until I started knocking down 2 packs of Pall Malls a day. I lost 15 pounds in the first month and I feel great. I'll see you all outside where I will be enjoying a smoke!

      June 4, 2014 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • LawrencevilleLady

      I'm with the original poster on this. I don't eat unless I'm hungry, and I don't get hungry until about 3pm. So I have a small protein snack, go work out, then I'm home about 7 pm and eat my main (only) meal of the day. I do like brunch on the weekends, but not during the week. I have to say, a few years ago I tried the "mini-meal" approach, and I ended up feeling awful, overfed and sickly. And I gained a couple pounds. So I went back to what is natural for me.

      Also, I lost 40 pounds 40 years ago. Gained 15 back with menopause, but overall, I'm still slim. I still wear a size 6 (even if size 6 now is not as slim in the waist as it used to be).

      June 4, 2014 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      It's pretty simple. Stop eating so much you fatties!!!

      June 5, 2014 at 08:14 | Report abuse |
    • Eduardo

      Weight is not a good indicator of health or metabolic physiology. You are aging more quickly than you would if you ate breakfast...

      June 5, 2014 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • zandhcats

      In my case I'll pass out without any food to start a day till afternoon. It's not the matter of when we eat, it's the matter of what we eat. The food in the US is extremely sweet, particular the cereal which is loaded with sugar. Even the homemade recipes that I google, those cakes and cookies are almost the equal amount of flour, e.g.: 1 1/2 cup of flour, calls for 1 cup of sugar. No wonder half of the population is overweighted.

      The key to lose weight are exercise and stretch our meals to 5 a day,cut down the intake of sugar. Park our car away from the entrance to max. our activities. Keep nuts and fruits in our car, don't go to groceries while we are hungry. It's not that difficult once we keep it as a habit.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:35 | Report abuse |
  2. Leigh

    If I skip breakfast, I end up eating too fast or just eating whatever I can get my hands on later. I am starving when I wake up in the morning, but it is because I usually don' eat after 7 pm. I say that if you can remain in good shape not eating breakfast, go for it. However, if you have food issues I wouldn't recommend it.

    June 4, 2014 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RyanTexan

      The important issue is what people eat for breakfast.
      Often the least healthy meal of the day.
      Too few vegetables (what vegetable do you eat for breakfast?)
      And too much sugar and fat.
      There have been no studies that showed better outcomes when people are force fed breakfast. So they often use the term "skip" or "miss" breakfast. That means you were hungry, but didn't eat. Vastly different than those who are not hungry for breakfast.
      Oh, and let's remember that breakfast is a high margin food for food manufacturers. They funded the studies that invented the idea that it's "the most important meal".
      But consider that when they took away lunch from students, performance dropped more than when they took away breakfast.
      It's time we really look at the marketing phrase "most important meal of the day".

      June 4, 2014 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
    • ChangingTimes

      My husband, 2 of my kids and my mother are like you; my father, one of my kids and I are all like seejaye. Here's what I know about my family and it would be interesting to see if there is a pattern: the ones who wake up starving and need to eat breakfast are all "morning people," meaning they are more likely to go to bed earlier and get up earlier (6-7am). They are also their best in the morning. However, those of us who aren't hungry for 2-3 hours after we wake up are all "night people," meaning we are more likely to be up late and get up later. We are at our worst in the morning and the idea of eating something before 11am is nauseating. Most of the time we skip breakfast and just eat a normal lunch around Noon.

      From a casual arm-chair observer of my family, there seems to be a relationship between circadian rhythm and need/desire to eat breakfast. Now, as far as weight-loss, to me it makes sense that it doesn't affect it one way or the other, because calories are probably adjusted one way or the other throughout the day. I just don't think there's a right or wrong here and I do think past studies that said you have to eat breakfast to be healthy have hurt those of us who normally eat on a delayed schedule. It just doesn't match our normal body functions. Eat when you're hungry; don't eat just because the clock tells you to.

      June 5, 2014 at 01:22 | Report abuse |
  3. Rajiv

    The article represents a very narrow way of looking at health, healthy weight is just part of overall health. if you skip breakfast your body will use stress hormones to breakdown glycogen and keep blood sugar in normal range (arond 70-85mg/dl). Stress response will alter natural balance of endocrine system. You can rely on stress response once in a while but constant stress will ultimately get your system out of balance.

    Main reason you want to achieve weight loss is for better health...which is really not what you are getting by skipping breakfast. I will still go with traditional wisdom instead of studies like this which is flawed as they didn't control what the participants eat during the day. We all know what we eat has an impact on weight which is not controlled in this study.

    June 4, 2014 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom

      It seems to me that you aren't contradicting the article Rajiv and your point is wise. Essentially what you are saying is for anyone who would suffer imbalance by not eating breakfast, they should eat breakfast. While the article is saying "Hey if you don't eat breakfast, you can still lose weight"

      June 4, 2014 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • JT

      If you skip breakfast every day then your body isn't going to be stressed out at all. If you suddenly skip meals, sure, but that's not at all what this is refering to.

      June 5, 2014 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
  4. Annlindemann

    Interesting article. I've been arguing about this with friends for years. Here's an article that delves into the benefits of intermittent fasting for one's metabolism.

    June 4, 2014 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jo

    I don't understand the need for all these studies. In my humble opinion we should just eat when we are hungry. Unless someone suffers from Diabetes and has to eat regularly to keep their sugar levels steady, I don't see the need to eat or not eat according to what time of day or night it is. If you are hungry, eat, if you are not, don't. There are so many people who don't have this choice, perhaps funding for these types of studies would be better spent addressing those problems.

    June 4, 2014 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Starflyr

      Interestingly, I agree with you. I spent YEARS doing "the right thing" – eating when I was supposed to, eating what I was supposed to, and I ended up with an eating disorder that needed inpatient treatment – I had NO CLUE what "hungry" felt like, because I'd pretty much been programmed to ignore those cues. Started out with bulimorexia, ended up with overeating and straight up bulimia. Not fun. in treatment, I learned how to recognize hunger cues, among other things. Since I started eating only when hungry (and NOT when not hungry) and eating the things that I am craving (only to the point of not being hungry or not wanting more of that thing), I am in MUCH better shape than I have EVER been. And its nice to not even think about counting calories, grams, points, etc. I also do not obesses over whether or not things are "healthy", since that definition changes almost daily, seems like. Also, no trying to compensate for denying myself thing thing I really WANT (out of guilt for wanting to eat something "bad") and eating 500 other things instead.

      June 4, 2014 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      A lot of people do not get reliable information from their own perceptions of hunger, so the "eat when you feel hungry" rule creates problems for them. Because much of desire and behavior is more a conditioned response (habit) than an active choice, any eating pattern that keeps a person getting the right nutrition (including calories) and feeling good is a good one, whether it includes a particular meal or not. There is no magic, Right Eating Pattern for healthy happiness, and folks who have bad (unhealthy) eating patterns (as diagnosed by having food-related health problems) benefit from establishing ANY healthy eating pattern that they can routinely stick to and make part of their life.

      June 4, 2014 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Jo, you are absolutely right! The issue isn't about skipping breakfast, or any other meal, it's about eating when your body is ready to process the intake and that is only when you are truly hungry. Anytime we eat when we are not, the body has only one option available – store the intake as fat to use later. It's so simple, yet we continue to try and make weight loss/management complicated. In 2007, I participated in a pilot program in our company called Naturally Slim. It's a weight management program based on the principle of "It's not what you eat, it's when you eat and how you eat it". The "when" is only when you are hungry, and the how is to eat slowly enough (i.e. chew your food properly) to get full enjoyment from it and allow your brain to register when you've had enough (i.e. are satisfied), then stop when you've had enough. The "what" gives you the freedom to eat what you truly crave/enjoy, but when trying to lose vs. maintain weight, you will have much more success if you limit certain foods – especially those high in sugar content. Following the principles of Naturally Slim, which was developed by observing the habits of "true thins" (people who are naturally slim and do not have a weight management problem), I lost 80 pounds and have successfully kept it off for 7 years.

      The program found around 80% of participants are not hungry for their first meal of the day until 4-5 hours after waking and only require 2 meals a day. They are thirsty when they awake, which is often confused with hunger, and need to hydrate, but are not truly hungry. I am in the group. I wake up between 6:00AM -6:30am and am typically not hungry until 11:30am when I eat lunch. Breakfast as the most important meal of the day is a throwback to when we were primarily an agriculturally based society (i.e. food producers – farmers, etc.) In life on a farm, you are often up between 4:00AM – 5:00AM and may come in for breakfast after all the initial chores are done 3-4 hours later.

      Some people, like my wife who is a "true thin", are 3 meal a day eaters. She is truly hungry when she wakes up, but she has a light breakfast and a fairly light lunch as well. Sometimes if she's not hungry, she doesn't have lunch. She eats only when she is hungry, eats what she wants, but only as much as it takes to satisfy her, eats it slowly, and stops when she's had enough.

      June 5, 2014 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
  6. nebi

    I think for the vast majority of people eating a well balanced diet and getting some excersize now and then would work just fine.

    June 4, 2014 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. microscopeconsultants

    It's simple math. Burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis to create a caloric deficit. That's how you lose weight. There's no trick to it.

    June 4, 2014 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mike

    Losing weight does not make you healthier. And everyone gains and loses weight differently. Our bodies are not all the same.

    June 4, 2014 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Springwater

      Well said ...and I would like to add that being overly skinny doesn't make you fit and healthy.

      June 5, 2014 at 08:41 | Report abuse |
    • ChangingTimes

      Very true, springwater

      June 5, 2014 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
  9. Odo

    microscopeconsultants I beg to differ. I exercise 5-7 hours per week cycling...have 2 sessions with a personal trainer per week...and eat no more than 1800 calories a day and can not get the scale to budge below 260.

    Every doctor I go to ends up assuming that I am lying because my test results are all great.

    I should be losing 2-3 pounds per week – so no, there is something more than just "math".

    June 4, 2014 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • markbeckner

      @Odo, we're missing something here...b/c it is a pretty simple equation. Science tells us to lose a lb you need to have a caloric deficit of 3500...you can obtain that by eating less or working out more to burn the calories off. A lot of other variables are in place here, but weight will drop if you stay consistent with this approach over a 6 week period (I've seen results in a week, but others may take longer). Weight lose is a long term approach, never a quick fix. Keep a caloric deficit of 3500 per week for a year and I'll bet you'll weight somewhere in the 208-220 range depending on how much muscle you add. Good luck!

      June 4, 2014 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • RyanTexan

      There are different rates of metabolism. Different efficiencies of digestion.
      The numbers they use are AVERAGES.
      1800 calories is a number that works for most, but not all.
      I don't know how tall you are, but if all your tests are good, your weight might not be a huge health issue for you.
      If you want to lose the weight, you may have to drop it below 1800, as you might have a slow metabolism and very complete digestion. (What we eat has calories, but not all the calories we eat get taken up by the body – some goes through in waste.)
      I'm sure this is very hard for you. One of life's cruel jokes is that you would be doing great while others starved in lean times. We live in a world of abundance and your body isn't designed for it.
      I can name many things that hurt us – and they are due to our affluence as a nation. This is just one more of them.
      If you are in otherwise good health – cherish that.
      Good luck.

      June 4, 2014 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
    • Clear Health

      @Odo – one mistake you're making is to focus on WEIGHT. You're working out hard. You may be transferring fat to muscle. This would be beneficial to your health but the scale may remain at 260. What is magical about dropping below 260? I recommend you focus on the size and fit of your clothes, the amount of body fat you have, and general fitness abilities.

      You noted that you cycle 5-7 hours per week. What kind of cycling? If you're simply sitting on a stationary bike, going round and round, your body quickly gets efficient. The first weeks you were using many calories. Now you may not be using much due to the increased strength and efficiency of your muscles.

      One suggestion is High Intensity Interval Training. Go very hard for 30 seconds – over 100rpms; then drop down to around 60rpms for 30 seconds. Do this for the 1-2 hours ... if you can! Increase your intensity if you're at a plateau.

      June 4, 2014 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • maoix

      Self-reported activity levels and caloric consumption are often (perhaps unintentionally) falsified. In reality, someone who weighs as much you do has a much higher metabolic rate than if you were 180 lbs due to increased LBM, so you're burning far less or eating far more than you're reporting. Until you're honest with yourself about what you're actually doing, you'll never make any progress.

      June 4, 2014 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
    • Xen

      You are not alone. It is not just simple math. Many people, particularly over 40, have the problem you're having, myself included.I could refuse calories entirely for weeks and my weight wouldn't budge. I have tried. There is a magic number for you between calories, meal times, exercise, etc. You will have to find it through trial and error. I'm still looking for mine; 1500 calories a day, gym twice a week, not budging from 200 lbs at 5'2". I wish you luck. And try drinking more water!

      June 4, 2014 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
    • JackieTreehorn

      It is more complicated than simply eating less calories. When you have a caloric deficit, but are still not seeing results (including incorporating a sound exercise regimen) it's usually either: macronutrient imbalance (ie the breakdown of your carbs/fats/protein) - you can prevent tangible benefits while in a caloric deficit if too many of your calories come from carbs.
      Or it is a case of an imbalance of your gut bacteria. Due to all the garbage in the typical North American diet (preservatives, pesticides, artificial sweeteners and all the other chemicals put in most foods), many, many people suffer from a gut bacteria imbalance - this imbalance makes it extremely difficult to lose weight and get fit. Once that imbalance is corrected, it's amazing what can happen.

      June 4, 2014 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • brainwashedinchurch

      Maybe those are kcals.

      June 4, 2014 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • LawrencevilleLady

      Odo, I sympathize with you, I have a similar situation. The "math" never added up for me, so I had my own system. It got really bad when I hit menopause. My weight shifted suddenly even though I worked out and ate the same as before. So I had one of those metabolic tests done (where you breathe into a mask and get on a treadmill) trying to find my actual "numbers" so I could "do the math" that was supposed to be so simple. But what I was told didn't make sense. I was told to eat 1300 calories a day. But when I did that, I gained weight..

      Then I bought a pedometer with a calorie calculator in it, tied to my body movement and heart rate. Come to find out, everybody's math is NOT the same, and it changes a lot after menopause. I don't burn 1800 calories a day just living and breathing as I was told after my test.... I burn about 1100 or less if I have a leisurely day. With exercise, I burn about 1500. That is a HUGH difference from what I got with the generic formula that is usually offered. So MY math is way different and I bet yours is too. For me, intermittent fasting, and weight training, work the best to keep me in a size 6 at 128 pounds (5'4" female).

      June 4, 2014 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
    • smc

      Roughly and hour a day of exercise (mostly cycling) is not that much exercise, unless you're a hard-core bicyclist. The actual purpose of a bicycle is to make getting from point A to point B EASIER, not exercise, so unless you're cycling hard, you aren't burning that many calories. Depending on what you do the rest of the day, 1800 calories might be more than enough to keep the weight on. You also need to cross-train, and 2 hours/week with a trainer isn't going to be enough to cross-train. If your doctors can't figure that out, you need to find a new doctor.

      June 5, 2014 at 07:33 | Report abuse |
    • smc

      I already replied once, but I really want to drive this home. 1800 calories a day is actually a lot for most people, particularly if you're trying to lose weight. At your weight, you'd probably need to RUN 10-12 miles/day to burn off that many calories, assuming the rest of your day is leisurely. That's a lot of running – practically a half-marathon/day. Cycling that far, which is probably what someone would ride in an hour/day, is only going to burn a fraction of that.

      June 5, 2014 at 07:45 | Report abuse |

    Perfect example on how they "think" they got it figured and they really dont. Apply this to a more broad view and you may start to question allot more, as you should. They are not as smart as they think they are.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. stungun

    I lost 40 pounds of fat and put on ten pounds of muscle by skipping breakfast and stopping eating 3 hours before bed. I called it the cave man diet, taking advantage of the biology of our survival designed body.
    You are burning fat in the morning, so when you exercise or even brush your teeth, it burns fat to make blood sugar for you. So hunt before you eat and burn the fat. When you feel like you are "starving" look in the mirror at your fat and realize you are NOT starving. Do at least ten push ups and within 10 minutes your blood sugar pulls back up by burning more fat.
    Anything you eat in excess before bed WILL be stored as fat, in case your cave man can not find food in the morning, so stop eating 3 hours before bed.
    I lost 1-2 pounds a day doing that, and the exercise built muscle. When you eat a big breakfast you have to burn ALL that energy/food before you lose an ounce. So why not get it done while you are already burning fat when you wake up. You can have black coffee or plain tea in the morning. Both are zero calories but add a boost and a nice warm full feeling you are used to. Best of luck to YOU all.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kae

      This comment screams disordered eating. Sad/pathetic.

      June 6, 2014 at 09:31 | Report abuse |
  12. ct

    Have you seen Obama's workout pics. Priceless... his athleticism knows no bounds.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. jenny

    I used to eat breakfast every day, then stopped once I cut milk out of my diet. Right after that I lost 20 pounds. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Garry

    Best advice: do what works for your long term! I recently lost 30 pounds. I never skip breakfast! It is my favorite meal! It is my largest meal on average. I eat a well balanced diet of protein (mostly dairy) and fruit and vegetables. I also avoid red meat and stay away from fast food, processed food, corn syrup, high fructose and refined sugar. I also refrain from white potatoes, refined flour products. I walk for about an hour three times a week. I feel better and enjoy more activity and feel great. I do not know anyone over 40 who is at a healthy weight who regularly overeats and avoid exercise. We eat too much! In the 1940's they ate far less, compared to back then our average meal is really 'two meals', meaning many Americans eat about 6 meals a day and don't exercise. Europeans are appalled at how much we eat! No wonder we are so sick!

    June 4, 2014 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brainwashedinchurch

      Are you going to keep it off forever?

      June 4, 2014 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
  15. srcactus

    Another study?
    Another outcome!

    June 4, 2014 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. meg

    All that nutrition, diet, breakfast study for loosing weight is a big BS for me. I don't eat breakfast, I was part of that study and had to eat breakfasts I gained 2 lbs ( thank God only 2, I calculated that over the time I ate 40000 extra calories for that breakfast).. The only magic to loose wight is to deliver less calories than your body needs for daily life... nothing more nothing less... of course if you add exercise you'll burn more and loose more faster but it's not necessary... same with eating "healthy"- less calories in "healthy" food... Cut your calories by any means you can and you'll lose weight...

    June 4, 2014 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jen

    I've lost over 40kg and don't eat breakfast. Not mentioned in the article is that most breakfasts are high-carb.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. ralph jenkins

    amazing all the diet experts in the comment section – but everywhere I go all I see are fat people.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. tony

    Look at the majority of the poster's comments. They now have a study they think validates their poor eating habits. Eating breakfast serves many purposes. Do the research and find out what they are!

    June 4, 2014 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jim Jimson

    In other words – calories in minus calories out is all that matters. Why would it ever be different to that other than a VERY minor metabolic effect?

    June 4, 2014 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. cali girl

    food is fuel. Breakfast contributes to the fuel my body needs. Never been overweight.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChangingTimes

      And, yet, I gained weight when I started eating breakfast (and felt worse too). So, again, what works for you doesn't necessarily work for everybody.

      June 5, 2014 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
  22. quacknduck

    If I eat breakfast I feel over full and bloated all day and if I regularly eat breakfast I gain weight no matter how much exercise I do. I am 69 years old so I have had plenty of time to figure this out. In the morning I eat a piece of toast with coffee (I am 6'1"and weight about 180lbs. I get up 5-6 am) .

    I also exercise 5-6 day as a week, I do 4 miles in 54 minutes and 1-2 days various floor exercises. In my experience as much as researchers like to push people into general categories because it it makes something more publishable both in science and popular media, so regarding this issue each person is a little different, many people are very different and you need to figure it out for yourself by trial and error.

    June 4, 2014 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. hitman

    Eat bacon everyday along with McDonalds meals and you will die quick. Make sure you wash it down with a pot of hot chocolate with whipped cream.

    June 4, 2014 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • thatoneguy

      Since I started eating bacon everyday, I have had nothing but great results. I dropped from 245 to 215 in 2 months. My blood pressure is down, my cholesterol levels are healthier, and I am no longer pre-diabetic. I started eating 60% of my calories from fat, 30% from protein, and 10% from carbs. I have honestly never felt better in my life. And I would say that its not just numbers, because I do not count calories and I rarely exercise.

      As for your McDonalds statement, watch the movie "Fat Head". He has some actual science in it, unlike the trash that is "Super Size Me".


      June 4, 2014 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
  24. PMN

    You should eat breakfast. Just a small sensible one high in fiber will help you feel full and prevent from overeating at lunch. I eat one cup of oatmeal. Not appetizing and it does the trick. The other BIG key to losing weight is Exercising at least 4 times a week. So if you just cut calories without activity may not get the results as quickly.

    June 4, 2014 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Tony

    If your caloric intake is less than that of your daily maintenance calories, you will lose weight. I skip breakfast simply because if I eat breakfast, it contributes to my total daily caloric intake. Technically, my breakfast is at 4pm even though I wake up at 6am. My last meal of the day is around 8pm. This gives me a 4 hour window to eat all my calories which is around 2200/day.

    June 4, 2014 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Lee

    The belief that skipping breakfast will make you overeat later in the day is a myth. The belief that skipping breakfast will lower your metabolism or somehow but you into "starvation mode" is a myth. Many people actually feel more hunger during the day if they eat breakfast, no matter what the breakfast is made of. And studies on fasting have proven that it takes weeks of low calorie dieting to actually lower the metabolism. And it almost immediately returns to normal when regular eating is resumed. Skipping breakfast is harmless, and often beneficial.

    June 4, 2014 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChangingTimes

      I agree! Those times when I eat breakfast everyday for a few weeks in an attempt to be "healthier," I notice I gain weight and I feel crappy. Yet, when I skip breakfast and have a reasonable lunch...I'm fine.

      Also, I saw a dr. once talk about meal intake. I liked her approach: a medium breakfast (for those who eat it), a LARGE lunch (in volume and calories) since that is around the time most of us need it during the work day and she said a larger lunch kept her full to the end of her work day, and a smaller dinner (think a bowl of soup). That may not work for everyone...but that made sense to me. Eat your largest meal during your most active time (if you do shift work, eat your largest meal during your meal at work).

      June 5, 2014 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
  27. Jrad

    For me, breakfast is small – maybe a banana, piece of toast, granola bar, whatever. Lunch is my largest meal. Then supper is again, a relatively small meal. Minimal snacking, and I make sure I don't eat for at least 3 hours before going to sleep. It's very hard controlling hunger urges in the beginning, almost torturous, but it gets much easier once your body adjusts.

    I only consume around 1500 calories a day, which is 'starvation' according to some, but I dunno – it works for me.

    June 4, 2014 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply

    All,take note

    June 4, 2014 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Rick

    "Weight Loss", they did not measure "Fat Loss". The body goes into starvation mode and will eat muscle. If you do not eat breakfast after sleeping and not eating for 8 hours, you will continue to eat muscle for energy, rather than food and fat.

    June 4, 2014 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. constantdieter

    My battle is compounded by having only half a thyroid, hence the name. But another study recently released suggested that "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper" is a good way to go. In other words, get a solid breakfast of protein, whole grains, and produce as your highest calorie meal of the day, then taper off from there, ending your day with a minimeal. Taking a lesson from my grandparents here. Supper at their house was a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries and fresh cream, or cottage cheese and pickled peaches, while listening to the Detroit Tigers game on the Motorola. Worked for them–Grandma was 101 when she died. Yeah, she weighed 160 or so, but she was 6 feet tall.

    June 4, 2014 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Mal

    I never believed the study in the first place. If you eat anything more than a small snack for breakfast, don't be surprised if you gain weight. People put too much faith in these bogus studies.

    June 4, 2014 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nmatney353

      Sounds like you're highly credible. The fact of the matter is breakfast is the most important meal of the day in terms of metabolism and brain-food. It also gives you more energy than not eating it. Anything less is drivel that no one believes.

      June 4, 2014 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
  32. Portlandtony

    I'm sure your average steel worker, oil rigger, or average Joe who works physically hard for a living would disagree. Now your average 9 to 5 office dieter might get by, but with a little hard work "out of the gym" !they might just need that morning food.......not to mention nutrition for active growing kids!

    June 4, 2014 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Greg

    I've eaten a pound of bacon every single day this year. I'm down 35 pounds, my blood pressure is back to perfect, my cholesterol is back to perfect. I don't shake when I'm hungry anymore because I eat zero carbohydrates. My risk for diabetes is zero. I now have a much decreased (as in nearly nonexistent) risk of dementia, alzheimer's, or any other mental illness. My risk for heart disease, stroke, blood clot, all massively decreased.

    WHY? Because I stopped eating calorie dense carbohydrates. That's all I changed. I eat 70% fat too.

    June 4, 2014 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim Jimson

      What you allege is physically impossible. Not sure why you feel the need to lie about your diet in this way but it is nonsense pure and simple.

      June 4, 2014 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • mk

      "I now have a much decreased (as in nearly nonexistent) risk of dementia, alzheimer's, or any other mental illness. My risk for heart disease, stroke, blood clot, all massively decreased."

      Where are you getting that??

      June 4, 2014 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • Falcon

      "I've eaten a pound of bacon every single day this year. I'm down 35 pounds, my blood pressure is back to perfect, my cholesterol is back to perfect" said the marketing director of the ABA (American Bacon Association).

      June 4, 2014 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
  34. DerBaron

    I'd imagine exercise patterns matter in this.

    June 4, 2014 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Dave

    CNN has become a sick joke

    June 4, 2014 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Tom

    But what if you have 8 glasses of water for breakfast?

    June 4, 2014 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. brainwashedinchurch

    All you have to do is chew your food 69 times and make wise eating decisions. It's simple.

    June 4, 2014 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. barb'sbarb

    I simply try to eat as healthy as possible and exercise as much as possible.

    June 4, 2014 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Portlandtony

    In this study, was the fact that because of genetic differences, some folks matabalize food.....be it protein or carbohydrates .....at different rates?

    June 4, 2014 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. felixgiordano

    "Nearly 80% of people on the National Weight Control Registry, a group of more than 4,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off, eat breakfast every day."

    Why would anyone deduce that the eating habits of 80% of people who lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off would be an incentive to eat breakfast every day? There's a reason why they decided to lose at least 30 pounds. I'd rather see a study of people of normal weight and find out how many of them eat breakfast every day.

    June 4, 2014 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. john

    So i can lose the same amount of weight having a healthy breakfast as no breakfast at all? LOL... I choose plan 1.....have breakfast.

    June 4, 2014 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. jdoe

    The "experts" changed their mind, again.

    June 5, 2014 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. ankenyman

    Obviously, it depends on how much you eat for lunch and dinner. If a person has breakfast and eats moderately the rest of the day, they can lose weight. If a person skips breakfast, but eats too much for lunch or dinner, they may gain weight or stay the same. Seems like most people would end up compensating for not eating breakfast by eating more for lunch or dinner than they would otherwise. I'm amazed at the number of commenters who say they aren't hungry until late afternoon.

    June 5, 2014 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Artemis MA

    I've always eaten breakfast, except when the only options were starchy, high glycemic index stuff, which I've learned from experience leads me to feeling dizzy and probably not a good idea to operate heavy machinery. (No, not hair of the dog stuff, either - stuff like standard breakfast cereals, donuts, sugary fruit drinks, and that ilk). I'm best off then waiting for lunch.

    Thus, since I was already eating healthy breakfasts (eggs, real oatmeal - not instant, leftovers from the night before, unsweetened yogurt, avocados), losing weight (I've lost 40 pounds, and have kept them off) required paying attention to the other two meals and any snacks I'd consume.

    Currently, I am adding more veggies to my breakfasts - eggs florentine might be an example, but sometimes I might just steam up a mess of greens.

    A lot of it is about WHAT you eat, which wasn't measured in this study. But it is good to note if you don't eat breakfast, don't worry about eating it if you don't want it. And vice versa.

    June 5, 2014 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. dbirney73

    Study of one, me! I spent my whole life fat, and I still am overweight. I also spent my whole life eating from 3 – 5 meals everyday. Until a year ago when I gave up breakfast, and stopped eating past 8 PM. So i eat only between noon and 8 PM. I have lost 130 lbs.

    June 5, 2014 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RationalGuard

    Skipping any meal and even multiple meals is just fine and is a natural cycle of living. Natural eating cycles that allow for variation in timing and meal frequency tie in with natural body processes occurring such as autophagy, detoxification, hormone regulation, and weight management. Generally, for any given person not metabolically compromised, eating or skipping breakfast isn't a significant single factor. Intermittent fasting is natural and just fine, yet at the same time, it's not necessarily required for health when the majority of other factors are positive.

    The conventional wisdom and way most modern civilizations eat is very far from what was actually the case for humans 10,000 years ago, which is a point where millions of years of evolution had been set into our DNA. The relative amount of time since 10,000 years ago and the advent of agriculture and most recently industrialization is very short and hasn't had nearly as much effect on our programmed biochemistry. Meanwhile, our diets have shifted dramatically in recent millennia. Current studies of narrow scope are mere pinholes through a fundamentally flawed vantage point of current industrialized and evolutionarily incompatible human diet, and that makes it extremely difficult to understand the effects of any one thing on the physiology of multiple body systems. It will take a paradigm shift in how the mainstream views diet before really have a solid base from which we can determine optimal health, longevity, and happiness. Fortunately, that is underway with roots in the paleo/primal and ancestral health community.

    Take this breakfast topic for example. Our paleolithic ancestors would often have a shortage of food during a gap in the results of hunting and gathering simply due to variations and complications in nature. There was no getting fast food or making a trip to a 24-hour grocery store and charging it to a credit card. Humans had to rely on their dynamic, flexible energy systems to achieve mental focus and physical strength and endurance while highly calorie restricted for up to days at a time in order to survive an thrive. In modern times, we only "require" the multiple meals and snacks per day because we have forced the multiple meals and snacks per day to "keep blood sugar stable" and now have become dependent on that sugar roller coaster typical of consuming grains, refined sugar, and overall very high industrialized carbohydrate-based standard American diet (SAD).

    The realized negative consequences for some people for things like skipping breakfast are a result of that taking place in an already poor metabolic and general state of health. Observed variations in outcomes in different scenarios have multiple confounding factors that can't be as easily accounted for until we reset our base understanding and view things from an evolutionary biological point of view and consider entire systems that don't just have single fixed outputs for single fixed inputs. Eating breakfast is just one variable.

    June 5, 2014 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. dtcpr

    I recently lost 25 pounds and breakfast is one the biggest changes I've made. I have always been a breakfast eater, I wake up hungry no matter what I ate or drank the day before I am hungry. Now instead of eating before work or bringing a breakfast sandwich or cereal to the office I have a leisurely cup of coffee around 815 as my work day starts up and then sometime after 9 I have a serving a fruit and then around 1030 I have another serving of fruit,. This seems to be enough to satisfy my hunger in the morning. Then I eat a big lunch and a small dinner. This is perfect for me because I go to school at night and I don't get that "food coma" feeling some people get after a big meal so I can concentrate. I've kept my weight off almost a full year now. I eat breakfast on the weekends, eggs, French toast, hash browns, pancakes ect ect It works for me!

    June 5, 2014 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. wrm

    No, of course not, so long as your calorie balance taken over a given period is the same.

    June 5, 2014 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. charles

    Look up intermittent fasting. I've started doing this, and have lost 15 pounds in a month, while gaining muscle. I get all of my calories in an 8 hour window, usually noon-8pm. I exercise in a fasted state (early morning before going to work, or late morning right before my first meal). My first meal is the largest of the day. I usually have a snack late afternoon, then eat dinner around 6:30 pm. The results have been great.

    June 5, 2014 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Adam

    I disagree... if you're eating milk and cereal, yes best to skip that... now and forever. I eat 2 whole eggs and 10 egg whites in an omelete with mushrooms, peppers, and onions, with some turkey bacon and coffee. That gets the metabolism going, then snack, meal, snack, meal... for a total of about 3500 calories. I cut starches at 2pm and last meal is meat and veggies. The breakfast gets the metabolic rate up, along with my morning workout... then I burn fuel all day long. This plan lost me 70 pounds and has kept it off for over 2 years.. and I'm almost 40.

    June 5, 2014 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • charles

      It gets your metabolism up because your body is digesting food, which by itself burns calories. As soon as your body is done digesting, your metabolism goes back into its resting state. The same amount of calories are burned digesting the same amount of food whether it's throughout the day, or during a smaller period of time.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
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