Want a faster metabolism? Until recently, health experts claimed eating breakfast was the key to revving up an otherwise sluggish metabolism. However, new research from the University of Bath says that breakfast doesn’t actually speed up your metabolism–a finding considered controversial.
Now lead author James Betts says that eating breakfast isn’t a good recommendation.
“I almost never have breakfast,” says Betts, who is a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition, Metabolism & Statistics at the University of Bath. “That was part of my motivation for conducting this research, as everybody was always telling me off and saying I should know better.”
For the study, Betts recruited 33 men and women who were described as having a normal weight. He then split the participants into two groups, where they would eat one of the following breakfast plans: A 700 calorie breakfast or no breakfast at all. The participants followed each prospective plan for a total of 6 weeks so researchers could look at how it specifically affected their resting metabolic rate–something that researchers previously believe would increase from consuming breakfast.
However, when it came time to measuring their metabolic rate, the opposite held true for both groups: Their metabolism did not change.
In another study, researchers once again looked at the metabolic rates of those who either ate breakfast or skipped it. In this study, researchers were able to recruit 300 participants, allowing them to see how their metabolism changed on a larger scale.
“Breakfast is associated with lower body weight in observational studies,” write researchers, whose study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “We tested the relative effectiveness of a recommendation to eat or skip breakfast on weight loss in adults trying to lose weight in a free-living setting.”
However, the results didn’t change–those who skipped breakfast didn’t have a slower metabolism. Moreover, those who ate breakfast didn’t lose more weight than those who skipped it, suggesting that eating breakfast alone may not have an effect on a person’s metabolism.
“A recommendation to eat or skip breakfast for weight loss was effective at changing self-reported breakfast eating habits, but contrary to widely espoused views this had no discernible effect on weight loss in free-living adults who were attempting to lose weight,” says Emily Dhurandhar, an assistant professor from the University of Alabama at Birmingham who led the study. “Skipping breakfast in these studies did not fatten people. I guess I won’t nag my husband to eat breakfast anymore.”
What You Should Do
If you’re desperate to lose weight, eating a healthy diet matters. But eating breakfast? Chances are forcing yourself to down a bowl of cereal or an egg omelet is just a waste of time, according to their findings.
Readers: Do you eat breakfast? Why or why not?
Study: Eating Breakfast Does Not Speed Up the Metabolic Rate – Nutrition.org
Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day, Here’s Why – ScienceWorldReport.com
Is Breakfast Overrated? Researchers Seem to Think So – NYTimes.com