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Daily Archives: September 12, 2013

Is Eating Breakfast To Lose Weight A Wive’s Tale?

In my younger (skinnier) days I never ate breakfast.  I simply wasn’t hungry so I skipped it.  Later in life, after a bit of a stretch in a sedentary lifestyle, my metabolism finally slowed down.  I grew chubby for the first time in my life and I was not happy about it.  I started running and quit eating breakfast again to lose the weight.  Sure enough, within six months I was down to a manageable weight.

Imagine my surprise when news came out that one should make certain to eat breakfast in order to lose weight!  That’s the exact opposite of what worked for me.

In fact, Mrs. Bgddy herself just told her mom yesterday that the idea is to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper (or something like that).  This has been repeated so often, it’s pretty much just an accepted fact – so much so that even I eat breakfast every morning.  Hell, who would want to mess with their circadian rhythm!  Certainly not me.  Still others claim that eating breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day.  Woohoo!  Eat to win, baby!  Now who hid the waffles and syrup?!

Well, I heard an interview with a doctor on the radio this morning who said, contrary to popular opinion, it’s…  hold your breath…  “all about calories in and calories burned at the end of the day”.  You see, you have to look at the fine print – and this is the first time I’ve ever even bothered:

“It helps you get your day off to a great start so you can manage your calorie intake better, but there is nothing special about eating before 9 or 10 a.m. or eating 600 calories at breakfast,” says Joan Salge Blake, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

People who eat a healthy breakfast each day have greater control over their daily calorie intake, and studies have shown that they tend to have lower body weights, Blake says. Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, is associated with higher body weights and an increased risk of obesity.

But at the end of the day, the total number of calories consumed is what matters most for weight control, Blake says.” [Emphasis is mine]

Please, allow me to translate:  This is a behavioral issue.  If you eat a huge breakfast in the morning, you’ll have to eat like a bird the rest of the day.  If, at the end of the day, a normal sedentary person eats 1,400 calories – no matter which meal they load up, they’re going to lose weight.  If that same person eats 2,000 calories, they’ll likely stay around the same.  If they eat 2,800 calories they’ll gain weight.

Now, if you’re a big breakfast eater and that works for you, I am not proposing you change what you’re doing.  But, if you’re on the big breakfast diet and it’s not working, you’re just eating too much.  Cut back on that eighth piece of bacon…  Your circadian rhythm will forgive you.