By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) — We have all been told many times that skipping breakfast might have a negative impact on your weight management efforts. Many people automatically assume that this commonly touted dietary advice is correct. However, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found no difference between eating and not eating breakfast when it comes to losing weight.
There is no shortage of theories about the cause of obesity and the best way to win the battle of the bulge. Most have never been subject to real life scientific testing. We now find that the importance of eating breakfast on a weight-loss program may not be so important after all.
This UAB study involved 309 overweight and obese, but otherwise healthy adults, between the ages of 20 and 65. Over a 16-week period, the participants were randomly told to eat breakfast or skip breakfast. There was also a control group that was given nutrition information, but no specific instructions about eating or skipping breakfast. The control group included some people who ate breakfast and some who didn’t.
The researchers specifically looked at the effects of eating or skipping breakfast on weight loss in addition to how changing someone’s breakfast habits might influence a gain or loss of extra pounds. They focused strictly on body weight and found no statistically significant difference. They did not explore how breakfast habits might affect appetite, body composition or metabolism.
“Becoming overweight or obese is really a fat storage problem. It is best understood and addressed by examining total caloric intake along with specific food choices and their effect on our hormonal system. There are foods and eating habits that upset our hormonal balance and result in the accumulation of unwanted and unnecessary body fat. The number of daily meals and meal timing is largely irrelevant,” according to Tom Griesel, co-author ofTurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH 2011).
It is well known that a diet high in foods or drinks that raise blood sugar above acceptable levels will trigger the release of the hormone insulin, which is sometimes called the “fat storage” hormone. Any excess blood sugar is generally converted to either glycogen or fat. Since our glycogen storage capacity is very limited, fat storage is the most common outcome.
Tom Griesel adds, “If you restrict or eliminate the foods and drinks that cause abnormally high blood sugar levels and focus on eating nutrient-dense, whole, natural foods, excess calories are easily avoided and hormonal balance is restored and maintained.”