Have we been wrong all along about breakfast? For years experts have touted the first meal of the day as a weight-loss wonder, but recent studies have found that those who ate breakfast didn't lose any more weight than those who did. Is it time to dethrone breakfast as the most important meal of the day?
In one study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers followed 300 volunteers over four months; some ate breakfast every day, some skipped it, and the rest just ate as they normally would. At the end of the 16 weeks, the scientists found that there was no difference in how many pounds someone lost based on whether or not they ate breakfast.
In another study, also published in the journal, lean participants were randomly assigned to skip or eat breakfast, then tracked with activity monitors. This study found that while the ones who ate breakfast did move around more in the morning, they also ate as many calories as they burned. The result: no difference between weight loss in the two groups, although the breakfast eaters did have more energy.
These results may point to the pointlessness of eating breakfast if you're not hungry, but it's important to remember that a morning meal could be beneficial in other ways. Many trainers recommend eating a high-protein breakfast within 30 minutes to an hour of waking up in order to feed muscle growth, which could help you burn more calories and be leaner in the long run. And whether you eat your breakfast before or after a morning workout, it can offer the fuel you need to push yourself harder or recover faster after exercise. So, even if it just boils down to preference, we're all for starting the day with a healthy, protein- and fiber-rich meal — here are a few of our favorite healthy breakfast recipes that prove it!