For eons, we've been told there are some very cut and dry tenants of a successful weight loss program: Veggies, exercise, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, and eating breakfast. In fact, anyone who has ever been on any sort of regimented diet plan has been told that skipping breakfast sets you up for a brutal blood sugar crash, cravings, binge eating, and will basically destroy your most earnest efforts to pare pounds. Now, however, new research aims to blow that time-honored belief up completely.
University of Alabama Birmingham researchers followed breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers for 16 weeks and found that those who ate that first meal of the day lost no more weight than those who passed on it. Sweet! So that means weight watchers are free to subsist on air and maybe a cup of coffee 'til lunch, right?
Not so fast!
The takeaway from the findings was that skipping breakfast might not utterly undermine weight loss (at least in the short-term!). Researchers didn't draw any conclusions about how skipping breakfast may negatively impact health overall.
Sweeping, generalized diet recommendations are irritating to begin with, because everyone's different. Some of us cannot even think about breakfast until they've gotten through their a.m. commute, while others feel a blood sugar dip coming on if they don't munch on something even 30 minutes after waking! That said, there's quite a laundry list of potential long-term, negative effects of forgoing breakfast altogether, such as increases in diastolic and systolic blood pressure, blood concentrations of insulin, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and LDL-cholesterol, and decreases in blood concentrations of HDL-cholesterol, according to study authors.
Seems to follow that eating something -- be it a banana or apple and almond butter, oatmeal, a yogurt, an egg, quinoa -- is still the best choice. Especially if you're more concerned about genuine, vitality-bolstering wellness than superficial, quick and dirty pound-droppage.
How do you feel about eating breakfast?
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