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Home > Anti-aging Research > Breakfast


News & Research:

  • Breakfast really doesn’t have much to do with controlling your weight - Washington Post, 11/20/21 - "Sorting this out requires randomized trials, the kind of studies that can show cause and effect. And in such research, which randomly assigns participants to either eat or skip the morning meal, breakfast tends to come up short ... Pooling results from seven trials — a type of study known as a meta-analysis — in 2019, Australian researchers found that participants assigned to eat breakfast did not lose more weight. Nor did they consume fewer calories. Breakfast eaters on average took in 260 more calories per day than breakfast skippers ... A separate meta-analysis in 2020 by Harvard researchers concluded that people who skipped breakfast lost slightly more weight than those who ate breakfast ... “Still, the evidence is not strong enough to recommend eating or skipping breakfast,” says Marta Guasch-Ferré, senior author of the Harvard study."
  • People who eat a big breakfast may burn twice as many calories - Science Daily, 2/19/20 - "diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) ... The researchers conducted a three-day laboratory study of 16 men who consumed a low-calorie breakfast and high-calorie dinner, and vice versa in a second round. They found identical calorie consumption led to 2.5 times higher DIT in the morning than in the evening after high-calorie and low-calorie meals. The food-induced increase of blood sugar and insulin concentrations was diminished after breakfast compared with dinner. The results also show eating a low-calorie breakfast increased appetite, specifically for sweets ... "We recommend that patients with obesity as well as healthy people eat a large breakfast rather than a large dinner to reduce body weight and prevent metabolic diseases," Richter said" - Note: I'm not buying it. I tried it numerous times and it packed on the pounds. I'm sticking with the 16 hours of fasting. A high-calorie breakfast and making up for it with low calorie at night leaves you with hunger pains at 2 AM and hence insomnia and that lack of sleep is even worse for your health. I swim for 80 minutes per day. Maybe that doesn't happen to normal people. I remember in the old days reading a story about marathoner Frank Shorter getting up in the middle of the night and eating mayonnaise because he was so hungry.  Also, see two minutes into this video about fasting: Michio Kaku: How to Reverse Aging | Big Think
  • Eating After You Exercise May Provide Added Fat-Burning Benefits - NYT, 11/27/19 - "The riders who had pedaled on an empty stomach, however, had incinerated about twice as much fat during each ride as the men who consumed the shake first. The riders all had burned about the same number of calories while pedaling, but more of those calories came from fat when the men did not eat first ... Those riders also showed greater improvements in insulin sensitivity at the end of the study and had developed higher levels of certain proteins in their muscles that influence how well muscle cells respond to insulin and use blood sugar ... On the whole, these findings suggest that “you can probably get more out of your workout without increasing its intensity or duration by exercising before breakfast"
  • Increase health benefits of exercise by working out before breakfast - Science Daily, 10/18-19 - "people who performed exercise before breakfast burned double the amount of fat than the group who exercised after breakfast ... They found that increased fat use is mainly due to lower insulin levels during exercise when people have fasted overnight, which means that they can use more of the fat from their fat tissue and the fat within their muscles as a fuel ... Whilst this did not lead to any differences for weight loss over six weeks, it did have 'profound and positive' effects on their health because their bodies were better able to respond to insulin, keeping blood sugar levels under control and potentially lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease"
  • A Possible Weight Loss Strategy: Skip Breakfast Before Exercise - NYT, 5/22/19 - "If we skip eating in the morning, we have no calories from a meal available for fuel during exercise and instead will rely on — and reduce — our internal carbohydrate stores, along with some of our fat ... Some researchers have speculated that we might then wind up overcompensating later, eating more calories than we burned during the workout and undermining our efforts to maintain or lose weight ... But that possibility had not been investigated ... It was when they had skipped breakfast before exercise that their eating became most interesting. Having presumably depleted most of their bodies’ stored carbohydrates during the cycling that day, the men seemed ravenous at lunch, consuming substantially more calories than during either of their other lab visits ... But afterward their eating tailed off and at the end of the day, they maintained an energy deficit of nearly 400 calories, meaning they had replenished few of the calories they had burned while riding ... They suggest that working out on an empty stomach in the morning may not prompt us to overeat later and might, instead, lead to calorie deficits."
  • Is Breakfast Really Good For You? Here’s What the Science Says - Time, 1/10/19 - "A new research review published in The BMJ only adds to the debate: It analyzed 13 breakfast studies and found that eating a morning meal was not a reliable way to lose weight, and that skipping breakfast likely does not lead to weight gain."
  • Eating breakfast burns more carbs during exercise and accelerates metabolism for next meal - Science Daily, 8/15/18 - "compared to skipping breakfast, eating breakfast before exercise increases the speed at which we digest, absorb and metabolise carbohydrate that we may eat after exercise ... breakfast before exercise increases carbohydrate burning during exercise, and that this carbohydrate wasn't just coming from the breakfast that was just eaten, but also from carbohydrate stored in our muscles as glycogen. This increase in the use of muscle glycogen may explain why there was more rapid clearance of blood sugar after 'lunch' when breakfast had been consumed before exercise ... As this study only assessed the short-term responses to breakfast and exercise, the longer-term implications of this work are unclear, and we have ongoing studies looking at whether eating breakfast before or after exercise on a regular basis influences health"
  • High-energy breakfast promotes weight loss - Science Daily, 3/18/18 - "The patients were randomly assigned to consume one of two different weight-loss diets, which contained an equal number of daily calories, for three months. One group (Bdiet) ate three meals: a large breakfast, a medium-sized lunch and a small dinner. The second group (6Mdiet) ate the traditional diet for diabetes and weight loss: six small meals evenly spaced throughout the day, including three snacks ... At three months, while the Bdiet group lost 5 kilograms (11 pounds) the 6Mdiet group gained 1.4 kg (3 lb) ... Fasting glucose levels decreased 54 mg/dl (from 161 to 107) in the Bdiet group but only 23 mg/dl (from 164 to 141) in the 6Mdiet group. Overall mean glucose levels dropped in the first 14 days by 29 mg/dl (from 167 to 138 mg/dl) and 38 mg/dl (from 167 to 129 mg/dl) after three months in the Bdiet group. Overall mean glucose levels dropped only 9 mg/dl (from 171 to 162 mg/dl) in the first 14 days and only 17 mg/dl (from 171 to 154 mg/dl) in the 6Mdiet group"
  • The Surprising Secrets to Living Longer — And Better - Time, 2/19/18 - “It really is an issue of moderation,” says Peter Martin, a professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, who runs an ongoing study of centenarians. Martin notes that while most centenarians eat different but generally healthy diets, one consistent thing he has picked up from work with his 100-plus crowd is breakfast. “They rarely skip breakfast,” he says. “It’s often at a very specific time, and the routine is important.”
  • Skipping breakfast associated with hardening of the arteries - Science Daily, 10/2/17 - "Three groups were identified -- those consuming less than five percent of their total energy intake in the morning (skipped breakfast and only had coffee, juice or other non-alcoholic beverages); those consuming more than 20 percent of their total energy intake in the morning (breakfast consumers); and those consuming between five and 20 percent (low-energy breakfast consumers). Of the 4,052 participants, 2.9 percent skipped breakfast, 69.4 percent were low-energy breakfast consumers and 27.7 percent were breakfast consumers ... Participants who skipped breakfast had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels ... Participants who skipped breakfast were more likely to have an overall unhealthy lifestyle, including poor overall diet, frequent alcohol consumption and smoking. They were also more likely to be hypertensive and overweight or obese. In the case of obesity, the study authors said reverse causation cannot be ruled out, and the observed results may be explained by obese patients skipping breakfast to lose weight"
  • The Best Thing to Eat Before a Workout? Maybe Nothing at All - NYT, 4/26/17 - "these efforts obviously have focused on sports performance. Far less has been known about how meal timing and exercise might affect general health ... The implication of these results is that to gain the greatest health benefits from exercise, it may be wise to skip eating first ... our ancestors would have had to expend a great deal of energy through physical activity in order to hunt and gather food. So, it would be perfectly normal for the exercise to come first, and the food to follow"
  • Association of breakfast consumption with body mass index and prevalence of overweight/obesity in a nationally-representative survey of Canadian adults - Nutr J. 2016 Mar 31;15(1):33 - "Among Canadian adults, breakfast consumption was not consistently associated with differences in BMI or overweight/obesity prevalence"
  • Ask Well: Does Skipping Breakfast Cause Weight Gain? - NYT, 3/11/16 - "The food industry has promoted this claim for decades to sell breakfast cereal. But rigorous scientific studies have found no evidence that it’s true"
  • Is Your Breakfast Hurting Your Weight? - U.S. News, 10/16/13 - "Boiled down, it would seem that traditional breakfast foods are some variant of highly refined white flour, which in turn is quite regularly spiked with sugar"
  • Big Breakfast May Be Best for Diabetes Patients - WebMD, 9/26/13 - "randomly assigned 59 people with type 2 diabetes to either a big or small breakfast group ... after 13 weeks, blood sugar levels and blood pressure dropped dramatically in people who ate a big breakfast every day. Those who ate a big breakfast enjoyed blood sugar level reductions three times greater than those who ate a small breakfast, and blood pressure reductions that were four times greater ... About one-third of the people eating a big breakfast ended up cutting back on the daily diabetic medication they needed to take. By comparison, about 17 percent of the small breakfast group had to increase their medication prescriptions during the course of the trial ... Rabinovitz speculated that a big breakfast rich in protein causes suppression of ghrelin, which is known as the "hunger hormone."
  • Eating a big breakfast fights obesity and disease - Science Daily, 8/5/13 - "Metabolism is impacted by the body's circadian rhythm -- the biological process that the body follows over a 24 hour cycle. So the time of day we eat can have a big impact on the way our bodies process food ... 93 obese women were randomly assigned to one of two isocaloric groups. Each consumed a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet totaling 1,400 calories daily for a period of 12 weeks. The first group consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. The second group ate a 200 calorie breakfast, 500 calorie lunch, and 700 calorie dinner ... By the end of the study, participants in the "big breakfast" group had lost an average of 17.8 pounds each and three inches off their waist line, compared to a 7.3 pound and 1.4 inch loss for participants in the "big dinner" group ... those in the big breakfast group were found to have significantly lower levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin"
  • Skipping Breakfast May Increase Coronary Heart Disease Risk - Science Daily, 7/22/12 - "Researchers analyzed food frequency questionnaire data and tracked health outcomes for 16 years (1992-2008) on 26,902 male health professionals ages 45-82. They found: ... Men who reported they skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who reported they didn't ... Men who reported eating late at night (eating after going to bed) had a 55 percent higher coronary heart disease risk than those who didn't. But researchers were less convinced this was a major public health concern because few men in the study reported this behavior"
  • Skipping Breakfast May Raise Diabetes Risk - WebMD, 6/18/13 - "The new study included only nine women. Their average age was 29, and all were overweight or obese ... measured their levels of insulin and blood sugar on two different days after the women ate lunch. On one day, they had eaten breakfast; on the other day, they had skipped it ... the women's insulin and glucose levels after lunch were much higher on the day they skipped breakfast than on the day they ate it ... There was a 28 percent increase in the insulin response and a 12 percent increase in the glucose response after skipping breakfast"
  • Protein-rich breakfasts prevent unhealthy snacking in the evening, study finds - Science Daily, 3/26/13 - "20 overweight or obese adolescent females ages 18-20 either skipped breakfast, consumed a high-protein breakfast consisting of eggs and lean beef, or ate a normal-protein breakfast of ready-to-eat cereal. Every breakfast consisted of 350 calories and was matched for dietary fat, fiber, sugar and energy density. The high-protein breakfast contained 35 grams of protein ... The consumption of the high-protein breakfast led to increased fullness or "satiety" along with reductions in brain activity that is responsible for controlling food cravings. The high-protein breakfast also reduced evening snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods compared to when breakfast was skipped or when a normal protein, ready-to-eat cereal breakfast was consumed ...Study participants ate egg and beef-based foods such as burritos or egg-based waffles with applesauce and a beef sausage patty as part of a high-protein breakfast; Leidy also suggests eating plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or ground pork loin as alternatives to reach the 35 grams of protein"
  • Eat Breakfast, Cut Diabetes and Obesity Risk - WebMD, 6/14/12 - "Compared to people who ate breakfast three or fewer times per week, they were: ... 34% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes ... 43% less likely to become obese ... 40% less likely to develop fat around the tummy (abdominal obesity)"
  • Breakfast Decreases Type 2 Diabetes Risk - Medscape, 6/9/12 - "an analysis of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, which is a longitudinal study of 5115 black and white women between the ages of 18 and 30 years who were initially examined in 1985 through 1986. To date, participants have been reexamined at year 2, year 5, year 7, year 10, year 15, and year 20 (2005 - 2006) ... For each additional day/week of breakfast intake, there was a 5% decrease in risk of developing T2D ... Compared with participants who ate breakfast between 0 and 3 times per week, those who ate breakfast 5 times or more had a 31% reduction in T2D risk (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54 - 0.88). They also gained less weight (0.5 kg/m2 less weight gain; P = .01) ... Those with higher diet quality had lower incidences of T2D, but breakfast frequency was more important, as it predicted T2D risk across diet quality score quartiles"
  • Eggs at Breakfast May Delay Hunger - WebMD, 5/11/12 - "researchers tracked 20 overweight or obese people, giving them either a breakfast containing eggs or cold cereal for one week. Although the breakfasts offered different protein foods, the meals themselves were equally matched in terms of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat ... people who had eggs in the morning felt fuller before lunch, and they also ate less food from the buffet compared to those who had cereal. Egg eaters also had lower levels of ghrelin and higher amounts of PYY3-36 during the three hours between breakfast and lunch. This suggests they felt less hungry and more satisfied between meals ... Long-term weight loss trials to compare the manipulation of protein quality without increasing protein quantity should be explored" - Note:  I fully agree.  I just seems very easy to keep my weight in check when I have eggs for breakfast.