When you set out on a new weight-loss goal, one of the first pieces of advice you’ll often hear is to make sure you’re eating breakfast. The standard logic is that you’ll regulate your hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, and be less likely to overeat for the remainder of the day. A new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition both supports and negates this rationale. On one hand, they found that 78% of successful dieters are also breakfast eaters while in their control groups, regular breakfast eaters weren’t any more likely to lose weight than those who fasted all morning. This is great news! You can save time precious time in the morning, grab your coffee and go, right?
While breakfast eaters didn’t shed pounds any faster, researchers did find that they were much more likely to exercise and to exercise in the morning (when routines are most successful). So, even if your daily oatmeal, eggs or cereal don’t lead to a faster drop in weight, a regular workout routine will lend itself to a healthier body and mind.
One major reason that the scale might not budge right away when you’re eating breakfast and working out rather than skipping your first meal and sitting on the couch is because muscle weighs more than fat so as you build muscle, you might actually maintain or increase your weight as your size goes down. The above study was only 6-weeks so long-term effects were unaccounted for and the stagnant scale is temporary. With a healthy long-term diet and exercise plan, the scale will go down, breakfast or not.
In addition to long-term weight-loss benefits, your health skyrockets with exercise. Your risk of obesity and heart disease decreases, your mood and stress levels improve and another recent study published in medical journal, Cell Metabolism, even found that mice who exercised were less likely to develop a variety of cancers including lung, liver and skin cancer.
If eating breakfast makes your sweat session more likely, all of the above make sitting down for a few minutes in the morning more than worth it.