Heart of the Matter – Skipping breakfast to lose weight?

By June Shannon Nutrition News   |   2nd Aug 2018

Does skipping breakfast help you lose weight?

At the Irish Heart Foundation, we aim to provide accurate and evidence-based information on heart health to help you make informed decisions about your health. One of the questions we get asked a lot is does skipping breakfast help you lose weight?

We put this question to our resident expert dietitian at the Irish Heart Foundation, Sarah Noone who said no, in a nutshell, skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight and in fact, it may leave you craving more unhealthy high fat foods later in the morning.

“Skipping meals, especially breakfast is never a good idea as it can lead to poor concentration and low energy levels for the morning ahead. It will also leave us craving energy, meaning we are more likely to reach for high-fat, high-calorie snacks (pastries, biscuits, cakes etc.) come that 11am tea break or have a bigger portion or a ‘treat’ as a reward at lunch time,” Sarah explained.

According to Sarah, research shows that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who don’t.

“We know skipping meals increases hunger leading to overeating later in the day, so if you’re dodging breakfast as a way of saving calories, think again,” she said.

"Skipping meals increases hunger leading to overeating later in the day, so if you’re dodging breakfast as a way of saving calories, think again,"

Sarah Noone, Dietitian , Irish Heart Foundation

Sarah explained that regular meals provide us with the vital nutrients that are essential to keep our bodies healthy. Therefore, the fewer daily meals we have, the less likely we are to have the right balance of nutrients.

Despite this we know many of us In Ireland regularly skip breakfast. It may be that you don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning, don’t have enough time or are calorie-counting.

However, Sarah said that breakfast was a meal that could be easily adapted to suit our needs. It can even be postponed until you either feel up to it or have a moment to yourself. The important thing is to eat it, rather than waiting till the hunger kicks in from missing this meal, she said.

“Rushing out the door or on the go? Take a small sandwich or a wrap, a low-fat natural yogurt, overnight oats prepped the night before or even a glass of water and a piece of fruit with you – this still counts as breakfast,” Sarah advised.


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