You could save a load of calories by skipping breakfast. About a quarter of American adults do. But does eating breakfast help you lose weight? And is it really the most important meal of the day?
Does Eating Breakfast Help You Lose Weight?
Statistically speaking, saving calories in the morning doesn’t guarantee that you’ll lose weight faster—or at all. In fact, studies have found that breakfast skippers are more likely to be overweight or obese than faithful morning eaters.1
One study, for example, found that people who ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast weighed less than those who skipped breakfast or who ate a higher fat breakfast.2
Some of the most successful losers—people who qualify for the National Weight Control Registry because they’ve lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for more than a year—have a few things in common, the chief among them that 78 percent of them eat breakfast every day.3
Breakfast Keeps You Full and Satisfied
One reason breakfast plays such an important role on a weight loss program is—no surprise—that it can reduce your hunger.
Experts at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture explain, “While you might save calories by skipping breakfast, this is not an effective strategy. Typically, hunger gets the best of breakfast skippers, and they eat more at lunch and throughout the day.2
While you may not be ready to nosh on a whole wheat bagel at the break of dawn, it can keep you full, satisfied and energized. Wait too long before eating and you could find yourself binge snacking the rest of the day.2
Boost Your Burn With Breakfast
A recent small study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggests there may be something else at play.
Researchers at the University of Lubeck in Germany invited a group of volunteers to spend three days in a lab where their diet was strictly controlled. (Many larger breakfast studies rely on volunteers remembering what they ate over a period of time, which is not always reliable.)
The study found that the body uses 2.5 times more energy after breakfast than after dinner. This means you get more fat-burning power after a good breakfast than you do after your evening meal. The participants also had less of a spike in blood sugar and insulin concentrations after their breakfasts than they did at dinner.4
The old advice to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” also got some credence from this research. Participants who ate a low-calorie breakfast were more likely to report feeling hungry and craving sweets later in the day than those who ate more calories at breakfast time.4 So yes, eating breakfast does help you lose weight!
Easy and Healthy Breakfast Ideas
With Nutrisystem, you can get delicious and nutritious breakfast options delivered right to your door. From hearty breakfast sandwiches and moist muffins to crunchy cereal and grab-and-go bars, you’re sure to find an option that you love. Plus, all of them are ready to enjoy in minutes! Paired with our easy-to-follow weight loss plan and amazing support tools, you can lose weight and get healthy while enjoying a tasty morning meal.
Check out some of our favorite irresistible healthy breakfasts below:
Seriously, how can you resist? This fruity muffin is studded with plump, wild blueberries for a quick and easy sweet treat. It’s perfect for those with a busy schedule, the dieter looking for immediate gratification (you can eat it right out of the package) and the morning sweets craver. But here’s its weight loss secret: It has only 150 calories, but a whopping six grams of filling fiber.
These are not your average frozen waffles. They are a good source of fiber (three grams) and contain five grams of protein for only 160 calories. A splash of sugar-free syrup, some fresh fruit and even a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg will make your quick weekday breakfast seems like a leisurely weekend brunch.
Think of it as morning comfort food. Creamy oatmeal is dotted with real apples and walnuts and sprinkled with cinnamon (go on and sprinkle on a little more!). This instant healthy breakfast solves the “no time to eat” problem that so many of us have in the morning. It takes no time to make and you can even whip it up at work. Only 150 calories, it supplies five grams of fiber and protein to keep you full.
No need to hit the drive-thru. Your favorite breakfast sammie is right in your freezer, ready to microwave and eat. High protein egg whites, American cheese and Canadian-style turkey bacon are served atop a whole grain English muffin that will give you staying power for the morning. It’s got 160 calories with three grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein.
Looking for a grab-and-go option? Try this Harvest Nut Oat Bar made with peanuts, almonds and the goodness of cranberries and raisins. Bonus: It’s got a subtle sweetness that is sure to satisfy your cravings! Each bar is only 160 calories and has seven grams of protein. The only thing you need to supply is the morning coffee for a perfect way to start the day.
Dig into a delicious bowl of crunchy clusters made from rolled oats, puffed rice and cinnamon. This sweet and wholesome morning meal is a good source of fiber and provides you with 150 calories. And don’t forget about the study we mentioned earlier about cereal eaters weighing less than breakfast skippers!2