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Does breakfast REALLY matter? (When trying to lose weight?)

(50 Posts)
moonstorm Mon 11-Mar-13 18:33:02

I'm interested in asking people who have lost weight/ are in the process of losing weight rather than what the books say...

I am trying to watch my calorie intake. If I miss breakfast, I don't get hungry and eat less throughout the day. If I eat breakfast, I start picking immediately and eat more throughout the day...

I have so much weight to lose...

moonstorm Mon 11-Mar-13 18:34:56

ps I did really well on the 5:2 diet and lost a lot, but could only maintain it on holiday - I can't do it when working/ stressed.

I comfort eat loads...

Iwantmybed Mon 11-Mar-13 18:41:19

I find that too. I've started to eat a banana when I get hungry, about 10ish.

newgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 18:52:37

It's vital - it's about long term giving your body what it needs - don't be so hard on yourself!

LaurieFairyCake Mon 11-Mar-13 18:58:00

No, eating breakfast does not work for me - instead it just kicks me into hunger all day. I'm doing 5:2 and what works for me is capitalising on the fact I never feel hungry when I wake up and having that stretch as long as possible. Every day, not just fast days.

So I fasted yesterday and then ate a proper breakfast (eggs and bacon) at 11am.

As long as you eat properly and eat something satisfying when you are hungry and not gorge on croissants then I think it makes a difference.

I find that if I dont eat breakfast I dont get hungry until maybe 2-3pm. But then I binge.

The point of eating breakfast is that it starts your metabolism early in the day. You eat regularly and are less likely to stuff your face. Then theres obviously the longer time for your body to use the calories.

Our meals should really be bigger in the morning and get smaller through the day. But in the UK we have our main meal at night.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 11-Mar-13 19:44:15

Sorry wanna, really hate to contradict you but I believed every word you wrote until 2 months ago when I saw the 5:2 diet documentary and read the Dr Moseley book.

And now I think exactly the opposite grin

I cant get my head around the 5:2 diet at all grin

Is it not true that the body will store food as fat after a large fast then?

Prawntoast Mon 11-Mar-13 19:51:57

wanna, don't think so in my case. Have been doing 5:2 for 8 weeks, lost a stone so far, I eat at around 6pm the day before a fast and then not again until around 6pm the next day. I tend to eat breakfast now later than I used to as I'm not hungry when I wake up. I wouldn't eat after about 8pm though but only because I think your body finds it hard to cope with digestion and trying to sleep.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 11-Mar-13 19:52:19

Apparently not. It's literally the opposite of everything I've believed for years confused

But it's really, really working for me and I can eat way more than I've ever been able to eat in the past when I've dieted and eaten breakfast. It's all about shoving your body into repair mode by fasting as eating constantly by grazing means your body is on 'go-go' all the time.

Seriously, watch the documentary - if even have of this is true it's going to revolutionise our lives - there's one bit where rats don't get Alzheimer's til 80 instead of 50 which made my jaw drop - just through fasting

BsshBossh Mon 11-Mar-13 20:07:11

Breakfast trips my hunger switch - if I eat it, I eat more over the course of the day; if I skip it, I eat less. I regularly exercise on no food and it doesn't seem to have impaired my energy levels. I'm a regular 5:2 faster but even on non-fast days I skip breakfast. Have lost weight and am nearly at goal.

BsshBossh Mon 11-Mar-13 20:11:07

Also, by not eating breakfast my body switches to burning fat quicker. I've lost inches far more quickly since I've delayed eating.

NotQuitePerfect Mon 11-Mar-13 20:11:34

I rarely eat breakfast. When I do, I find I'm snacking all day, constantly thinking about my next opportunity to eat. It's like having stoked the boiler early in the day, it needs frequent maintenance!

If I don't eat breakfast (most days) I eat a frugal lunch, a snack about 5pm then a proper dinner in the evening. In this way I am able to maintain my healthy BMI of 20.

Please don't think I'm being smug - different things work for different people and this works for me. DH's family are always banging on about the importance of a good breakfast to set you up for a healthy day. They are all clinically obese.

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 20:12:28


If I eat breakfast I just eat an extra 200 - 500 calories per day.

Can anyone explain the maths?

sherazade Mon 11-Mar-13 20:19:17

What i've noticed is that (althought i dont diet), because I eat very light/little in the evenings if not nothing generally after 5.3pm, I wake up ravenous and need breakfast. My friends who are constantly complaining about being overweight miss breakfast but then that is because they've eaten so heavily/late the night before which generally means not a very good diet.

FurryDogMother Mon 11-Mar-13 20:20:14

I think it depends not so much on whether you eat breakfast or not, but what you eat for breakfast. Eggs and bacon, for example, will keep your insulin and blood glucose levels nice and steady, and you'll feel full for a long time. Cereal or toast on the other hand will give you an insulin spike, and then hunger when your insulin levels fall.

I have a cooked breakfast most mornings, which lasts me until the evening. Might not work for everyone, but it does for me.

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 20:46:02

Yes, and eating bacon every day is such a good idea hmm.

NurseEzzzaChapel Mon 11-Mar-13 20:57:46

When I was a teenager I always skipped breakfast due to not being hungry before I had to leave for school (45 minute each way commute) and as a result I spent the whole of first break face down in chocolate, crisps and hot buttered toast. When I went on my first diet (daily calorie restriction) twelve years ago I started eating breakfast and it really seemed to help me not to scoff chocolate all morning. I ate breakfast everyday since, until...

6 months ago I started the fast diet. For the first 4 months I carried on eating something at breakfast time, but eventually the fasting changed my appetite so that now I often don't want breakfast. I find on fasting days it is helpful not to eat breakfast as the sooner in the day I eat the more I end up eating in total that day. On non-fast days I eat breakfast if I'm hungry in the morning and skip it if I'm not. Skipping breakfast now no longer leads to the ridiculous mid-morning scoff-fest that used to happen.

I have to say, I don't believe in the idea that breakfast is necessary to raise the metabolism and enable weight loss. I used to believe it, but it seems some of the research that has been done into fasting would indicate that the more times you eat in the the more insulin is needed. I'm not very good at explaining the science but it seems this is a bad thing both healthwise and for weight loss.

Personally, I think whether breakfast is a good thing or a bad thing comes down to what's going to happen if you do or don't eat it. If you're not hungry at breakfast and can easily make it to a sensible lunch without picking but would find yourself ravenous by 11am after a cereal breakfast, then why bother wasting the calories on breakfast? On the other hand, if skipping breakfast sends you to the shop for a king size mars bar and a family pack of Walkers then a sensible breakfast may be better for your waistline. I agree that something like eggs would be a better choice than a high GI breakfast like cornflakes at keeping the hunger at bay if you do need to eat breakfast.

FurryDogMother Tue 12-Mar-13 11:24:33

A cooked breakfast doesn't have to be bacon now, does it? Eggs, home made burger with a slice of cheese is still a cooked breakfast!

Moknicker Wed 13-Mar-13 15:18:11

I dont eat breakfast as I cant face food that early in the morning, feel sluggish and funnily enough more hungry if I do eat. Also I put on weight.

I am happiest skipping breakfast and then having an early lunch at 12. Works for me.

moonstorm Wed 13-Mar-13 18:35:52

Nice to hear it's not just me. smile I might just keep on this way and see what happens. What I really need to do is stop eating late into the evening...

BsshBossh Wed 13-Mar-13 19:47:36

If late night eating is an issue, could you consider an eating window? I'm doing 5:2 but on non-fasting days I try to eat within an eight hour window in order to get in a mini-fast of 16 hours (for health benefits). I only eat between 2-10pm because I work really well in the mornings and don't like breaking my productivity by fixing snacks/meals. But yours could be something like 11 and 7 or 12 and 8pm to avoid eating afterwards.

moonstorm Wed 13-Mar-13 21:08:08

Great idea, I think that sounds really workable.

MoreBeta Wed 13-Mar-13 21:17:51

Missing breakfast is bad for you. It makes you snack through the day.

I have a normal sized breakfast, porridge, muesli, or some sort of pastry and coffee.

I then have a good lunch.

I dont eat between meals and I dont eat a meal after lunchtime until the following morning. I have a cup of tea and a bit of dried fruit, a biscuit or some nuts in the evening but nothing more.

My wife follows the same regime. I never drink alcohol in the evening and never have coffee after breakfast time.

Eating in the evening piles weight on and I find drinking coffee makes my blood sugar go up and down so it makes me feel hungry and I then tend to eat biscuits.

Stop the coffee, stop eating between meals and stop eating (and drinking alcohol) in the evening and weight will drop off.

moonstorm Wed 13-Mar-13 21:20:56

But it doesn't make me snack, it suppresses my appetite, that's what got me wondering... I do agree that no snaking really helps, but I'm sure missing breakfast helps me not to snack in the morning.

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