In folk anecdotes and common-sense stories, breakfast is often viewed as the “most important meal of the day,” but scientific research has had mixed results when trying the substantiate the impact of breakfast on people’s health.
However, a new research studyconducted at Tel Aviv University (TAU) has discovered a link between eating breakfast and losing weight. As an added bonus to the weight loss, eating breakfast was also linked to lower risks of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The Timing of Meals Is Important to Weight Loss
To investigate how breakfast influences weight loss efforts, research teams from TAU and Hebrew University of Jerusalem tracked the diets of 36 volunteers, all of whom already had Type 2 diabetes.
The study participants altered their meal patterns, eating breakfast and lunch on one day and then only lunch the following day. During every day of the study, participants had their insulin and glucose levels checked, as well as blood tests taken to measure their bodies’ internal clock-related genes.
Breakfast Positively Impacts Weight Loss Genes
The Tel Aviv study found that consuming breakfast kick-starts genes related to slimming down and helps to improve blood glucose and insulin levels, a key factor in preventing Type 2 diabetes.
On days when the study’s participants only ate lunch, genes related to weight loss were less expressed, causing spikes in blood sugar that can prompt weight gain, regardless of a person’s food choices for the rest of the day.
However, when participants ate breakfast before 9:30 am, their breakfast consumption triggered “the proper cyclic clock gene expression leading to improved glycemic control.”
The body’s circadian clock gene regulates a number of health-critical bodily functions, such as body weight control, blood pressure, and glucose metabolism.
Although it would be nice to think that simply adding breakfast to your daily meal plan would help you lower your weight and reduce the likelihood of developing serious conditions like diabetes, there are a number of previous studies that question the benefits of eating breakfast, as it relates to weight loss.
For example, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that skipping breakfast lead to research participants consuming 350 calories less every day and did not prompt participants to eat more later in the day.
However, large scale surveys have found that people who regularly eat breakfast often weigh less than their peers who do not eat breakfast. Because of these findings, it is advisable for people hoping to lose weight to consume breakfast every day, even if their daily calorie count would be higher.