In case you question the value of eating a huge breakfast like my Cholesterol-lowering Oatmeal, think again. A prospective study following 6,764 men and women over almost 4 years published in the January 15, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology found that those people who ate the highest percentage of their calories at breakfast gained less weight and had lower BMIs (Body Mass Index). The people who ate the largest breakfasts consumed more total calories a day than those who ate the lower calorie breakfasts, but they still gained less weight! Talk about having your cake & eating it, too!
Dr. Nita Forouhi, one of the University of Cambridge (UK) researchers conducting this study, said:
Shifting a greater proportion of a day's total calorie intake to breakfast time is potentially beneficial for lower weight gain over time among middle-aged men and women.
Even increasing your breakfast calories by 10% resulted in less weight gain. The authors cite 4 additional studies that also showed less weight gain when the largest meal was consumed in the morning rather than in the evening.
The authors' conclude with this sage advice:
From a public health perspective, redistribution of daily energy intake, so that a larger percentage is consumed at breakfast and a lower percentage is consumed over the rest of the day, may help to reduce weight gain in middle-aged adults.
My personal experience:
I haven't tried this calorie shift tactic (yet), but when I upped the size of my breakfast to include more cholesterol-lowering ingredients the calorie count of my breakfast went from about 300 calories to 500 calories. I didn't consciously attempt to eat less or exercise more to make up for this 200 calorie increase, but guess what? My weight has been slowly dropping since I've started eating this huge breakfast. I can't say why, but maybe I'm just naturally eating less at night, or after dinner. I'm certainly not complaining! There just may be something to the Cambridge study.