To Lose Weight, Eat Breakfast Docs Say

Want to lose weight? Start your morning with a hearty meal. A new study shows that skipping breakfast can cause high-calorie cravings later in the day.

lose weight by eating breakfastHow many of you skipped breakfast this morning? Big mistake. It looks like the old saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is literally true.

Skipping breakfast is a bad idea for a lot of reasons, but now it turns out that skimping on the morning meal can cause high-calorie cravings later in the day, according to a new study out of Imperial College London.

The study centers on a part of the brain called the “reward center” — an area that is triggered when the person experiences pleasure.

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The reward centers of 20 healthy, non-obese people were examined by a type of brain scanner called a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) device. These test subjects, who had skipped breakfast, were placed under the scanner, then shown random photos of various foods — high-calorie foods like cake and pizza, and low-cal foods like vegetables and fish.

Sure enough, the reward center of each of the test subjects lit up like a Christmas tree in response to the high-calorie food images.

In the next test, the participants ate breakfast before going under the scanner, then the food images were shown to them. Not surprisingly, the patients’ reward centers stayed more or less dark when the naughty food porn came into view.

The conclusion the research team drew from all this is that skipping breakfast is a big no-no if you are trying to lose or maintain weight. It seems that skipping meals — especially breakfast — can somehow sensitize the brain’s reward center, making you crave calorie-laden food.

It follows that until and unless some kind of reward-center-numbing drug is developed, your best bet if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight is to start each day with a balanced and nutritious breakfast — and no, not cake and pizza.

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