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Get ready to have your mind blown: You know all of those mornings where you dutifully shoveled cardboard-tasting shredded wheat into your mouth (when all you really wanted was a cup of coffee), because you’ve been told a million times that there’s no better way to start your day -- especially if you’re watching your waistline? Well, a new study just found that breakfast does not help you keep your weight in check because it does nothing but add more calories to your day. Seriously, WTF, people?
According to a new report published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this conventional weight-loss wisdom, endorsed by everybody from the surgeon general to the freaking Obamas, is based on little more than poorly designed studies, research bias and even, in some cases, purposeful misinterpretation of the data. In layman’s terms? Breakfast is a load of BS.
This new report turned a critical eye on the heaps of pro-breakfast research and found only a handful of studies that passed muster. When they put the results of those well-designed studies together and analyzed them, they found that eating breakfast -- the so-called meal of champions -- has little to zero impact on our weight, and that those of us suckers who do breakfast each morning consume more calories a day than those who skip it.
Sure, breakfast-skippers might scarf down more food at lunch to make up for the fact that they haven’t yet eaten a darn thing all day. But even a pig-out at lunch does not make up for the calories they missed at breakfast, so come end of day, they still end up eating fewer calories overall.
I’m really starting to feel cheated here. I spent years turning myself into a breakfast person, and now can’t imagine going a day without. My empty stomach would grumble all morning in protest. But lately as I’ve been scrutinizing cereal boxes, I have begun to wonder about the actual nutrition of my most important meal of the day. Most cereal these days are flavored pieces of processed carbohydrates whose most nutritious parts have been removed in order to ensure longer shelf life. Cereal, it turns out, gets most of its nutrients from sprayed-on vitamins; its flavor from sugar and other additives. A box of cereal can cost $4.99 for a measly 12 ounces. That’s $6.65 per pound! It might be all well and good if it helped us practice this supposedly most-hallowed and healthy ritual of the day. But since breakfast appears to be of no actual benefit, seriously, why am I wasting my time, money and calories on a deconstructed candy… I mean granola bar?
Not that I’m about to forfeit breakfast altogether. Habits die hard, after all. But if I’m perfectly content sipping coffee all morning long, I’m certainly not going to stress about filling my stomach anymore. I'm into not being stressed about breakfast anymore. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even drop a few pounds in the process.