Eating Big Calories at Breakfast Can Make You Fat

Haven't we all learned that breakfast should be our biggest meal?  "Start the day off with "fuel" and you can burn it off as the day goes on." "Eat a big breakfast and you will eat fewer calories all day long".  This advice is probably not true, and in fact a new study published in Nutrition Journal shows that people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had at breakfast.  If a person ate 1000 calories at breakfast  (which is easy to do with bacon, eggs, toast, hashbrowns, juice), they had a total increase in calories eaten throughout the day by 1000 cals.

This doesn't mean we should be skipping breakfast.  The problem may be what we historically think of as an American breakfast.  It might have worked for the farmer in the past or the laborer hauling lumber but it's just too many calories for our current level of activity.

But there is nothing wrong with a "European" breakfast of whole grain cereal and fruit.  Or yogurt and fruit.  Or one egg and toast.  Or cheese and bread (whole grain of course) like the French.

What about a muffin from Starbucks and coffee?  The blueberry muffin carries 470 calories and almost 1/2 of those are fat.  The Starbucks coffee cake is a whopping 630 calories.  The tall latte adds another 204 calories. (90-126 calories for a nonfat latte).

If you are happy with your weight you can ignore this article because you have already learned the appropriate caloric intake for your level of activity.  But if you are one of the millions of readers who are trying to lose weight, this study shows that overweight subjects should pay attention to those breakfast calories and eat less as a way to reduce total calories for the day.


gradydoctor said…
Aaaaaahhhhh. . . . the truth shall set us free! Love these kinds of posts, Toni. You have such an excellent way of breaking things down to sound like someone talking across the kitchen table.:)
Chef Scotty said…
Good suggestion sis...Why is it called a 'European Breakfast'? In Europe cereal is vertually unknown, according to my friend French Chef Patrick Escribe. Actually whole grain cereals are a 'Post/Kellogg' health food idea from way back...Lets call it an American breakfast and to heck with the bacon.
tracy said…
abnormalfacies said…
A timely post as I just last night I posted about the debut Starbucks' new "Trenta" size. Thanks for the article.

So much for the old adage "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."
Anonymous said…
As I was reading this last night the same story came on the NEWS. When I was in Europe I never saw any cereal choices for breakfast, but they eat smaller breakfasts with what they do eat.
I always lose weight in Europe, despite having cappucino and a pastry for breakfast. But the pastries are tiny by comparison to the giant croissants the guy at my coffee truck sells every morning here in NYC.

Thanks for a great post.
KM said…
There is a Medical Weblog Awards 2010 Contest that just started taking nominations. So anyone who would like to nominate Dr.Toni Brayer for her excellent, fascinating well written, thought out and researched work this is the link and time to do it.
Good luck to you Dr.Brayer!
Well… actually I just love the way the article has been formed and concluded. I think other fresh writers should learn from you and write just like you. The way you have given information on the subject is just too wonderful and amazing.
Toni Brayer, MD said…
Thanks KM for the plug. And thanks Mr. Viagra for using "wonderful" and "amazing" in the same sentence.
Craig said…
Just saying. I mean come on these pancakes in the Times article below look gooooooooood. with some sausage or crispy bacon Glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and black coffee. And on weekends I love eggs benedict washed down with not one, but two spiceyyyy bloody marys. And the morning paper. Not read on a tablet. read on Paper so the person next to me at the counter can say are you done with that section over there and i can hand it to them and have neighborly talk
can i treat myself to it once a semester doc? I suppose you're up every morning doing yoga or biking skipping breakfast and having sprouts and boiled chicken breast for lunch.
Darlene said…
Whatever happened to the saying that goes: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper"?

Freelance MD
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