Those interested in health and nutrition know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast wakes up the brain and the body so that you can better focus in the morning and your metabolism jump-starts. However, new research disputes the fact that breakfast helps stabilize weight and prevent obesity.

Previous claims taught us that those you skip breakfast have been more likely to overindulge throughout the day, snacking or eating bigger meals. This makes it harder for you to control weight and may even led to weight gain.

“The field of obesity and weight loss is full of commonly held beliefs that have not been subjected to rigorous testing; we have now found that one such belief does not seem to hold up when tested,” senior investigator David Allison, director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center, said in a university news release. “This should be a wake-up call for all of us to always ask for evidence about the recommendations we hear so widely offered.”

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on June 4, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham discovered that skipping breakfast does not help or hurt weight loss.

“Previous studies have mostly demonstrated correlation, but not necessarily causation,” assistant professor in UAB’s department of health behavior and study author, Emily Dhurandhar stated in the news release. “In contrast, we used a large, randomized, controlled trial to examine whether or not breakfast recommendations have a causative effect on weight loss, with weight change as our primary outcome.”

The 16-week study included adults ages 20-65 who were all either overweight or obese. Chosen at random, one group was told eat breakfast while the other was told not to. The control group consists of participants who were given healthy nutrition information, but were not given any instructions about whether or not to eat or skip the meal. Some did consume breakfast, while others did not.

Researchers found that there was no difference regarding weight loss throughout all groups. The results were only based on body weight, whereas researchers did not examine the effect breakfast has on appetite, metabolism, and body fat.

The objective was to only test to effectiveness of breakfast and weight control generally, so researchers could not conclude about recommended kinds of breakfast foods (avoid these cereals!) or portion sizes.

What are your thoughts about breakfast? Do you think that it is the most important meal of the day? Are you a breakfast eater? If so, what do you eat?

I personally am not a breakfast lover, but feel that it is important to give my body the nutrients it needs to start the day—especially after early morning sweat sessions. I usually drink Herbalife Formula 1 so that I can sip on my way to work and then have a banana with a cup of tea mid-morning. Check out my healthy on-the-go frittatas here! Let me know your breakfast routine in the comments below!