Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal for Weight Loss?

Is the link between breakfast skipping and obesity cause-and-effect?

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*Spoiler Alert* As you’ll see in my next video, Is Skipping Breakfast Better for Weight Loss? ( ), ironically breakfast may indeed be the most important meal for weight loss based on chronobiology, the effects of our circadian rhythms. Stay tuned for a fascinating deep dive over the coming weeks.

While we’re on the topic, Which Is a Better Breakfast: Cereal or Oatmeal? ( ). Find out by watching the video!

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Dave McKinnon

  • Dennis Nowland says:

    It depends on how much you ate the night before how much you want breakfast.

  • says:

    *Spoiler Alert* As you’ll see in my next video, Is Skipping Breakfast Better for Weight Loss?, ironically breakfast may indeed be the most important meal for weight loss based on chronobiology, the effects of our circadian rhythms. Hit the bell for notifications when new videos come out.

    • ooo789456123 says:

      Breakfast: whole oat groats with flaxseed and berries, Lunch: vegetable soup until full + 1 piece of fruit, no food after 1pm. Would that be a good weight loss diet for someone who want to lose weight? After reaching target weight a Whole Food Plant Based diet low in sugar, oil and processed crap to maintain the weight.

    • Dinar AndFriends says:

      Is there any hope of going back to the old format? It’s hard to see the text with these videos, and, to be honest, your over-emphasis of words and endless gesticulations are very distracting and take a lot of effort to filter out. Don’t forget that most viewers have incredibly short attention spans and judge the presentation rather than the science. It would also be good to put links to the sources in the comments rather than just on your website. Could you ‘put it to the test’ by comparing the proportion of videos watched using the two formats? I suspect that a lot of people move on after a minute or so, because it’s so hard to watch.
      I’m a huge fan of your analysis – just not the presentation.

    • Dinar AndFriends says:

      @Mark Garcia Exactly. He’s not a good presenter, but doesn’t realise, because he’s successful despite this. At least he’s not bouncing up and down on his treadmill.

    • Lexaire says:

      I like the new format. It makes the videos more personable.

    • Dinar AndFriends says:

      @Lexaire But what’s the benefit of that? There are plenty of YouTube videos with “personalities” spouting rubbish. What makes NF credible is that the only content is the text in the research papers.

  • Jeff x says:

    Same thing as the alcohol/ longevity association. The children’s restricted candy consumption reflected the consequences of obesity, not causes. Likewise, in studies that associate drinking and longevity, teetotalers abstained from alcohol because of bad health or previous addiction. Moderate drinkers as a whole were more likely to have better health and habits. Alcohol has an association with longevity, but it is not cause and effect. Correlation is not causation.
    Maybe (hopefully) NF can chime in on this!

  • Scotty g says:

    My breakfast is my pre-workout meal so for me it is important! Complex carbs and good protein! Gives me energy. Excellent video!Thanks

  • Rabbit Food Fitness says:

    Nice video Dr.Greger! Thank you for all the information you post. Your videos always inspire me to keep posting videos on my channel.

  • Brucking Filliant says:

    The rule of thumb I’ve heard is to eat a meal based on your anticipated activity for the next ~4 hours. Hence for most of us who work full-time, that means a substantial breakfast and lunch, with a small dinner. I try to eat roughly 40% of my daily calories at both breakfast and lunch, but only 20% at dinner. Also, I try to eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime so that I hit the sack feeling slightly hungry. I sleep better that way. When I’m disciplined about this, I’m able to decrease weight and body fat, at least according to my Tanita bathroom scale with body fat estimation.

  • Melanie C says:

    I really can’t get hungry first thing in the morning. I usually have some tea or coffee first thing, and wait til I’m hungry to eat, usually around 11. But I AM overweight, and trying to figure out how meal timing affects my weight loss efforts — the chronobiology section of Dr. Greger’s new book says I should aim to eat earlier in the day and stop eating around sundown. Can’t quite figure out how to start eating earlier, but I am able to fit in two good meals between 11am and 7pm, and that seems to be good for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️ His new book is amazingly packed with science-backed tweaks to optimize weight loss, though, and I’m trying to implement as many as possible!

    • Dragonfly Lane says:

      Melanie C I juice fresh vegetable juice every morning for breakfast. I’ve had to do this for health reasons. Maybe you could make a small fruit and vegetable smoothie to go with your tea or coffee. That will give you more vitamins and nutrients and not be too filling.

    • Taylor Bostick says:

      I think in his next video he is going to talk more about circadian rhythm. Your body’s organs like the pancreas for instance are more efficient in the morning then the evening. So when we eat matters just as much as how much we eat. And for weight loss, just implement 100% Whole Foods. Cut out refined flours and sugars, all oils, and try to eat your greens as much as possible. I center my diet around starch, and add fruits and veggies in. In 45 days, we reversed my wife’s diabetes and in one year I’ve lost 40 pounds and my wife 25. The secret is whole plant foods. No calorie counting. Best of luck on your journey!!!

    • zara says:

      I don’t think meal timing affects the weight loss all. you just have to eat lighter foods:fruits, vegetables.and eat dairy, potatoes, anything fried in oil occasionally.

    • Heidi says:

      Well breakfast is your first meal of the day I guess as long as you don’t wait till your hungry like a lion! I too can’t eat if too early and don’t force myself. Though I do eat my first meal about 2 hrs after breaking the fast (waking up). breakfast can be different time of the day for people. Some work late hours or on shifts. I think what he means its not letting yourself starve to the point of plunging into not so good foods and over eating later in the day.

    • Spider Salticidae says:

      Melanie C eat whole grains , whole fruits and veggies..

  • The Fluffy T Rex says:

    I love how your video quality and presentation has improved a lot over the last few months and years

    • Electrum says:

      This latest change makes it so much harder to focus on what he’s saying because I’m getting distracted by his gestures and animations for the sake of animations. Neither add anything to the content…

  • Jay Venka says:

    this doctor is god send… i almost watched all his old videos 1.0 during my mothers hospital stays…. now he is back with 2.0 great news for all people out there in YT…

    • Crowmaster says:

      Dude he is probably an actor designed to fool you into doing what he wants you to do with persuasive facts that aren’t actually true

  • Amanda Dickinson says:

    I can never skip breakfast! Half cup old fashioned rolled oat + plant milk+ handful of walnuts= yummy 😋

  • Justice Jones says:

    I love this new style of videos!! And I adore the intro! I enjoy seeing the small moments of laughter on Dr. Gregger’s face. Priceless.

  • Greg F says:

    Happy New Year, may you keep putting it to the test in 2020 and beyond!

  • Annette Bowersox says:

    Love how simple you make all research information!!

  • Cre Gone Vegan says:

    Thanks for the great information! This was very helpful.

  • Cabedoce112 says:

    This is an interesting video as always. I think weight loss is more than just eating at efficient windows ( like mentionned in the circadian rythm += calories spent if eaten in the morning). Weight loss is a lot about control / adhesion. Skipping breakfast for a lot (at least around me) is easy since appetite isn’t too strong in the morning and can be cut with Coffee. Of course it always depends on your habits and lifestyle. In my case skipping breakfast works well with my schedule but might not work for others. In the end gotta find what allows YOU to adhere to a healthy diet in a caloric deficit if you want lose weight.

  • Barbara Alsop says:

    Given that I get up and exercise first thing in the morning, the question of what constitutes breakfast becomes important. I tend to eat two hours after exercise, which is 8am in the summer, but as late as 11 am in the winter. Obviously, it’s breakfast in the summer, but closer to lunch in the winter. And what I eat after exercise can range from a tofu scramble to last night’s leftover soup or stew. I just don’t label my meals, try to eat a least two of three, and stop eating at 7 pm, except for a bedtime tea with a smidgen of maple syrup. Works for me!

  • i.e.presents says:

    Thank you so much! This one has plagued me for decades and the conflicting perspectives has not helped

  • katt says:

    Many thanks,I always watch your videos to get an unbiased ,updated info on health matters 🙏🏽🇬🇧

  • porscheoscar says:

    Intermittent fasting seems to resolve this issue in that it activates your immune systems faster (and possibly anti-aging) while allowing you to use up all your glycogen stores so that by bedtime you are ready to run off bodyfat while you sleep and during the fast/morning exercise. Naturally you should be significantly raising your plant fiber intake when you do break the “16 hour” fasting period with the Nutrition Facts daily dozen foods.

  • robo strux says:

    It’s awesome to be able to structure one’s diet around science based nutrition 🙏

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