17/01/2011 13:41 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Cut Out Big Breakfasts If You Want To Lose Weight

The old saying 'Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper' may not be such good advice after all if you're trying to lose weight. That's the conclusion German researchers have reached after their study, published in Nutrition Journal, suggests a hearty breakfast could lead to an even heartier lunch and dinner.

woman-eating-toast-on-the-street Even a piece of toast on the go is better than no breakfast. Photo: Getty

The experts analysed the eating habits of almost 400 volunteers - some overweight and some of normal weight - for two weeks. The volunteers were asked to record everything they ate and drank, including the weight of their portions.

After dissecting all the information the researchers discovered those who ate high-calorie breakfasts didn't eat less at lunch and dinner at all. In fact, those who had a big breakfast (which they described as being 400 calories greater than a small breakfast) ate, on average, 400 calories more each day in total.

The only difference the researchers discovered between those eating a big breakfast - such as a fry-up - as opposed to a small breakfast (fruit, cereal, yoghurt for instance) was that the big breakfasters were less likely to need a mid-morning snack. But the amount of calories they had consumed at the end of the day still came to more than that eaten by the people who preferred eating light in the morning.

However nutrition experts are warning not to take this advice too literally, since skipping breakfast altogether is still thought to lead to weight gain. In other words, it's still important to make time to eat something before you rush out to work.

What's your favourite breakfast?

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