Is Skipping Breakfast Better for Weight Loss?

Is Skipping Breakfast Better for Weight Loss?
4.78 (95.66%) 106 votes

Breakthroughs in the field of chronobiology—the study of our circadian rhythms—help solve the mystery of the missing morning calories in breakfast studies.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Where did this whole breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day concept come from? “The Father of Public Relations” Edward Bernays, infamous for his “Torches of Freedom” campaign to get women to start smoking back in the 1920s, was paid by a bacon company to popularize the emblematic bacon-and-eggs breakfast. The role of public relations, he wrote in his book entitled Propaganda, is the “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses….” Public relations specialists thereby “constitute an invisible government, the true ruling power of our country….”

Breakfast is big business. Powerful corporate interests such as the breakfast cereal lobby are blamed for perpetuating myths about the importance of breakfast. This editorial in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition urged nutrition scientists to speak truth to power and challenge conventional wisdom when necessary, “even when it looks like we are taking away motherhood and apple pie.” “Actually,” the editorial concludes, “reducing the portion size of apple pie might not be a bad idea, either.”

So, should we “break the feast” and skip breakfast to lose weight? Though advice to eliminate breakfast “will surely pit…nutritional scientists against the very strong and powerful food industry,” skipping breakfast been described as a “straightforward and feasible strategy” to reduce daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work.

Most randomized controlled studies of breakfast skipping found no weight loss benefit to omitting breakfast. How is that possible if skipping breakfast means skipping calories? The Bath Breakfast Project, a famous series of experiments run not out of a tub, but the University of Bath in the UK, discovered a key to the mystery. Men and women were randomized to either eat breakfast (defined as taking in at least 700 calories before 11am), or fast until noon every day. As in other similar trials, the breakfast-eating group ate a little less throughout the rest of the day, but still ended up with hundreds of excess daily calories over the breakfast skippers. Those who ate breakfast consumed more than 500 calories a day more. Over six weeks that would add up to over 20,000 extra calories. Yet after six weeks, both groups ended up with the exact same change in body fat. Wait…how could tens of thousands of calories just effectively disappear?

If more calories were going in with no change in weight, then there must have been more calories going out. And indeed, the breakfast group was found to spontaneously engage in more light-intensity physical activity in the mornings than the breakfast-skipping group. Light-intensity activities include things like casual walking or light housecleaning activities—not structured exercise per se, but apparently enough extra activity to use up the bulk of those excess breakfast calories. There’s a popular misconception that our body goes into energy-conservation mode when we skip breakfast by slowing our metabolic rate. That doesn’t appear to be true, but maybe our body does intuitively slow us down in other ways. When we skip breakfast, our body just doesn’t seem to want move around as much.

The extra activity didn’t completely make up for the added calories, though. We seem to still be missing about 100 daily calories, suggesting there may be another factor to account for the mystery of the MIA morning calories. Recent breakthroughs in the field of chronobiology— the study of our body’s natural rhythms—have unsettled an even more sacred cow of nutrition dogma: the concept that a calorie is a calorie. It’s not just what we eat, but when we eat. Same number of calories, different weight loss, depending on meal timing.

Just to give you a taste, the exact same number of calories at breakfast are significantly less fattening than the same number of calories eaten at supper. What?! That’s just mind-blowing. A diet with a bigger breakfast causes more weight loss than the same diet with a bigger dinner. Because of our circadian rhythms, morning calories don’t appear to count as much as evening calories. So, maybe breakfast should indeed be the most important meal of the day after all.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Monoar Rahman Rony via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Where did this whole breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day concept come from? “The Father of Public Relations” Edward Bernays, infamous for his “Torches of Freedom” campaign to get women to start smoking back in the 1920s, was paid by a bacon company to popularize the emblematic bacon-and-eggs breakfast. The role of public relations, he wrote in his book entitled Propaganda, is the “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses….” Public relations specialists thereby “constitute an invisible government, the true ruling power of our country….”

Breakfast is big business. Powerful corporate interests such as the breakfast cereal lobby are blamed for perpetuating myths about the importance of breakfast. This editorial in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition urged nutrition scientists to speak truth to power and challenge conventional wisdom when necessary, “even when it looks like we are taking away motherhood and apple pie.” “Actually,” the editorial concludes, “reducing the portion size of apple pie might not be a bad idea, either.”

So, should we “break the feast” and skip breakfast to lose weight? Though advice to eliminate breakfast “will surely pit…nutritional scientists against the very strong and powerful food industry,” skipping breakfast been described as a “straightforward and feasible strategy” to reduce daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work.

Most randomized controlled studies of breakfast skipping found no weight loss benefit to omitting breakfast. How is that possible if skipping breakfast means skipping calories? The Bath Breakfast Project, a famous series of experiments run not out of a tub, but the University of Bath in the UK, discovered a key to the mystery. Men and women were randomized to either eat breakfast (defined as taking in at least 700 calories before 11am), or fast until noon every day. As in other similar trials, the breakfast-eating group ate a little less throughout the rest of the day, but still ended up with hundreds of excess daily calories over the breakfast skippers. Those who ate breakfast consumed more than 500 calories a day more. Over six weeks that would add up to over 20,000 extra calories. Yet after six weeks, both groups ended up with the exact same change in body fat. Wait…how could tens of thousands of calories just effectively disappear?

If more calories were going in with no change in weight, then there must have been more calories going out. And indeed, the breakfast group was found to spontaneously engage in more light-intensity physical activity in the mornings than the breakfast-skipping group. Light-intensity activities include things like casual walking or light housecleaning activities—not structured exercise per se, but apparently enough extra activity to use up the bulk of those excess breakfast calories. There’s a popular misconception that our body goes into energy-conservation mode when we skip breakfast by slowing our metabolic rate. That doesn’t appear to be true, but maybe our body does intuitively slow us down in other ways. When we skip breakfast, our body just doesn’t seem to want move around as much.

The extra activity didn’t completely make up for the added calories, though. We seem to still be missing about 100 daily calories, suggesting there may be another factor to account for the mystery of the MIA morning calories. Recent breakthroughs in the field of chronobiology— the study of our body’s natural rhythms—have unsettled an even more sacred cow of nutrition dogma: the concept that a calorie is a calorie. It’s not just what we eat, but when we eat. Same number of calories, different weight loss, depending on meal timing.

Just to give you a taste, the exact same number of calories at breakfast are significantly less fattening than the same number of calories eaten at supper. What?! That’s just mind-blowing. A diet with a bigger breakfast causes more weight loss than the same diet with a bigger dinner. Because of our circadian rhythms, morning calories don’t appear to count as much as evening calories. So, maybe breakfast should indeed be the most important meal of the day after all.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Monoar Rahman Rony via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

Whoa, that video took a wild U-turn! Just when I was thinking it was all Big Breakfast propaganda, breakfast won out in the end. This should be especially surprising if you watched my last video: Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal for Weight Loss? 

Did I pique your interest in chronobiology? If so, you’re in luck because there are a bunch coming up in the next few weeks. Here’s a peak:

Note these links won’t go live until the videos go up, but you can be the first to be notified of by subscribing to get an email every time a new video comes out. If you sign up now, you’ll get a PDF of staff recipes as a welcome gift. We have never shared, and will never share, your email with anyone else.

And for some breakfast inspiration, check out A Better Breakfast, and my recipe videos for a vegetable smoothie and a grain bowl from the How Not to Die Cookbook.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

113 responses to “Is Skipping Breakfast Better for Weight Loss?

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  1. I miss the old style delivery of videos. The focal point was the research, not so much the presenter. I used to stop the video to read the entire abstract (as much as I could) of the journal article shown in the frame at the time, but now I can’t – now it seems like the articles are only background props.

    I suspect the voting window is closed by now, but I agree with those who said Dr. G on the screen is a bit distracting.

      1. Reality bites, I wouldn’t put it that harshly, but I do find Dr Greger’s ‘persona’ distracting from the facts. He has developed – I assume it developed – a certain ‘schtick’ to his presentation that I find makes me focus on how he’s saying things and moving because it’s… ‘distinctive.’ So I just don’t look at the screen, but that means I miss being able to read the extracts. I’m disappointed that my friends who are non-native-speakers of English (but still quite fluent) find his way of talking difficult to follow (FAST… s-l-o-w; quiet… LOUD). There’s good information here and I’d like to be able to share the site with them, but the difficulty of following his way of speaking causes my friends to give up listening.

        I’m not going to bite the hand that feeds me solid nutritional science. His website; his choice how to present the material. But the Internet is universal, and not everyone who is seeking this information can follow the idiosyncratic way of speaking. It seems to me that the earliest videos I’ve heard had a much quieter, more natural and simple delivery which anyone could understand and follow, regardless of where in the world they learned their English. To reach the widest audience, I’d suggest a more simple delivery online and leaving the schtick for hard-core fans who buy tickets to in-person events and who applaud every time he says, ‘put it to the test.’

        1. I probably came to WFPB because of that certain ‘schtick’ but I do know you are telling the truth.

          I have also watched his very old videos, and he is so much more entertaining than he was long ago, before this site.

          I never have liked listening to doctor shows and somehow he was entertaining enough and dynamic enough and playful and funny enough that I became interested.

          I never, ever thought I would follow nutrition or health at all. I don’t go to doctors and he is the only one who got me interested enough to buy books about things.

          I still haven’t read The Starch Solution or Eat to Live or anybody else’s books on health or nutrition.

          But I do agree with you about the (FAST…s-l-o-w;quiet…LOUD) pattern and do highly suspect that non-native speakers would be saying, “Could you repeat that?”

          1. Americans watch an average of 5 hours of television per day and are so entertainment-oriented and I think Dr. Greger is the perfect SAD diet attracter.

            Dr. Barnard made a comment that made me laugh.

            He talked about dietary guidelines being good for low-literacy individuals and he said, “Which I am going to say is every American” and he went on to explain what he meant (and I would say that the 10% of doctors who understand the statistics of their own field probably should be offended by that, but it was a funny comment anyway.)

            Dr. Greger and his schtick made it all more accessible to me.

            But I am not sure his persona and humor translates to some groups.

            1. He is entertaining.

              I do agree that he has a schtick. I just don’t know that he was better without one.

              I used to get so bugged by radio announcer schtick and television commercial schtick, but then you listen to a non-professional talking normally on the radio and they really sound boring. Sports radio has some announcers who were so annoying to me, but my coworker loves them and there are times when they aren’t on the air and someone ridiculously boring takes over and suddenly I understand the value of their schtick.

              1. He hits a sweet spot when he works with professional directors in the documentaries and when he is passionate about a topic in front of big audiences and with some interviewers. With the interviews, it is probably mostly depending on the topic. When he feels like he has something interesting to share, he loses his self-consciousness and he does well.

                1. Having worked with actors and having known sports people, the worst thing he could possibly do is focus on trying to not think of the spotted purple elephants walking around in the room. I don’t know how many people understand that the more he tries to not have a schtick, the more erratic his schtick will become.

                  Get rid of the format and just don’t talk too fast and try not to mumble.

                  Focus on the science and try to find good topics.

                  Don’t be afraid to show up on the screen, but don’t stand in front of the information we are trying to learn.

              2. He has a unique and entertaining personality. The trouble with the word “schtick” is that it can have a pejorative sense, meaning ‘an invented persona.’ I think everybody here would agree that Dr. G’s genuine personality comes through in his videos, even the audio track alone, and I would say it’s an asset to the NF.org production.

                1. Dr. Cobalt,

                  I agree that he has a unique and entertaining personality and I agree that I love that his personality comes through even in the audio track.

                  There were people listening to How Not To Diet who felt that he went too far into “schtick” and I listened and felt that his genuine personality and sense of humor came through and I just loved listening to him reading it.

                  BUT, I would say that there are moments of “schtick” and that when he finds his sweet spot, he is better.

                  It is hard for him to stay in the sweet spot all, all, all of the time and I would say that I think he does pretty well. I have a hunch that people who complained were actually turned off by the video format and the ones who did comment often mentioned the video format with his audio performance and they are saying that he wandered too far into “schtick” and I would say that if the old format was used, they wouldn’t be looking at him as if he was doing a performance here and the book ended up with a handful of people pushed over the edge and they picked on him over there because it looks like he is over-performing here, but the camera is too close on him here and that magnifies every head motion and hand motion and it might be his responsibility because he has to know the difference between good and bad ideas in the video and audio and writing and website, but there is a steep learning curve and he just learned a whole bunch and what I will say is that the people putting him down are not generally thinking deeply about what is really going on. They lost the ease of interface with the science and he is the one blocking their view. There is a fine line between entertainment and “schtick” and he sometimes crosses over and he is better when his humor and creativity flow within the topic and clarify the science.

                2. Absolutely no need to put him on screen. Large majority can’t stand this new format. Less informative with research slide more obscure. And ppl who say the links are there…pls who has time? Save us some time and our lives by having larger slides so some may read at least a few lines.

              3. I thought his schtick was great for a while, but it is starting to wear on me a bit. I prefer a straight shot at it now. Sometimes just read the transcript instead, but I miss the slides then.

        2. Nel, your non-native English speakers can always read the transcript and take as long as they need to understand what he is saying. They can also look at “Sources Cited” to read the studies he references. English is my first language but I still read the transcript first, since I learn easier that way. I hope this helps.

          1. I only ever read the transcripts. I love Dr Gregor, but even as I Brit I struggle sometimes to keep up with what he is saying, and find the videos distracting

    1. dr cobalt,
      I agree completely and see no need to have Dr Gregor, much as I like him, to obscure the background texts, many of which contained valuable info, since I also would pause the video and read them. Sadly, I did not know about any voting on this issue.

      1. David,

        Dr. Greger checked in and asked people to say which format they preferred. The answer was the old format for the reasons you gave. And I paused the videos and read them, too. I don’t even try most of the time with this format and I think I could do it and succeed, but the competing background and foreground text confuse me and maybe the text seems so far away that I don’t become interested enough in it to do the process.

        Anyway, he does know the audience’s position and people want the science is the answer, but it will take about 12 weeks or more before any changes can happen because of how far in advance the videos are made.

        I will actually just enjoy these ones and I already find them charming and funny, and I will miss seeing Dr. Greger tell his own jokes once they return to a different format, but I will enjoy reading the science again.

        1. One text is too far away and boring and one is too close and that one is hard to read, too, maybe because going back and forth between far away and close really quickly.

          Eyes over age 45 years old probably struggle with far-close-far-close-far-close.

          I wonder if people with bifocals are looking like they are watching a ping pong match between very small contestants.

        2. but it will take about 12 weeks or more before any changes can happen because of how far in advance the videos are made.
          ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
          Any good business that learns its approach is wrong will jettison the material already made and redo it. I think this would be a good way to fix this problem before a large portion of his audience is lost.

          And why this change was made in the first place without doing a pre-release screening by people in the general public. Pre-recording a large number of the videos without giving the community a say in the delivery kinda says “like it or lump it.”

    2. I agree. Seeing him is much too distracting. I’ve actually looked for a “contact us” link to make this comment but couldn’t find one. I come here for the science not the hand waving. I’m sure it works fine for a large audience situation when he’s a small figure on the stage and the info is on a big screen behind him, but here he’s bigger than the info…doesn’t work for me at all. I hope he goes back to just an audio presence….which is distinctive enough!

    3. Yes, yes, yes…..Nutritionfacts ppl…please produce videos in the old more informative and less distracting format. Please listen to your audience. There is NO way anyone would like this new format.

  2. Great video. LOVE the new format. I enjoy watching Dr. Greger as much as seeing snap shots of the research. He is a motivator! Also love the goatee. Thanks for going back to that style! Clean-shaven was another person who was not quite as effective as a visual presence, for me anyway.

    1. I agree with you Elizabeth… I enjoy these videos very much. Dr Greger has an engaging manner that really holds my interest on these topics. Also, I do take the time to click on the study links supplied in the Sources section to pour over the studies of particular interest.

    2. Elizabeth,

      I do find him a great motivator and do enjoy watching him.

      BUT, I learn so much less this way.

      I find that I either watch him as if I was sitting in the front row of his classroom OR I look at the information.

      But the information flies by so quickly that I mostly just ignore it and I definitely learn less.

  3. Not sure why you find it necessary to slam “obese people waddling around the planet.” Don’t like videos about healthy eating, breakfast and weight loss? Go do something else and stop interrupted those of use who are here to learn.

    1. I really enjoy these videos, but then I go through all of the studies (usually) under the sources tab to see what they have to say. And, it ISN’T just about weight loss! Here is one study for example https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23512957 where people were randomised to 700 500 200 calories starting with breakfast, or, 200 500 700, eating the most at dinner. As expected both lost weight since it was lower calories overall from what they were used to. But the breakfast ‘feasters’ did better overall in so many markers. Glucose, insulin, grehlin, hunger scores were all lower, as was their triglycerides. Breakfast group lowered triglycerides by over 33% but the dinner group raised triglycerides by 14 %.

      For most of my life I rarely ate breakfast. Recently I have been trying eating a very light supper at 5 pm, and my sleep improved almost right away. I won’t go back.

  4. I can’t imagine not eating breakfast. Maybe I am the product of a PR campaign. I am so strong minded though, that, if there was something negative about breakfast, I would make a change for the better.

  5. Breakfast already in Talmudic times considered to be important!!

    Our Rabbis taught: 13 things were said of the morning bread: It is an antidote against heat and cold, winds and demons; instills wisdom into the simple, causes one to triumph in a lawsuit, enables one to study and teach the Torah, to have his words heeded, and retain scholarship; he [who partakes thereof] does not perspire, lives with his wife and does not lust after other women; and it kills the worms in one’s intestines. Some say, it also expels jealousy and induces love.

    1. Harold,
      Thanks for a priceless quote. I eat breakfast like a king but sadly have not stopped lusting after some women (mostly my wife) or noticed any demons leaving. I believe that it has been instilling wisdom into this simple mind.
      David Pollock

      1. I got the impression that it was only ‘morning bread’ rather than any old breakfast that does all those magical things,

        Being a Brit, I also assume that the prevention of ‘winds’, means that it supposedly prevents flatulence (and demons).

        All it really shows of course is that religious teachers are usually wrong (at least about testable matters of fact). That has never stopped them making absurd claims with the utmost confidence and certainty.

      2. “but sadly have not stopped lusting after some women (mostly my wife) or noticed any demons leaving.”

        MOSTLY your wife? EAT MORE BREAD! The demons will leave when you stop looking at other women.

  6. Great clip. In line with my personal experience. I’d recommend a salad or other home-cooked meal (prepared the prior evening) for early morning breakfast. Skipping breakfast and dealing with the resulting hunger symptoms during the morning is not worth it.

  7. I have dropped 30 lbs in the last 4 months. I have, for the first time since I was a child, started eating breakfast and a snack mid morning. I do think I now consume less at dinner and am not as hungry during the day. As a “COFFEE only” fanatic it has been quite a change… but I feel that it has helped me on my weight loss journey. I still don’t love breakfast and mostly have a (low cal) smoothie or a high protein bar (vegan), but I DO have something!

  8. Thanks for the video! I rarely eat the standard breakfast in the morning and don’t feel guilty about it. In my non-scientific opinion, the most important meal of the day is when you feel hungry. Different lifestyles will trigger your system to require heavier or lighter meals.

    Even wonder whether heavy breakfast eaters feel the need in their minds to be more active as they now are fully loaded for the day. I will continue gradually eating during the day. By the way, I am healthy and has keep my weight constant for many years.

  9. What about the studies that show if you eat less, you live longer? Even under ideal circumstances, digestion is trauma to the body. Thus, less stress over time should add up to a longer life span. Therefore, if you skip breakfast and eat twice daily, is that not a healthier protocol than three meals a day, no matter how those calories are consumed? Did the Honorable Elijah Muhammad get it right when he urged his followers to eat once a day?

    1. David,

      Maybe. But it has not been put to the test.

      The ones who eat breakfast are more active and if people are struggling to lose weight, being able to eat thousands of extra calories and having the same results in adipose and weight as those who intermittent fast and eat fewer calories, plus, as Barb noted above, eating breakfast causes improvements in metabolic markers, as well as lowered triglycerides. (33%!)

      That is some of the balance to your information.

    2. I think the argument is that your two meals a day would be healthier if they were breakfast and an afternoon meal rather than lunch and an evening meal. However, this video is specifically about weight loss rather than mortality which appears to be your main interest.

      ‘Using information gleaned from more than 50,000 participants in the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), the researchers discovered four factors associated with a decrease in body mass index: eating only one or two meals per day; maintaining an overnight fast of up to 18 hours; eating breakfast instead of skipping it; and making breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day. Making breakfast the largest meal yielded a more significant decrease in BMI than did lunch.

      The two factors associated with higher BMI were eating more than three meals per day — snacks were counted as extra meals — and making supper the largest meal of the day.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170720094844.htm

      I am not aware of any studies that have examined the question that you pose.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250148/

  10. I love you, Dr. G, but agree the videos were better without your personal appearance in them. I’d rather see more highlights of the study’s text.

  11. For people with poor stretch receptors, which I suspect that I have because major calorie density changes in my food didn’t cause weight loss, this sentence is the one that will somehow cause me to figure out how to do this.

    “Over six weeks that would add up to over 20,000 extra calories. Yet after six weeks, both groups ended up with the exact same change in body fat.”

    Being able to eat 500 calories more per day and get the same weight results is so many more calories that it seems the way to go.

    I would like them to do the study for bed-bound people or wheel-chair-bound people. We have a wheel-chair community near me and my cousin spent decades in a wheel chair before she died at age 50. I have 3 cousins who died at age 50 exactly. Anyway, that community struggles with needing to not gain weight because people have to move them.

    1. my cousin spent decades in a wheel chair before she died at age 50. I have 3 cousins who died at age 50 exactly. Anyway, that community struggles with needing to not gain weight because people have to move them.
      —————————————————————————————
      Deb, I assume you came from a small community. I did as well and it seemed about 70 percent of the residents were cousins of some degree. Fortunately my dad married a woman from a distant community so no inbreeding in my immediate family. A couple of brothers married within the community but as far as we can tell there were no common kin.

  12. Just wanted to chime in regarding the video format: also prefer the old style; we could read some excerpts projected during the narrative; and skip reading the whole studies afterwards. Who has the time? Honestly, I leave home at 8AM and get back at 8PM.

  13. So, If I have work in the morning for example, it’s still better to not eat breakfast in the morning, because I eat less total calories that way, right? The 100 calorie difference wouldn’t make up for the fact that I had gotten a whole meal of calories.

  14. About to watch the video, but first I must say, I love the table, tea set, and fairy on a mushroom photo in the pic! However, I am not a fan of the chairs and light fixture though.

    Yes, this was a completely irrelevant post. I am done now.

    1. About to watch the video…
      ————————————
      I watched the first few seconds of it before hitting the stop button. I’ll continue to watch the Flashback Fridays as long as they are in the old style.

  15. I am thankful for Dr Greger’s videos no matter the format. He takes the information and presents it in a way that is concise and makes since. I love how his personality comes out and makes this all more personable, lets face it some of these studies are boring and drab, he however is not. Thank you for spending and taking the time to make these videos.

    1. Tawana…yeah…figuring out how not to die and live healthier is soooo boring…really need to add clowns and a parade to get my attention.

  16. People complain about everything. This is free information, presented in a style Dr,Gregor fells comfortable with. So be it, take it or leave it. Seriously this reminds me of those people who feel entitled to comment your appearance while passing you on the street.

    1. Dr. Greger asked us which style we prefer. We are answering his question. Refusing to answer his question could be considered rude.

  17. I sure hate to pile on Dr. Greger, but for the first time in the over 15 years I’ve been learning and looking forward to the next video, Dr. Greger left a teaser that, at least to me, left me thinking that which is true to be untrue, that benefits from eating breakfast is actually bogus. Tell it to us straight Doc, especially if the “reveal” comes in a separate video.

    1. Steve Billig,
      Maybe you have missed a few of the videos in past weeks that touch upon the subject of ‘breakfast’ if only indirectly. I am posting some links that might interest you. Awhile back Dr Greger established that eating early in the day has benefits. Better earlier than later!
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-benefits-of-early-time-restricted-eating/
      This link by Dr Mirkin and related links are worth a look… it describes his lifestyle and how he incoorates breakfast even if it is his only ,eal of the day. https://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/why-we-use-intermittent-fasting.html
      Finally this study which comes from todays video. There is far more to breakfast eating than just weight loss. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23512957

  18. I believe the reason breakfast skipping people are not hungry, is they had their calories too late in the day yesterday and their body is still trying to deal with undigested food from yesterday..

  19. I personally haven’t ever had the time to watch the vids. I always read the transcripts. I wish the transcripts had more detail and production values, such as including charts and diagrams. Occasionally I’ll have to watch the vid because the transcript is overly lacking.

    I love the effort that goes into the gleaning the truth and fact checking. It has earned my trust in a world that cannot be trusted.

    That said, most people don’t give a rodent’s posterior about anything Doc G has to say about anything. Here is what I have gleaned from those I have been to the site and now resolutely stay away:

    1) He is not handsome nor photogenic, and people EXPECT that now, to the point that they have fallen prey to what Advertisers must surely love–he “looks” untrustworthy.
    2) Try as I might, I’ve heard “I don’t trust him” from several people.

    Ouch. So where do we go from here? I hate to suggest a Public Relations firm be hired for the purpose of reaching as many people as possible and making the truth palatable (and not by adding sugar, fat, salt or mumbo jumbo). I suspect they would suggest replacing Doc G with another good looking doctor that scores well on a “believably and trustworthiness” scale. I wouldn’t hurt if the person had a background in theater. (And actually also followed the dietary advice!)

    On the X-Files, Mulder’s poster reads “I Want to Believe”. Well, I believe already. Now, “I Want Others to Believe”.

    1. Bruce,

      I totally disagree. He has millions of followers and to say people don’t trust him and yet they show up and even read his transcripts is because they want to hear what this man says.

      As far as trust goes, there is a wider culture that doesn’t trust vegan or WFPB because they have been taught all of this bad information and he is doing a public service of trying to train doctors and the public that there are answers which can save their lives. He is a not-for-profit, nicest guy in the world doctor having to put up with society being so ridiculously SAD on top of being food bullies and dysfunctional.

      He has put up this amazing resource and people didn’t trust McDougall or Fuhrman or T. Colin Campbell and WNPR Food Schmooze was one who picked on Dr. Ornish and the people around me who are Diabetic have doctors who said not to believe Dr. Barnard.

      So, shall we throw all of these men into the sea?

      Or should we encourage people to be kinder and to try to be open-minded?

      As far as the handsome thing, women have shown up who do find him quite handsome. He has a light-hearted, friendly personality and is funny. Not many of these doctors are funny. Some are and it is refreshing.

      Anyway, the people who come here every day and learn should probably be grateful for this resource and I am.

      The internet is full of trolls and haters and this audience is full of people who are interested in nutrition and health and science and that is refreshing.

      1. When I was out helping artists, musicians and film people what we spoke about very often is that sometimes it is about creative people finding their audience.

        My grandmother and the man on the sports radio program hated Whitney Houston for screaming.

        My grandmother would say it every time and the radio guy said it and I would say that Whitney Houston wasn’t for every single person, but she obviously didn’t need my grandmother or that man’s approval.

        1. Bruce,

          Dr. Michael Greger spoke recently and said that this movement needs all types of people and that it needs people in every section.

          I don’t know that you have done the math that you would sink the ship of someone with a multi-million person audience.

          If you want some other type of experience, go out and create it or go out and donate financially to someone who fits what you are looking for.

          I am not trying to sound like I want to argue with you because I want other people to know, too.

          But your focus is on bringing down the NY Times Best Selling Doctor who is teaching millions of people, plus doctors, plus he is going in front of the guidelines people and he stood up to so many big pharma, big food, big tobacco, etc and has paid the price for that.

          He is a GLOBAL phenomenon now and this movement is spreading.

          Find a place that you like to be and build them up.

          Don’t tear Dr. Greger down.

          1. Quoting Dr. Greger to himself:

            My mom warns me to choose my battles. I had a feeling though, that the battles were going to choose me.

            Yes, I ended up reading an old book.

          2. Deb–
            Please re-read what I wrote. I’m not here to argue or tear anyone down.

            However, YOU seen to want to do exactly that, to me, by perhaps purposely misunderstanding what I wrote. Don’t hate the whistle blower. I’ve talked to a lot of people, and I wrote honestly about what they said about our favorite Doctor.

            1. Not trying to tear you down Bruce.

              I think I see Dr. Greger as plenty handsome enough and I find him entertaining and “entertainment” is what the masses in America at least are doing all day long.

              Multiple times on here and on YouTube, I have seen women coming in and talking about how handsome Dr Greger is and, looking around YouTube, at least in the vegan community, he is a hero and millions of people are following him and buying his books.

              I think the Keto movement and Paleo movement and Big Food and Big Pharma are more why there isn’t trust of any of these men, but that doesn’t mean that his followers don’t see him as trustworthy and the fact that people don’t trust McDougall, Fuhrman, Ornish, and Barnard, I don’t think it is about appearance or personality. The number of women who have mentioned how cute Dr. Barnard is, but if you leave WFPB, people don’t trust him even though all of them are NY Times Best Selling authors and they have all been on television.

              Dr. Greger is working at training the doctors in nutrition and people tend to trust their own doctors.

              I have a friend who was drinking colloidal silver and I kept telling her that people turn blue and she ignored me for years, but her doctor said it and she said, “My doctor told me that he had a patient turn blue.” and she obeyed him instantly. My brothers and sisters-in-law and my father and step-mother and my aunts and uncles and cousins all obey their doctors and just listen to them. That is the movement that will change things and the grassroots movement will change it.

              I just think that none of these doctors can reach the masses by themselves or even together and that is basically what Dr. Greger said himself.

              To be honest, there are people who love Dr. McDougall and people who can’t stand Dr. McDougall.

              There are people who love Dr. Fuhrman and people who can’t stand Dr. Fuhrman.

              There are people who love Dr. Greger and people who can’t stand Dr. Greger, possibly even in this daily audience.

              I can add in the television doctors. Dr. Oz, people love him and trust him and hate him and don’t trust a word he says.

              That is the way the world works nowadays.

              Plus, the proceeds he receives from the sales of Dr Greger’s books, DVDs, and speaking engagements continue to be donated to charity is what it says in the “About” section of the site, so the book and speaking money isn’t going to be the answer..

              1. I also don’t see it as Dr. Greger intentionally trying to promote himself and put himself in front of the science.

                There is a video company who got some software involved in that process and, yes, they decided to try something new and he already said, “It would be easier to just do audio” and he asked for people’s feedback.

                It just is going to take a few months before those changes can be implemented.

                I genuinely just disagree with you. I have no negative thoughts about you at all.

                I am glad that you are passionate about WFPB.

                I think we often want to take someone like Dr. Greger and push them further and further up the hill, but, honestly, it will likely be grass-roots movements and doctors getting revelation and 10 brand new doctors might show up and appeal to different types of people.

            2. Agree with Bruce. Not with Deb. If the goal is to get this out to as many ppl as possible, then do what it takes. Will it hurt Dr. G’s ego not to be prominent in the videos? Hopefully not…he doesn’t seem like he would. But he would gain a lot more viewers.

    2. ‘…….. people are actually more likely to judge character positively based on a lack of facial hair, the poll showed. Asked who they found most trustworthy, 20 percent said those who were clean-shaven, 6 percent said people with a beard and mustache, five percent said those with only a mustache and three percent said only a beard. Asked who is most intelligent, 18 percent said clean-shaven, six percent said beard and mustache, four percent said only a beard and four percent said only a mustache.’

      https://www.newsweek.com/clean-shaven-vs-beard-people-trust-more-attracted-men-no-facial-hair-poll-866327

      1. That is fascinating.

        Hmmmm, it probably has to do with professional standards or something like that.

        The innocence of youth seeming trustworthy and the discipline of things like authority and the polish of professionalism all being what we think of as safer.

        1. I wanted to share my favorite Dr. Greger from a very old book:

          “True it’s for everyone. True it tones down The Coat. But mostly it’s for two reasons. One, I am not like
          you. Nor you, soul-snatcher, I am me. Not another white coat, and certainly not another MD. I’m me,
          d_mn it. And this means I don’t care if you think I’m silly; it means I don’t care what you think”.

          I hope he is still silly and funny and stubborn all over.

      2. Fumbles, that is interesting but I don’t see where Bruce has a point at all. If we read the studies ourselves (which is what Dr Greger TELLS us to do) then trust has nothing to do with it. We read the studies, and we try the ideas. Problem is for many folks though is food addiction… they
        won’t give up their lifestyle to even try wfpb.

        John S says above that NF asked for feedback, but to my way of seeing things, a week of feedback would suffice… not two months worth of repeating the same criticisms.
        This is a tremendous life-saving resource, and I am truly indebted to Dr Greger and all the community for the information we access here.

        1. Barb–
          I guess I prefer “not having a point” to “trying to tear things down”.

          At issue was Doc G seemingly promoting himself over the data by way of standing in front of the data so it couldn’t be read. Coupled with what I have heard from OTHER PEOPLE about his APPEARANCE not inspiring trust gives cause to pause.

          Let’s not lose sight that we want the same things: simply put, a much wider acceptance of the truth of the science that the good Doc has laid out for us. We are together on this.

          Hopefully there will be a lot of money generated by the new book. Hopefully those funds will be used to broaden the scope of listeners and readership. Maybe–just maybe–there will be room in the budget for a Public Relations firm. Maybe YOU don’t think the Truth needs advertising.

          I have a Dream. A Dream of dietary Revolution. So far, the Truth is being bestowed on those that want to find it. I don’t want to condemn anyone to an early grave because they haven’t been exposed to dietary truth.

          Hey. It’s a small point. It doesn’t have much to do with diet. It has to do with presentation for the masses.

          No one has to agree that exploring better ways to reach the masses is worthwhile. But I’m not “trying to tear things down” and my point is there for anyone to read. Or purposefully misunderstand, if that’s your thing.

          1. I did look up the top plant-based doctors and I will say that I watch all of them and almost never think about whether they are handsome or pretty or not.

            https://eatplant-based.com/plant-based-experts/

            But that might be more important for the television doctors and if Dr. Oz and The Doctors aren’t handsome enough and entertaining enough to get people interested, and if Oprah backing them and promoting them and grooming them wasn’t enough, I don’t think that is the answer.

            1. Deb and Barb…you guys need to read up on behavioral psychology. Then you will understand what Bruce is saying. Read the book Alchemy by Rory Sutherland.

    1. I also found out that Consumer Reports tested models of Instant Pots and had the same problem with chili that I had. They said, “Every time we made chili using dried beans in pressure-cook mode, a “Food Burn” message appeared as the cooker was reaching pressure. We had to stop, stir the chili, close the lid, and let it reach pressure again.”

      I feel less crazy. Different models might work better.

      They have a grain and rice version now and I did look at it because I don’t really eat grains and don’t really know the tricks to cooking them.

      1. Instant Pot says the food-burn alert is a safety mechanism that stops heating to prevent food from burning but adds that this warning can also occur when cooking very starchy foods that settle at the bottom of the pot.

        That, plus the fact that mine defaults to 35 minutes cooking time when none of their recipes say to use 35 minutes explains a lot.

        They are playing with the Alzheimer’s communities minds.

        1. They also tell people to use a ratio for things like rice so that if you double the rice, they officially tell you to double the water and America’s Test Kitchen says they are wrong.

  20. These ideas about breakfast and eating at the right time, are very important to me. As a midnight shift worker , 1130pm to 8 am, my day is upside down ! Maybe some of the circadian rhythm studies will address problems/solutions for people that work at night.

  21. Just wondering. If caloric absorption decreases in the morning, is it possible that mineral absorption is worse too? If our parasympathetic nervous system is fully engaged, and relaxed, as we sleep, does that not lead to better absorption and thus skipping breakfast might still be best?

  22. I was just thinking about the “Over six weeks that would add up to over 20,000 extra calories.”

    52 weeks divided by 6 weeks = 8.6666666

    8.6666666 times 20,000 = 173,333.33

    173,333.33 divided by 3,500 = 49.52

    = the 50 pounds I have kept gaining and losing.

  23. Under the doctor’s not section each of the referenced emails is gone. You can’t link to them.

    Chronobiology – How Circadian Rhythms Can Control Your Health and Weight
    Eat More Calories in the Morning to Lose Weight
    Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, Dinner Like a Pauper
    Eat More Calories in the Morning than the Evening
    How Circadian Rhythms Affect Blood Sugar Levels
    How to Sync Your Central Circadian Clock to Your Peripheral Clocks

  24. I just watched it again on mute and read the foreground text.

    Part of the problem is that the writing of the articles is a little too complex for this format. Concepts like “…may have affected spontaneous behaviors as opposed to conscious decisions…” is a little ethereal for quick mental processing for some of us.

    Even turning off the sound and not looking at Dr. Greger, some of the sentences highlighted required me to read them twice.

    Normally, that isn’t the case. The study results seemed as easy as normal to read. The editorials, maybe, are a little too erudite, requiring digestion and contemplation.

    The science was like that for me for a very long time. Somehow the writing since this new format started seems to require more contemplation and we are being given less time to do it. I still don’t get through a full sentence before things start moving.

    Not a complaint. Feedback.

    Some of it was the “standard” that I am used to here. The size of the apple pie was the perfect humor moment in the writing.

    Did a process also change in how the writing was chosen or who is choosing the writing to highlight?

    It may not be. I know that all sorts of authors wrote the source material and some are more accessible to the ignorant masses than others.

  25. And it genuinely seems like the editor thinks it is all so boring that they move away before anyone can see that the editorial looks a bit boring, like the Wall Street Journal or that the sentences chosen to highlight maybe might not have been all that significant.

    That is a distinct change and it only started with this format.

    As if the format was dictating what needed to be posted whether there were interesting sentences to read or not.

    As if the video-maker said, “This is so boring, lets just cut away before they get through the sentence, but we need some sentences there because the format is like a waltz, you need to do the box step, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBKTN6c_MEQ

    1. I think that the one video in this format where I would say, “You nailed it” was the BCAA one, but that was visuals-oriented, rather than just slapping any old text up to have something to put up.

      Also, I was wrong further up in the comments when I said that Dr. Greger was too close and that magnified the motions. I looked over at Mic The Vegan and a whole bunch of sites and they all had the camera cut the person at the waist. They weren’t doing a “rule of thirds” process if that is what this format does and the BCAA one tells me that leaning heavily on text and over-highlighting when the text isn’t clear enough is part of the problem.

      I think I am done with the trying to figure out what went wrong, but the BCAA one hit it out of the park and the one with all the zerooooooooooos aimed toward the right use of creativity.

      I know that I am a pain-in-the-neck and that some people like my feedback enough to bring me into rooms to have me give it and some people want to wring my neck.

      I just want you to know that the people criticizing are doing it while they come every day to watch these videos and what I know is that this has caused many people to come and read the transcript instead, but they are still coming, and still think of Dr. Greger as their favorite doctor, but this caused Dr. Greger to look like he wants attention and it makes the science look boring and I have been here for over 2 years now and the science never looked boring until the text was used this way. It looks like the science got boring, so Dr. Greger has to start doing older person attempts at Risky Business slides across the floor.

      1. My hypothesis is that at a subconscious level or maybe even a conscious one that the editors are mentally thinking, “This information is being presented in a boring way, so we need to make things go faster.” Rather than, how can we present the information in a more interesting way.

        1. Okay, another thought that came to mind is that Dr. Greger said that the old format was easier.

          Perhaps having him not have to focus on performance allowed him more time to find compelling text and visuals and helped the creative process?

          1. I started the background image viewing and I was still not able to pause and read because of how simultaneously the foreground image was coming up.

            There was a delightful one in there of someone related to Freud and I wanted to scan and see how Betty Crocker came into the picture, but the man was using his uncle’s theories to the world of public relations. I have no idea what that means. Though I could see how useful the concept of a Freudian slip could be in the world of public relations. Or maybe understanding how many people are stuck in the oral stage of maturity and coming up with ideas like maybe we can feed them Betty Crocker sweets and they would be happier?

            Anyway, when I said that the science got boring, I honestly am not bored by science. Nor by Dr. Greger.

            The background images are often more static and less dynamic in this format and 2 seconds isn’t enough to figure out that there might be something interesting.

            1. Try to stop on the Freud’s uncle and Betty Crocker one.

              I am going to call out the editor because that title alone would have been a smile for several generations.

              I honestly had to rewind 3 times to even see what it said and someone had chosen a funny one and it was treated as less than a throw away.

              Either they are so young that it wasn’t their sense of humor or they are not sensitive enough to process to pause even for 1.4 of a second.

              1. I also just wanted to quote what Patch Adams said after the movie Patch Adams was released:

                Patch admits that he never expected the movie to be a catalyst that would help spread his idea of care to the masses. “I knew the movie would do this,” Adams said. “I would become a funny doctor. Imagine how shallow that is relative to who I am.”

                I say that because it fits.

  26. Eating breakfast certainly doesn’t encourage me to move. I find eating during the day leads to total demotivation. Basically my body seems to say it’s achieved its purpose for the day. I prefer one meal a day in the later afternoon/evening. It leads to eating less and moving more with a BMI bang in the middle of the healthy range.

  27. Eh, I need to read the papers to see ages and starting body weight. I’ve eaten the bulk of my calories at night a few hours of bed, and always either eaten a super small breakfast or none at all my entire life. I weight around 175-180 at 6’3-6’4, male, with defined abs and many would consider very low body fat. Many men half a foot shorter than me weight as much or more than me. I workout rather regularly and run with my wife and dog often. I won’t change my behavior over this/these studies. Unlike the impact of foods on physiological health this line of study seems to be more interested in weight-loss, which is not a concern for me, and never will be to be blunt. Would be more interested in the topic if it was focused on health status rather than weight status (I understand the two are inherently linked, however, many cases like myself, it has never posed an issue).

  28. Hi, Blaice! You can find links to all the papers mentioned in this video (and every video on NF) by clicking the “Sources Cited” link just below the video window. If what you are doing seems to be working for you, then by all means keep doing it. It is likely that your physical activity is sufficient to maintain healthy weight regardless of when you eat. You can find everything on this site related to chronobiology here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/chronobiology/ While this is part of a series related to weight loss, chronobiology does impact overall health, as well.

  29. I don’t usually read the comments after the videos but I’m on leave today and having a lie in and started idly scrolling through them. I can’t believe how superficial most of them are. Dr Greger’s videos are an act of kindness providing information for free that you would struggle to find anywhere else without an awful lot of effort and time and technical understanding.

    If all you care about is how Dr Gregor looks, sounds or anything else about his persona then you are completely missing the point of the important free resource he is providing, so that you can base your health and eating decisions on science instead of profit-based marketing.

    Next time if the only comment you want to make is based on Dr Gregor as a person/the way he looks, speaks or sounds and not about the content of what is being delivered, please pause for a moment and consider simply writing … thank you.

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