Having a small breakfast can help you lose weight

BreakfastResearchers served cereal, milk, scrambled egg, ham, brown toast with butter to overweight people. (Thinkstock)

A smaller breakfast can help people lose weight because those who reduce their portion size in the morning do not eat more calories to compensate later in the day, a new study has found.

Researchers served cereal, milk, scrambled egg, ham, brown toast with butter and orange juice to 33 overweight people in the study.

However, they reduced the portion sizes for some of the participants, and then counted their calories over the rest of the day to see if it had any impact on their eating habits.

They found that the difference in size did not affect the amount of food the participants ate over the rest of the day, The Telegraph reported.

Breakfast portion size was reduced by up to 40 per cent in the study by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Human Nutrition Research Unit, resulting in up to 269 fewer calories consumed over the course of the day.

Dr Jebb (Head of Diet & Population Health at the MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit) who supervised the study, said that results may not be borne out in everyday life, where there are far more opportunities to snack between breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"This research was done with people in a controlled laboratory environment and more work is required to determine if the effect remains in real life where there are more opportunities to eat," he said.

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