London: Far from ensuring weight loss, a hearty breakfast could be a sure recipe for piling on the pounds, say researchers.
The study, which contradicts the dieting mantra that a big breakfast takes the edge off appetite, found that those who gorge in the morning continue to eat heartily throughout the day.
The German researchers say those who want to lose weight should start watching what they eat from the minute they get up, the Nutrition Journal reports.
Volker Schusdziarra of the Technical University of Munich asked almost 400 men and women to eat normally but to note down especially everything they ate for 10 days, according to the Daily Mail.
He then checked the amount of calories in each of their meals.
According to a popular notion, a big breakfast should curb appetite and so be followed by smaller meals over the rest of the day.
Instead, people tended to eat similar amounts for lunch and dinner, no matter how they started the day.
This meant that a big breakfast boosted overall calorie intake.
Schusdziarra said that the conventional advice is based on artificial calculations and has little relevance to people's everyday lives.
"It is said that if you eat a big breakfast you will eat fewer calories over the rest of the day but that is not true," Schusdziarra said.
The researcher added that skipping breakfast all together does not necessarily lead to weight gain, with many healthy weight people not eating the meal regularly.