Namely, people who skip breakfast tend to be overcome by hunger during the day. As a result, they indulge in snacks or overeat during lunch.

“Forgoing the first meal of the day actually tricks your brain into thinking you want higher-calorie foods — foods that can make you fat, or at least, increase your risk for weight gain.”

According to a study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, if people have oatmeal for breakfast, they will feel full for an extended period of time, which in turn reduces their desire for larger lunch or snack.

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This study included 36 participants who were divided into three groups. Half of the participants were overweight and the others were normal weight. Each group was given three different things for breakfast. The first group drank 1.5 cups of water, the second had 350 calories of sugared corn flakes, and the third group had 350 calories of oatmeal.

The team of researchers assessed appetite, ratings of hunger, and fullness at frequent intervals before and after breakfast until lunchtime. Hunger hormone levels, insulin, acetaminophen (the marker for how quickly food has left the stomach), and glucose have also been evaluated.

“Our results show that despite eating the same number of calories at breakfast, satiety values were significantly greater after consuming oatmeal compared to sugared corn flakes. After three hours, subjects reported the same level of hunger after having a corn flakes breakfast as they did when they consumed only water,” explained lead researcher Allan Geliebter, PhD research psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. “Interestingly, the results were more pronounced for the participants who were overweight, suggesting that overweight individuals may be more responsive to the satiety effects of the dietary fiber in oatmeal.”

In addition to its ability to enhance weight loss, oatmeal comes with other health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, reduced risk of colorectal cancer, and reduced risk of coronary artery disease.