Does a High Fat Breakfast Burn More Fat?

Hold the skim latte and bring on the butter? High-fat breakfasts are enjoying a comeback in some circles, after a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that rats who ate a high fat breakfast burned more fat throughout the day than rats who ate a high carbohydrate breakfast.

But the reality on the ground looks a little different. Multiple studies have found that people who eat high fat breakfasts end up eating more calories over the course of the day–almost certainly trumping any increase in the fat-burning metabolism observed in the mouse study.

That’s not to say that a breakfast high in refined carbohydrates (corn flakes, toast, jelly, juice, etc.) is the way to go.  The ideal breakfast for appetite and weight control appears to be one that’s high in both protein and fiber. So bring on the eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt, oatmeal and other whole grain cereals.

As a bonus, research suggests that this type of low-glycemic breakfast may help you burn more fat during your lunch-time workout.


Special Live Event!

Join me tomorrow night, March 8th, at 9pm Eastern for a forum on breakfast, fitness, and weight management. Joining me for this live webcast are Ben Greenfield of, Darya Pino, PhD of, and Gloria Tsang, MS, RD of  Your questions and comments are welcome.  The event will be broadcast right here on  Click here to RSVP.


The Studies:

Time-of-day-dependent dietary fat consumption influences multiple cardiometabolic syndrome parameters in mice.

Energy and macronutrient composition of breakfast affect gastric emptying of lunch and subsequent food intake, satiety and satiation.

The effects of high-carbohydrate vs high-fat breakfasts on feelings of fullness and alertness, and subsequent food intake

Fat oxidation during exercise and satiety during recovery are increased following a low-glycemic index breakfast in sedentary women.


One thought on “Does a High Fat Breakfast Burn More Fat?

  1. “Lunch-time workout”? My guess is that if I were doing a lunch-time workout I’d be losing fat no matter WHAT I ate for breakfast! Maybe there is a lesson in there somewhere…

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