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MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 17 (UPI) — Eating a big breakfast may help you lose weight — but only if you eat a lighter lunch or dinner, researchers in Germany say.

Dr. Volker Schusdziarra of the Else-Kroner-Fresenius Center of Nutritional Medicine in Munich, Germany, and colleagues say they wanted to address previous research, which suggests that eating a big breakfast reduces total calorie intake during the day. The researchers say this research is misleading.

The study involved more than 300 people who were asked to keep a journal of what they usually ate — some ate a big breakfast, some ate a small breakfast and some skipped breakfast, Schusdziarra says.

The study, published in Nutrition Journal, showed that people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast. A big breakfast, on average 400 calories greater than a small breakfast, resulted in a total increase in calories eaten during the day of about 400 calories.

The only difference seen was the skipping of a mid-morning snack when someone ate a really big breakfast but that was not enough to offset the extra calories they had already eaten, Schusdziarra says.

There is no magic in an extra order of hash browns, because eating a large breakfast must be counteracted by eating substantially less during the rest of the day to lose weight, Schusdziarra says.

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