(CBS) In the battle of the bulge, breakfast has long been on the front lines.
Of recent years, common advice has been to eat a big breakfast because it helps to jump start your metabolism and helps you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
According to a new study, at least half that equation may be toast.
German researchers at the Else-Kroner-Fresenius Center of Nutritional Medicine studied the eating patterns of over 300 subjects. Some started their days with big meals, others small and some none at all.
The results were pretty straightforward. People who ate 400 extra calories for breakfast wound up eating around 400 extra calories throughout the day. The scientists said earlier research which suggested big morning eaters ate less later on, calculated a ratio of calories not the total number.
Of course, calories are only part of the story. Popular breakfast foods such as fruits, whole grain breads and oatmeal can deliver vital fiber to your diet. On the other hand, a 600-calorie muffin packed with sugar or a white flour bagel with cream cheese could just add pounds without purpose.
We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Looks like breakfast might not be free either.