Do you skip breakfast? For years we have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and those that skip it are leading towards an unhealthy path. 25% of Americans skip breakfast, and there are claims that it can lead to obesity. Is this true? Many arguments support both sides of the debate, so here are the facts to decide for you.
Claim 1: Breakfast is essential for Weight Management
Maybe. Researchers found that people who eat breakfast tend to be healthier in general and have a lower risk of obesity-related conditions. They are healthier for other reasons not associated with breakfast and tend to be more conscious about food. Therefore it may be concluded that eating breakfast is essential.
Claim 2: Breakfast is vital to boost the metabolism
Myth. The metabolism is the thermic effect of food and is affected by the total daily consumption, not just one meal. There is no difference in when or how many times you eat a day. Studies have found that there is no distinction in calorie burn in 24 hours in breakfast consumers vs. breakfast skippers.
Claim 3: Skipping Breakfast Makes You Gain Weight
Myth. As explained previously, your body focuses on the total amount of calories consumed in 24 hours. Although skipping breakfast may cause increased hunger by lunch and you eat more, overall calories are not affected. Those that practice intermittent fasting skip breakfast every day, and there are notable health benefits. Intermittent fasting involves fasting for 16 hours, followed by 8 hours of eating.
Notable benefits of intermittent fasting:
Reduced cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation
Increased fat burning, growth hormone release, and metabolism
Better controlled appetite, blood sugar, and brain plasticity
With these facts, a better conclusion about breakfast is apparent. These comparisons are not to sway you to stop eating breakfast, so if you are already doing it, keep it up. Researchers say eating breakfast “foods” promote more fiber in the diet that many Americans lack. If you are skipping breakfast, no need to worry about consequences because if it is working for you no need to change your ways.
On the other hand, if you find yourself struggling with weight management, you may want to try another approach to your diet. Skipping breakfast is not for everyone, so keep your body guessing and mix up breakfast and no breakfast days. Find the best strategy for you to manage our weight.