Like many others, I was raised to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why is breakfast important though? Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Is there any basis for this statement or is it just a great marketing pitch for cereal companies? I’m open to all potential answers but here’s what I’ve found.
Why is breakfast important?
A lot of so-called health experts proclaim that breakfast is in fact the most important meal of the day. Let’s start with something easy. For children, breakfast seems to play an important role in proper development of their physical and intellectual capacities. However, as most people reading are probably adults, let’s tackle them. One thought is that breakfast recharges your body and provides you with much needed energy. In essence, you “break the fast” after sleeping. This seems to make sense in theory. Furthermore, studies have been done showing that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese than people who skip breakfast. The theory here is that won’t be as likely to overeat at the next meal.
Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
I’ve successfully gone without breakfast on numerous occasions and haven’t seen any adverse effects. In fact, skipping breakfast as part of Eat Stop Eat has proven very effective for fat loss. Personally, I don’t feel like eating until 10 or 11 in the morning. When I wake up, I’m ready to go with a glass of water. However, I realize that I may not be like everyone. Many people need coffee and food first thing. This is where I’d caution you about breakfast being the most important meal. Breakfast is only important if you eat right. Sugary cereals, donuts, muffins, etc. may provide a nice boost of energy but there are healthier things to eat in the morning. Don’t start off the day by ingesting junk food; that takes away the point of recharging your body. You’ll get a temporary boost and then crash or feel the need to eat more junk food later.
Furthermore, while studies have shown that breakfast skippers have a higher obesity rate than breakfast eaters, the causal relationship may just be backwards. Rather than concluding that skipping breakfast makes people obese, I would think that obese people are skipping breakfast in order to lose weight. Thin people may not worry about eating breakfast because they don’t need lose weight.
I think there’s also a prevalent myth that skipping meals causes our metabolism to slow down because we enter starvation mode. Based on Eat Stop Eat’s findings, that can’t be further from the truth. Starvation mode doesn’t occur over night; our bodies were designed to survive without eating for a long time. However, breakfast proponents vehemently argue this point.
The Importance of Breakfast
When it comes to eating breakfast, just do what comes naturally for you. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Not in my opinion. It’s just another point in time to consume calories. So why is breakfast important then? Because it can provide you with energy to help you get through the day and may result in a lower calorie intake later. However, if you prefer to skip breakfast, you can receive all the benefits that come along with intermittent fasting. Either can be an effective strategy for weight loss.