Is it bad to skip breakfast for you? The Surprising Truth

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." This myth is omnipresent in society.

Breakfast is perceived as healthy, even more important than other meals.

Even today's official nutrition guidelines recommend that we eat breakfast.

It is said that breakfast helps us lose weight and that skipping can increase our risk of obesity.

This seems to be a problem, because up to 25% of Americans skip breakfast regularly (1).

However, new high-quality studies have begun to question the universal advice that everyone should have breakfast.

This article discusses breakfast in detail, and if skipping it will really hurt your health and make you fat.

Breakfast eaters tend to have healthier habits

It is true, many studies show that those who eat breakfast tend to be healthier.

For example, they are less likely to be overweight / obese and have a lower risk of contracting several chronic diseases (2, 3, 4).

For this reason, many experts have stated that breakfast should be good for you.

However, these studies are the so-called observational studies, which can not demonstrate causality.

These studies show that people who eat breakfast are more like To be more healthy, but can not taste that breakfast in itself. caused that.

Most likely, breakfast eaters have other healthy lifestyle habits that can explain this.

For example, people who eat breakfast also tend to eat a healthier diet, with more fiber and micronutrients (5, 6).

On the other hand, people who skip breakfast tend to smoke more, drink more alcohol and exercise less (7).

Maybe these are the reasons why those who eat breakfast are healthier, on average. I may not have anything do with breakfast itself.

In fact, higher-quality studies called randomized controlled trials suggest that it does not really matter if you eat or skip breakfast.

Bottom line: Those who eat breakfast tend to be healthier and leaner than breakfast robbers. This may be because breakfast eaters have other healthy lifestyle habits.

Eating breakfast does not increase your metabolism

Some people say that breakfast "starts" the metabolism, but this is a myth.

These people refer to the thermal effect of food, which is the increase in calories burned after eating.

However, what matters for the metabolism is the total amount of food consumed throughout the day. It makes no difference at what times, or how often, you eat.

Studies show that there is no difference in calories burned for 24 hours between people who eat or skip breakfast (8).

Bottom line: If you eat or skip breakfast, it has no effect on the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. This is a myth.

Skipping breakfast does not cause weight gain

As mentioned earlier, people who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than people who eat breakfast.

This may seem paradoxical, because how can not eat Do they make you gain more weight? Well, some claim that skipping breakfast makes you very hungry to overeat later in the day.

This seems to make sense, but is not supported by the evidence.

It is true that skipping breakfast makes people more hungry and eat more at lunch, but this is not enough to compensate excessively for the breakfast that was omitted.

In fact, some studies have even shown that skipping breakfast can reduce total caloric intake by up to 400 calories per day (9, 10, 11).

This seems logical, because you are effectively eliminating a complete meal from your diet every day.

Interestingly, the eating / jumping breakfast dilemma was recently tested in a high quality randomized controlled trial.

This was a 4-month study that compared recommendations for eating or skipping breakfast in 309 men and women who were overweight or obese (12).

After 4 months, there was no difference in weight between the groups. It just did not matter if people ate or skipped breakfast.

These results are supported by other studies on the effects of breakfast habits on weight loss. Skipping breakfast had no visible effects (5, 12, 13).

Bottom line: Higher quality studies show that it does not matter if people eat or skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast makes you eat more at lunch, but not enough to make up for the breakfast you missed.

Omitting breakfast may even have some health benefits

Skipping breakfast is a common part of many intermittent fasting methods.

This includes the 16/8 method, which consists of a 16-hour overnight fast followed by an 8-hour eating window.

This window for eating generally varies from lunch to dinner, which means that you skip breakfast every day.

It has been shown that intermittent fasting effectively reduces caloric intake, increases weight loss and improves metabolic health (14, 15, 16, 17, 18).

However, it is important to mention that intermittent fasting and / or skipping breakfast is not suitable for everyone. The effects vary according to the individual (19).

Some people may experience positive effects, while others may develop headaches, decreased blood sugar, fainting and lack of concentration (20, 21).

Bottom line: Skipping breakfast is part of many intermittent fasting protocols, such as the 16/8 method. Intermittent fasting can have numerous health benefits.

Breakfast is optional

The evidence is clear, there is nothing "special" about breakfast.

It probably does not matter if you eat or skip breakfast, as long as you eat healthy for the rest of the day.

Breakfast does not "speed up" your metabolism and skipping it does not overeat and gain weight.

This is a myth, based on observational studies that have since been shown to be incorrect in randomized controlled trials (real science).

At the end of the day, breakfast is Optional, and everything is reduced to personal preferences.

If you are hungry in the morning and like breakfast, go ahead and have a healthy breakfast. A breakfast rich in protein is better.

However, if you do not feel hungry in the morning and do not feel like you need to eat breakfast, do not eat it. It's as simple as that.

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