Just How Important is Breakfast?

Posted by Nicki Cooper on

So many of us live by the old adage, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but do you know if its advice is true?  If you aren’t really sure, then you’re in good company.  Most of the scientific community isn’t really sure either, so the testing began and continues with inconclusive results.  What they have found is much more interesting than your mother’s first meal mantra.

Start with the definition of breakfast: first food of the day.  Does this mean the protein bar you eat on your way to work or the stack of grain and seed pancakes with the side of beans and avocado you have on the weekends?  Is breakfast eaten as soon as you get up or after your morning coffee and social media hour? A lot of former studies were simply observational tests without a set definition of breakfast, so a more in-depth look has begun.

What has been concluded without a doubt is no ONE meal is the most important during your day.  Those who eat breakfast are not more likely to lose weight or stay slimmer than those who don’t.  And what you count as food for breakfast makes a huge difference in its impact on your day. 

We know we need food to create energy, but if you’re not getting up and heading to the gym, you can push breakfast back until you need the extra calories for something physical.  It’s a common belief that eating breakfast “jump starts your metabolism.”  Well it does get it revved up, but only to start processing the calories you just put in, so if you don’t need or want the calories, don’t eat them.  They said if you skip breakfast, you’ll eat more during the day to fight off hunger.  Well only if you’re hungry!  A study showed the average breakfast to be around 600 calories.  Those who didn’t eat in the mornings ate around 150 more calories during their day.  That’s still 450 calories less than those who ate breakfast!

This is plain and simple math.  The number of calories you put in are the number of calories you need to use either in physical processes or through exercise.  They have conclusively shown that eating or not eating breakfast has nothing to do with your weight.  If you are hungry when you wake up, you should eat.  If you are not hungry when you wake up, you should wait.  It’s really up to you and your body.  If a light snack in the mornings is all you need or want and it gives you enough energy without irrational food cravings until lunch, then that is fine.  If a full meal gets your engines going, then dig in! 

So here’s the best part.  You can eat your breakfast whenever you want!  So hello Oatmeal Breakfast Pie at 2:00 p.m.  Or how about a Spanish Torta with your morning cup of tea.  Or get really crazy and have the Breakfast Burrito for dinner. We put the food in the box, so you can think outside of it!


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