How many times have we heard: “Don’t skip breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day.” During my Holistic Nutrition and Health Coach course at The European Academy For Natural Health Care (EANG) we have been told this for a numerous of times. If you want to lose weight or live a healthy life, skipping breakfast is a big no-no.
Every nutritionist has been thought that if you eat breakfast you’ll be more energetic, more productive, and leaner. Have you ever wondered or doubted this statement? Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Have we all been fooled for years?
A high-quality scientific paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shines a new light on this topic.
A Little bit of background history
Several years ago they found a correlation between breakfast-skippers and body weight. Unfortunately, the link was weak and not causal. The results were obtained by analyzing multiple individual papers, or a meta-analysis, and the result is actually more a collective belief, based on a scientific speculation, which is not a certainty.
Nonetheless, the results led to the widely accepted belief that skipping breakfast makes you fat and unhealthy. In 2010, it got enshrined in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. So with that being recorded, we’ve never given this topic more thought. To be honest, as a biologist and nutritionist I have never questioned this general belief either.
Until now. Interestingly, that is what makes us all human, right? Researchers aren’t immune to bias either. We all have been tricked into believing breakfast is the most important meal and have – unintentionally – misinterpreted results and the work of others.
What’s the real deal then? Should we all skip breakfast for a healthier life?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! After many years of experience in guiding people on their quest to live a healthier life and/or lose/maintain weight, I have seen some great and amazing results when people, myself included, add a healthy breakfast to their daily routine. Just because the results are based on observation only doesn’t mean they should be brushed away as meaningless.
When we scan the literature, numerous papers are linking a healthy breakfast to a reduced appetite/food consumption, lower body weight, improved brain activity, and lower blood sugar levels. But actually, that is what every healthy dish is associated with. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner or a healthy snack.
Although breakfast eaters tend to be healthier and fitter compared to the skippers, this may very well be due to other healthy lifestyle habits and may not have anything to do with eating breakfast or not. When we look at the lifestyle of both breakfast eaters and non-eaters, the overall conclusion is that people who eat breakfast tend to eat a healthier diet, with more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they exercise too.
And here’s the interesting fact, non-breakfast-eaters often smoke, drink more alcohol, and exercise less. So it seems we were too quick in our assumptions and other lifestyle factors are also playing a vital role in our weight, health, and happiness Oh and a quick note on metabolism. It is believed that eating breakfast stokes the fat-burning fire (or metabolism) which helps to burn more calories.
According to this study, this is also just a myth. Whether you eat breakfast or not, the same amount of calories will be burned for energy.
Take home message: breakfast is as important as every other meal!
Overall, breakfast eaters score better in terms of overall health and weight, but it is not the most important meal of the day. Every meal is as important and breakfast isn’t that special after all. So the focus should be more on eating an overall healthy well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise, whether you skip breakfast or not.
Looking for a way to live a healthy lifestyle while eating delicious, colorful meals and losing or maintaining weight the healthy way, CLICK HERE
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.