“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. It has been crowned King above all other meals and it's been claimed that eating breakfast helps us lose weight and skipping it will lead to obesity. Is this true? Should you be prioritising your morning meal?

The Theory

Eating breakfast “kick-starts” your metabolism. Your body uses energy in everything it does, including eating. The claim is that by eating a meal at the start of your day will somehow “stimulate” your metabolism and therefore your body will use more energy when digesting your food.

Additionally, it has been claimed that skipping breakfast can lead to individuals consuming more calories throughout the day as they are hungrier.

Studies have concluded those eating breakfast lost more weight than those skipping it. However, it was noted in the research that those who ate breakfast tended to lead a healthier lifestyle and thus difficult to link weight loss solely to the consumption of breakfast. Their healthier habits in general could have led to a greater weight loss.

Myth Busted

The time of the day you consume your food has no effect on your metabolism, what matters is the total amount of food consumed throughout the day, i.e. calorie deficit / surplus. Studies show that there is no difference in calories burned throughout a 24 hour period between those who ate and those who skipped breakfast.

A recent study, published in the BMJ, saw no evidence to support the idea that eating breakfast is a good strategy for weight loss, or that skipping it has the opposite effect.

My Advice

Not eating breakfast is potentially valuable if you are finding it difficult to adhere to a calorie deficit. If you are not hungry when you wake up then you don’t need to have breakfast. You’ll be able to spread your daily calories throughout the rest of the day – win!

If, however, you wake up hungry and all you can think about is food, making it hard to concentrate, then eat something. Opt for a breakfast high in protein, such as eggs, to keep you fuller for longer.

As always, it is personal preference. Try both and note any impacts; either negative or positive and keep your personal goals in mind. No need to listen to what other people are doing in the morning.

TLDR; Breakfast is optional.

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