If we had a penny for every time we had heard ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, we would probably have enough to fund our excessive brunching habits…just about.
Let’s be honest, everyone from your parents to health professionals have preached for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that skipping your bowl of cereal can, therefore, have a negative impact on your health. However, is this really the case?
Today Gymshark Central ask, is skipping breakfast really that bad for you?
The idea that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when it comes to weight management, comes from a range of observational studies. For example, back in 2010, one study explored the impact that skipping breakfast had upon body weight in children and young adults.
While it revealed that those who didn’t eat breakfast tended to have a higher BMI, whether or not the root cause of that was the fact they were skipping their bowl of cornflakes was not explored. In fact, causality is rarely addressed within these studies and therefore the reason that these people tend to have higher BMI might not be linked to breakfast at all.
As with most studies exploring body weight, results into the importance of breakfast when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight bring back pretty ambiguous results. Some show skipping breakfast results in a higher BMI, others a lower daily energy intake and some even show that it makes no difference either way.
So, what should we actually believe? With all these mixed messages you’d be forgiven for being more than a little bit confused.
Well, it turns out that the reason for all these discrepancies might be quite simple. The long and short of it is, we’re all different. While skipping breakfast might fit into someone’s lifestyle and not result in them consuming more calories later in the day, it might not work for somebody else. Therefore, when it comes to your overall energy consumption, it really comes down to personal preference rather than complex science.
But what about when it comes to your metabolism?
It is a common belief that eating breakfast can help to wake up your metabolism and therefore if you miss it you’re running the risk of lowering your resting metabolic rate (RMR). However, once again studies have shown otherwise. While eating below your maintenance calories has been shown to reduce your RMR, which could come from skipping breakfast, missing out on breakfast itself is not to blame. If you are getting your energy intake from other sources later on it the day, then your metabolism is likely not to be impacted at all.
Put simply; it doesn’t matter when you’re eating. Instead, it matters what you’re eating.
Both weight loss and changes in your metabolism can be understood quite simply by considering energy in Vs energy out. The truth is, therefore, that breakfast isn’t the be all and end all. If you like breakfast and find that it helps you to perform better throughout the day, then that’s great. However, if you’re not a morning person and would rather wait until later to break the fast, as long as you’re still giving your body what it needs, then that is fine too.
What is important is listening to your body and understanding what works best for you as an individual.