How many times have you heard comments like “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” or “breakfast helps kickstart your metabolism”?

And while breakfast may be important for some people, we would like to argue that breakfast is NOT in fact the most important meal of the day! Yes you did read that right. Here at Hustle. we don’t like to make any one meal more important than another. Not to mention that all our Hustlers are wonderfully unique so how could we possibly apply a blanket statements to all of our clients. Each and every one of them have different lifestyles, preferences and goals and it is our job to work with them to provide the best possible plan of action.

To fully answer the question we need to consider a few factors so you can make up your own mind…

Let’s look at the obvious. The reason why breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal is in its name: we’re advised to eat it to break our overnight fast. But if we skip breakfast and don’t eat until late morning or lunch does that not still count? Really our first meal, whatever time it is at, will serve the purpose of ‘breaking the fast’.

What about breakfast and weight loss?

It has been shown in some studies that breakfast skippers tend to have a higher body mass index (BMI). These are generally observational studies however, so what isn’t clear is whether those that skip breakfast are more likely to develop a higher BMI, or whether people with a higher BMI are more likely to skip breakfast. The question remains; is eating breakfast a cause or an effect of a healthy weight?

The National Weight Control Registry in America, which looks at people who have lost weight and maintained it, is a good example of this. 78% of people eat breakfast every day. But in addition to that, 75% weigh themselves once a week, 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV a week and 90% exercise for an average of 1 hour a day. So can we say that eating breakfast alone helps people to lose and maintain weight? Probably not. It’s more likely a combination of factors such as increasing activity and changing overall eating habits that has led to the weight loss and weight maintenance

Do I need to eat breakfast to kickstart my metabolism?

In a word no. Studies have shown that skipping breakfast does not, in itself, lower your resting metabolic rate (RMR) or lead to dietary compensation later in the day (Betts et al, 2014). What research does suggest however is that skipping breakfast may have more of an impact on energy expenditure than energy intake. This may be worth considering if you are trying to lose weight.

Which category do you fit into? 

People who shouldn’t skip breakfast People who may want to skip breakfast
·       Pregnant women.

·       People with diabetes.

·       People who have to eat breakfast in order to take certain medications.

·       Children and teenagers with high calorie requirements as they are still growing.

·       People that want to gain muscle and may find it difficult to eat their calorie target later in the day if they skip a meal.

·       Anyone who is physically hungry in the morning. If you are hungry, eat!

·       Anyone that needs optimal performance and energy levels e.g. before an exam, if you have a strenuous job, if you are training for a competition or want to perform well and have plenty of energy in your exercise session.

·       If skipping breakfasts means you make a poor food choice later in the morning because you are so hungry, it’s probably not a good idea to skip it.

·       You just like eating breakfast.

·       Anyone that just doesn’t like breakfast.

·       People who don’t have an appetite in the morning.

·       People who tend to eat most of their calories in the evening (skipping breakfast means they can save these calories for later).

·       People who want to include some form of fasting as part of their weight loss plan. For some people intermittent fasting works for others it’s a recipe for disaster! Figure out what works best for you.

Our Verdict?

So is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? No, we don’t believe that it is. If you hit your calorie and protein target for the day eating breakfast or skipping breakfast won’t make a difference.

What you need to consider is how it affects you. If you skip breakfast do you have less energy, poor concentration levels, struggle to exercise in the morning, end up overeating mid-morning or at lunchtime? If you answered yes to any of these it may be worth considering eating breakfast.

If however skipping breakfast has no impact on your energy or productivity levels, you are not ravenous come lunchtime, your training sessions and food choices are unaffected whether you eat breakfast or not, it’s up to you what you prefer.

Whatever you decide don’t try to force yourself into an eating pattern that doesn’t suit or that you can’t sustain. What is really comes down to is your personal preferences and goals. You don’t need to eat breakfast to be healthy. We would encourage you to experiment and note how you feel on the days you eat breakfast and skip it. This will help you identify if you are Team Breakfast or not!

As always, if you want any help or advice please complete the contact form below or click here to learn more and we would be happy to help!

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