Breakfast is usually titled the "most important meal of the day,” but some new studies have shown otherwise. Surprised? We were too. However, current research has proven that whether someone eats breakfast or not has no impact on weight loss or maintenance. It turns out that breakfast may not be as crucial to a healthy lifestyle as we once believed.
Breaking The Breakfast Myth
Most health and fitness gurus have advocated that breakfast is key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Article after article has been written advocating for people to eat breakfast. Still, while the importance of breakfast is widely believed, there is recent scientific evidence that suggests it doesn’t play a large role in weight loss.
Many of the articles citing the importance of breakfast reference outdated or misinterpreted studies. Some of the studies supporting breakfast as being crucial to a healthy lifestyle contain bias. In fact, many of them were funded by companies that produce breakfast foods. Kellogg funded one such study that showed people who ate cereal for breakfast were thinner than those who did not. Unfortunately, these same results have not been proven by unbiased studies.
No Breakfast Isn't a Weight Loss Deal Breaker
Newer research has shown that eating breakfast does not have a direct correlation with losing or maintaining weight. Dr. James Betts of the University of Bath published his findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He found that eating breakfast could encourage obese participants to exercise more. However, according to his research, eating breakfast had no direct correlation with weight loss.
In an interview with The Independent, Dr. Betts summed up his conclusions. The article quotes him as saying, “‘based on current evidence, having breakfast in itself is not going to make you lose weight and skipping breakfast in itself is not going to make you gain weight.’ He added that as the population tends to lead more sedentary lifestyles than in previous decades, breakfast may be less important than it was, but attitudes towards the meal have stayed the same.”
Follow Your Hunger
Since breakfast has not been shown to have a direct correlation with weight loss, it is up to each individual to find the eating pattern that works best for them. If you are hungry first thing in the morning then, by all means, continue to eat breakfast. However, if you wake up and you are not hungry, you will not be undermining your health by choosing to wait to eat until later in the day. Find and follow a schedule that works for you.
Again, you don’t need to forgo breakfast if you enjoy eating it. At the same time, it is not vital to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, so if you aren’t hungry, feel free to skip it without worrying. Ultimately, everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. So don’t feel pressured by the common advice to eat breakfast if you don’t feel hungry. You can still live a healthy lifestyle without it!
Instead of worrying about whether or not to eat breakfast, you will likely get more benefit from learning to control your cravings and mastering clean eating, healthy snacking, and learning how to eat healthy on the go. All in all, when you eat is not nearly as important as what or how much you eat. Focusing on content and quantity will yield better weight loss results than worrying about when you eat.
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