Many people say that breakfast is the day’s most important meal, and some experts support this. The surprising truth is that breakfast is actually optional, and skipping or taking it does not necessarily affect your weight.

Most people have grown in a society that believes that the day’s most important meal is breakfast. In fact, it is believed that skipping it might make you gain extra pounds and struggle to lose them. Although that is the case, most of the studies backing such claims are merely observational and less scientific. Peer into this article to learn about the shocking truth about skipping breakfast.

Skipping breakfast may lead to short-term nutrient deficiency- how true?

Many health experts, including nutritionists, recommend breakfast for patients with nutrient deficiency since they believe that in one way or another, skipping it could be the deficiency’s primary cause. In fact, according to Health Sciences (US) and a regional dietary association, missing breakfast could be harmful to the body. The two conducted a study that showed that people who suffered from iron, folate, calcium, and vitamins (A, B1, B3, B6, D, and K) deficiency had not taken breakfast on that particular day. While this may seem real, the studies were merely observational and only linked skipping breakfast to the stated problems without establishing it as the primary cause. In addition, it is unlikely that missing breakfast once could translate to a deficiency. Instead, the problem was likely long-term and developed over time. Lastly, more than one factor might have affected the deficiencies, although they were primarily linked to skipping breakfast.

Taking breakfast has been linked to good health

Many experts claim that taking breakfast is linked to health which is why those who regularly take breakfast look healthier than their fellow counterparts who skip it. In fact, breakfast is largely associated with few cases of chronic diseases and obesity. While this may be partly true, no single study can confirm that taking breakfast causes good health since the existing studies are observational and only establish associations without stating the exact cause. Therefore, like nutrient deficiency, good health could be linked to several besides taking breakfast. For instance, while most people who skip breakfast may overindulge in alcohol, smoke, or eat unhealthy foods, those taking breakfast might be health-conscious, exercising regularly, taking a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol indulgence, which is expected to affect their health differently. Moreover, most recent scientific studies suggest that taking or skipping breakfast might not necessarily mean anything with all factors kept constant.

Does taking breakfast give your metabolism a kickstart?

Another idea that’s overrated about breakfast is that it gives a wonderful kickstart for metabolism. The proponents of this idea claim that since breakfast gives the body some thermic effects, it’s a good way to start off metabolism. Of course, breakfast indeed does that; however, what matters with metabolism is not the time one eats but the amount of food eaten. Consequently, even if you skipped breakfast and still took the same number of calories the rest of the day, metabolism would still happen as it happens when you take breakfast.

Skipping breakfast does not lead to weight gain

One reason health experts recommend breakfast is the fear of weight gain, recently linked to skipping breakfast. While it’s true that people who miss breakfast are obese or overweight most of the time, there is no proof that it’s the ultimate cause of the observation. If you miss breakfast, you will likely feel hungrier; however, the foods you take afterward may not be enough to make up for the missed meal during breakfast. In fact, studies suggest that skipping breakfast could help a person maintain weight, hence the main reason why intermittent fasts apply it. However, most of the research is inconclusive. One controlled study recently subjected more than 300 people to a plan of eating or not eating breakfast and watching their weight change after four months. When the study ended, there wasn’t any difference in the weights, signifying that taking or missing breakfast may not affect one’s weight so much. Seemingly, gaining or losing weight has more than breakfast in the picture and involves many other things, including lifestyle habits, diet, and exercise.

Could missing breakfast have any health benefits?

While skipping breakfast is still controversial, and most of the studies about it are inconclusive, there is a possibility that it could be somehow beneficial. Intermittent fasting methods like the 16:8 or 14:10 for men and women, respectively, encourage skipping breakfast, and this is not in vain. The fasting window for these fasting methods typically starts early in the morning and ends late in the evening when one eats, meaning skipping breakfast is a must-do for these eating patterns. Interestingly, many studies have shown that intermittent fasting is fruitful and helps one lose weight, burn more calories, and keep the metabolism active, provided the pattern is executed well. However, it’s noteworthy that intermittent fasting coupled with skipping or taking breakfast works differently for individuals and genders. While some people may respond to it well and experience the stated positive effects, others find it rough. That’s when they may lose concentration and cognition, are not be able to control their emotions, faint and experience shortness of breath, and other effects. Therefore, one needs to find what works best for him and work with it.

Final thought

Many people are exposed to the idea that breakfast is the main and the informatory meal of the day. For such people, skipping it means detrimental effects to the body, including gaining unnecessary weight and nutrient deficiencies. In fact, some studies claim that iron, folate, calcium, and vitamin deficiencies are linked to skipping breakfast. While this could be true, most of these studies are observational and inconclusive, only establishing links between two things but not the cause. Therefore, breakfast is optional, and skipping it may not necessarily affect one’s weight and health. In fact, intermittent fasting encourages skipping breakfast and still yield results, although the experience differs from a person to another.

Crystal Kadir

MS, Durham University GP The work of a family doctor includes a wide range of clinical diversity, which requires extensive knowledge and erudition from a specialist. However, I believe that the most important thing for a family doctor is to be human because the cooperation and understanding between the doctor and the patient are crucial in ensuring successful health care. On my days off, I love being in nature. Since childhood, I have been passionate about playing chess and tennis. Whenever I have time off, I enjoy traveling around the world.