Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

September 12, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Almost all “experts” agree that breakfast should never be skipped if you want to be fit. And studies actually prove it… or do they?

Everyone knows that you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. In other words, your meals should get progressively smaller throughout the day, with the greatest emphasis placed on the first: breakfast.

But why is this meal so important?

Actually, it isn’t despite what you’ve been told. Breakfast is no more significant than lunch, dinner, or any other meal – even though studies have shown otherwise.

Let me explain…

There are a few reasons why this myth persists (and essentially forces people to eat even if they’re not necessarily hungry). For starters, certain research has shown that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those who don’t. Taking this into account, it’s easy to infer that eating first thing in the morning benefits your waistline. However, that’s not exactly true.

You see, the studies that have correlated a lower BMI with eating breakfast have done just that: shown a correlation. And as any scientist knows: correlation does not prove causation. In other words, this research has not proven that breakfast eaters are skinnier because they eat in the early morning – just that they are.

Here is a more plausible explanation for this observation: people who eat breakfast tend to have a lower BMI because they are, in general, more health-conscious. As such, they make better food choices throughout the day – not just in the morning. They stay up to date with latest news, and since this is something that most people preach, they follow it.

But again, none of this proves that it’s the most important meal of the day.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Don’t I need to eat something to break my fast? And won’t skipping breakfast slow down my metabolism?” And the answer is no – on both counts.

As far as fasting is concerned, it’s actually a good thing. Recent studies have shown that it has great anti-aging effects and is a good contributor to weight loss. Furthermore, going without food for 8, 10, 12, even 24 hours will not slow down your metabolism. In fact, it can actually enhance it due to the various hormones your body releases in this fasted state.

With that said, there is one major caveat to skipping breakfast. It can bring on a ravenous appetite when lunchtime rolls around. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, you have to be prepared. If not, you might opt for an easy fix in the form of junk food. And by doing so, you’re just validating those flawed studies mentioned previously.

The bottom line?

Eat breakfast if you’re hungry and don’t if you’re not. Fasting actually has a number benefits. And finally, if you’re going to skip breakfast have a plan for lunch. Otherwise, breakfast being your most important meal of the day becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


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Filed in: Dieting Myths & Mistakes

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