Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal?

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” We’ve all heard this old mantra repeated to us before, but just how accurate is it? Most of us have grown up to believe that skipping breakfast is a terrible nutritional decision, but recently, it has fallen into question.

Breakfast gets its namesake for being the meal where you are “breaking your fast” after being asleep, and it turns out, people who eat breakfast have been shown to enjoy a number of health benefits. Studies have shown that breakfast eaters have better health, improved fitness, and higher chances of being able to lose weight when dieting. Research has shown that eating breakfast is a strong characteristic in being successful with weight loss. In kids, studies have shown that breakfast can have a powerful influence on cognitive performance in school, especially in those younger than 18.

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

But do these supposed benefits classify breakfast as the most important meal of the day? Some say not so much. One particular study had some powerful findings that may shed some light on what’s going on between those who eat breakfast and those who don’t.

This study followed 52 obese women who took part in a 12-week weight loss program. All had the same number of calories each day, but half of them ate breakfast, while the other half did not. At its conclusion, the half who regularly eat breakfast lost more weight than those who didn’t. Researchers concluded that the act of regularly eating breakfast is tied in with having a regular eating routine, which is complemented with having a higher propensity for making healthy choices in their daily lives.

This, however, is not applicable to everyone. While studies have shown both sides of the issue, there has yet to be conclusive evidence in determining whether breakfast is absolutely the most important meal of the day. Some people are simply not hungry in the morning, while others need some form of sustenance in the morning to get their day going.

In the end, it’s more important to be mindful of not over-emphasizing a meal, but rather taking note of how you feel and what your body is telling you. A single meal doesn’t make or break your diet, rather, understanding how you eat all day long is living a healthy life.

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