Most people may have heard this line thrown at you multiple times, “skipping breakfast is unhealthy”, “You must always eat more for breakfast”, “For breakfast, we should eat like a King”! these are quotes that pop up every once in a while to remind us about the importance of eating, what is often slated, as the most important meal of the day — BREAKFAST!!!

Fine, perhaps not every once in a while, but rather on a daily basis from our parents especially… Despite knowing this, around 20% to 30% of the American population does not consume breakfast, and the breakfast consumption rate has been gradually decreasing over the years! Of all the meals during the day, the decrease in breakfast and lunch consumption has been hit the hardest!

However, guess what, these quotes mentioned above may not be entirely wrong after all! Based on an interesting observation from a study found in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, showed that 74% of people who skipped their breakfast did not meet two-thirds of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamins and minerals compared to 41% of those who consumed breakfast. This is rather alarming in my opinion. It simply means that skipping breakfast may be more detrimental to our health than we think.

Oftentimes, people have the misconception that skipping a meal, such as ‘skipping your breakfast’, may aid in losing weight. Many people would argue that they do not feel hungry in the morning, or they are rushing for work and have no time to eat. But the sad truth is that skipping an important meal such as your breakfast, causes the exact opposite effect of weight loss. There are behavioral data that indicates, eating breakfast reduced overall dietary fat intake and minimized impulsive snacking, ultimately leading to successful weight ‘release’.

Let us look at the science behind the whole process, your body has been in a fasting state since dinner during the previous evening. Consuming breakfast regularly actually aids in stabilizing your body’s metabolism. According to a recently published article by the American Heart Association in January 2017, many more people nowadays have a decrease in Total Energy Intake (TEI) from their regular daily meals (drop from 82% to 77% since the 1970s until early 2010s) and instead an increase in TEI consumed from snacks from 18% to 23%. This goes to show that there is a shift in habit of eating proper meals and an increase in the unhealthy culture of snacking at the same time!

Research have repeatedly shown that most individuals who go on to skip their breakfast will end up snacking throughout the morning until lunch time. Unfortunately, this increases the overall caloric intake and hence causes the opposite unwanted effect of weight gain. With a constant habit of snacking throughout the day, your body’s metabolism mechanism gets confused and this can have a serious effect on the risk of developing heart diseases, type-2 diabetes, as well as obesity.

In addition, the risk of skipping your very first meal of the day is the potential increase in your bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol); in addition, it also lowers your insulin levels. The increase in bad cholesterol levels or LDL will gradually result in a process known as atherosclerosis, which plaque is builded up within your arteries and this could then lead to the clogging of your arteries and ultimately a heart attack or stroke. There are also reports indicating an increase risk of elevated blood pressure and insulin levels in subjects who consistently skip breakfast.

A recently published review article in 2016 pointed out that a majority of individuals cited ‘Lack of time’ as the most important reason for skipping a meal. There are other correlates that were brought up within this study such as cost, weight control, and sex (male has a higher tendency to skip breakfast whereas females has a higher tendency to skip lunch and dinner). Ultimately, a lack of time is something that everyone can associate with as the primary reason for skipping breakfast.

 

Here are 3 quick tips to get you out the door in a short time while still being able to enjoy a healthy breakfast to start off your day!

  1. Make your breakfast the previous night: Be creative with your dinner, set some extra aside pack it into a box, for example, if you had caesars salad for dinner the previous night. Pack a little extra vegetables in a box, add in can tuna or cooked tuna and some lime juice with your choice of healthy salad dressing and you have yourself a breakfast salad box on the go! 
    • Pack in the proteins: Have a hard boiled egg on standby + mashed avocado + whole wheat bread. Spread the mashed avocado on the whole wheat bread and you may dice your hard boiled egg and place it on top of the whole wheat bread or eat it separately. Packing your breakfast with plenty of proteins allows for the feeling of fullness throughout the morning and prevents that impulsive urge to snack

    • Overnight oats: Soak 3 tablespoons of oats in greek yogurt, milk, and throw in some chia seeds. These gives
      you a power pack breakfast full of fiber and protein and keeps you full for a longer period of time as well! Throw in some almonds and berries of your choice to spice up the flavor!
  1. Have a healthy and satisfying fruit blend. Have a good combination of fiber, calcium, and protein by blending together 1 banana + 2 teaspoons of peanut butter + 240 ml of organic chocolate or strawberry milk. This provides you with a good boost of protein from the banana, milk, and peanut butter, calcium from milk, and fiber from the banana as well!
  2. Grab a small fruit, granola bar, or grab a yogurt to go. This one may be a no-brainer, if you are absolutely in a rush, always have a supply of healthy granola bars (low in sugar and saturated fat) or yogurt and rush out, but be sure to at least have a banana or apple to give you the sense and satisfaction of chewing on the food for breakfast. This helps to keep your levels of hunger hormones in check and to prevent you from getting hungry too soon before lunch.

If you have any queries or comments about the post, please leave me a comment below. Alternatively, please send me an email at merrell@sustainableweightlosshabits.com to reach me.

Speak soon,

Merrell

Source:

Kant AK, Graubard BI. 40-Year trends in meal and snack eating behaviors of American adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115:50–63.
doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.06.354
Pierre S-O, Ard J, Baskin ML et al. Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention- A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2017; 135:00-00
Nicklas TA, Myers L, Reger C, Beech B, Berenson GS. Impact of breakfast consumption on nutritional adequacy of the diets of young adults in Bogalusa, Louisiana: ethnic and gender contrasts. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998;98:1432–1438. doi: 10.1016/S0002-
8223(98)00325-3.
Schlundt DG, Hill JO, Sbrocco T, Pope-Cordle J, Sharp T. The role of breakfast in the treatment of obesity: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992;55:645–651
Maki KC et al. The Effects of Breakfast Consumption and Composition on Metabolic Wellness with a Focus on Carbohydrate Metabolism. Adv Nutr. 2016 May 16;7(3):613S-21S. doi: 10.3945/an.115.010314. Print 2016 May.
Farschchi HR et al. Deleterious effects of omitting breakfast on insulin sensitivity and fasting lipid profiles in healthy lean women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):388-96.
Pendergast FJ et al. Correlates of meal skipping in young adults: a systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2016 Dec 1;13(1):125.

6 Comments

  1. Heather

    Reply

    I am guilty of skipping breakfast. I am always trying to watch my weight and I thought putting off eating wasn’t so bad. I think I am going to follow some of your suggestions, so I can try to jumpstart my metabolism in the morning. Thank you for the article. It was very informative.
    Take Care,
    Heather

    • MLim

      Reply

      You are not alone with regards to skipping breakfast. Many has the same misconception, glad that you found this article and are willing to attempt a chance in your dietary habits! All the best and pop by to let me know how it goes.

      Speak soon,

      Merrell

  2. Woody85

    Reply

    I used to be one of those that didn’t eat breakfast as I never felt hungry in a morning, but I changed that a couple of years after feeling really drained of energy every day.

    It is a great to read something like this that actually explains the reasoning behind why breakfast is important.

    Interestingly, I have been having overnight oats for the last couple of months so it is good to see them mentioned here.

    Keep up the excellent work!

    • MLim

      Reply

      Thanks and glad that you realized the benefits of having breakfast, and in fact, a healthy type of breakfast every day! Keep it up!

  3. Jucing Fan

    Reply

    Yup! Never skip Breakfast! I noticed that when I was in college that whenever I leave the house skipping breakfast, I tend to get grumpy and sluggish at the first part of the day and it kind of sets the vibe of unpleasantry the rest of the day, it’s like I’m h’angry all the time. That’s when I realized that having breakfast is really important. It sets you up for the entire day.

    • MLim

      Reply

      Absolutely agree and love how you ‘coin-ed’ the term H’angry! That is an undeniable truth! Thanks for the insight!

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