I grew up in a time where the adage “Breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day.” was commonly thrown about. Today, there is much debate about that first meal of the day. Some continue touting the benefits of eating first thing:
“Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school. Those are just a few reasons why it’s the most important meal of the day.” – WebMD
Katherine Tallmadge, a licensed and registered dietitian, is internationally recognized as an expert in nutrition. Tallmade is also a breakfast believer. She touts:”Many overweight and obese people who are trying to lose weight eat too much later in the day. Eating a breakfast that contains one-third to one-quarter of their daily calories helps them cut back on calories at subsequent meals, because they aren’t so ravenous.”
But those who promote intermittent fasting are espousing that skipping breakfast, thus prolonging the fasting period in the hopes of encouraging weight loss or at least weight stabilization, is a healthier choice.
Some research suggests cutting back on what you eat in the morning might help you eat less during the rest of your waking hours. In a study from 2011, participants ate around 500 to 550 calories for lunch and dinner, regardless of how much they ate for breakfast. For this group, whether they ate or skipped the morning meal made no difference to the number of calories consumed later in the day. In this light, we would possibly take away that eliminating breakfast, eliminates calories.
The differences between the findings in these studies and what dietician, Katherine Tallmadge, has experienced in her profession may be that the participants in the study weren’t necessarily trying to lose weight. It could be as simple as a behavior difference between individuals who are actively monitoring their caloric intake and those who aren’t.
The reality is there is no definitive science for us to be able to draw any conclusions.
Eat or Skip?
Yes. Do it…. either one. Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, confirms that today’s findings do not support recommending for or against skipping breakfast.
Personally, I vacillate between eating and not eating first thing in the morning. Sometimes I wake up ravenous; sometimes my morning gets away from me and somehow I have forgotten breakfast. Any true believers one way or another? Please share your take on the mystery of to breakfast, or not to breakfast?