Should I Eat Breakfast?
As many as 30% of us admit to skipping breakfast.
Studies show that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight and tend to be more active.
However, this does not mean that any breakfast is better than no breakfast, or that by skipping breakfast you will gain weight.
It is believed that a high protein breakfast is the most effective way to lose weight or to avoid further weight gain.
Whether breakfast is right for you, evidence supports the need for breakfast in school children.
Below are the results of the latest research on the topic of eating breakfast.
Reasons To Skip Breakfast
- A study showed that those who identify themselves as an “evening” person tended to skip breakfast more than a “morning” person, but had no increase in hunger levels.
- This makes sense, as a main reason given for not eating breakfast is that they don’t feel hungry in the first place.
- The “evening” person didn’t necessarily have worse eating habits later in the day, nor did they consume more calories overall.
- Another showed that people who skipped breakfast ate a bigger lunch (+140 calories) but had the same size dinner as those who ate breakfast. This means over the day they consumed on average 400 calories less having skipped breakfast.
- A review of the literature found that while skipping breakfast is associated with weight gain, it is not necessarily a cause of weight gain.
Reasons To Eat Breakfast
- People who skip breakfast tend to have a higher BMI and waist circumference than those who eat breakfast.
- Children perform better in school if they eat breakfast and are less likely to be overweight. (The most significant factor in a child eating breakfast was whether the parent ate breakfast.)
- A high protein breakfast reduced daily hunger and prevented body fat gains in overweight/obese adolescents.
- Those who ate breakfast consumed more calories in the day but were less likely to be overweight.
- While skipping breakfast can lead to weight loss, it was shown to increase cholesterol levels compared to those eating cereal or oatmeal.
- Although not the cause, skipping breakfast was associated with more smoking and drinking, higher BMI and infrequent exercise.
- High Carbohydrate breakfasts had a negative effect on cognitive performance. High Fat breakfasts had a positive effect on cognitive performance.
In conclusion, if you don’t feel like eating breakfast then you are unlikely to gain weight by skipping it, but if you are hungry then you should eat breakfast.
If your diet is high in carbohydrate it may negatively effect your concentration. To be at your best for work you should have more fat for breakfast.
If you want to lose weight, a high protein breakfast will reduce hunger and limit body fat gains.
Healthy Breakfast Choices
Green Tea or Herbal Tea
If you normally skip breakfast, you may only drink a coffee. Caffeine raises your stress hormone by around 30% and interferes with your body’s natural waking up process. Switch out that first morning coffee for a tea and your body will thank you.
I hope by now you know that eggs are not bad for you, that cholesterol is not an issue. Eggs are one of the healthiest breakfast options around. Boiled or poached is better than scrambled or fried, but any form is an improvement on cereal.
Boiled eggs last around five days in the fridge, so you can do a batch one evening to last you half the week.
Below is an example recipe, slicing a hard boiled egg onto wholegrain toast and adding black pepper and tomato.
3. Greek Yoghurt
While most yoghurts are full in sugar, Greek Yoghurt tends to be high in protein and a better option for breakfast. Be careful with Greek “Style” Yoghurt, as marketers are using this to make it seem healthy, when in fact anything can be named “Greek Style” without being high in protein.
Total Greek Yoghurt by the company Fage is my go-to option. Put 200g in a bowl and add on a fruit of your choice. Sprinkle on cinnamon and coconut flakes for an added health boost.
A great high fat option. As with eggs, it’s full of good fats that you shouldn’t be afraid to eat. The recipe below involves mashing half an avocado in a bowl with lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, chopped egg and greek yoghurt. Spread it on toast or eat it as a salad.
Oatmeal is a great choice if you are going to be active later in the morning. It is also a great high fiber option that will keep you feeling full.
Try the recipe for our No Bake Protein Flapjacks for a “grab and go” breakfast option for busy workers.
Starting your day with a high protein breakfast is a great start if you’re looking to lose weight. If you eat a healthy breakfast, it will keep you fuller for longer and prevent you snacking before lunch.
If you’re finding it hard to concentrate at work, ditch the high carbohydrate breakfast. Instead, try one higher in fat (eggs are a great choice here).
 Nutrient intake, diet quality, and weight/adiposity parameters in breakfast patterns compared with no breakfast in adults. O’Neil, Nicklas, Fulgoni
 Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. Rampersaud, Pereira, Girard, Adams, Metzl
 A high-protein breakfast prevents body fat gain, through reductions in daily intake and hunger, in “Breakfast skipping” adolescents. Leidy, Hoertel, Douglas, Higgins, Shafer
 A cross-over experiment to investigate possible mechanisms for lower BMIs in people who habitually eat breakfast. Reeves, Huber, Halsley, Villegas-Montes, Elgumati, Smith
 Skipping breakfast: morningness-eveningness preference is differentially related to state and trait food cravings. Meule, Roeser, Randler, Kubler
 Effect of skipping breakfast on subsequent energy intake. Levitsky, Pacanowski
 Skipping breakfast leads to weight loss but also elevated cholesterol compared with consuming daily breakfasts of oat porridge or frosted cornflakes in overweight individuals. Geliebter, AStbury, Aviram-Friedman, Yahav, Hashim
 Eating breakfast enhances the efficiency of neural networks engaged during mental arithmetic in school-aged children. Pivik, Tennal, Chapman
 Breakfast skipping and change in body mass index in young children. Tin, Ho, Mak, Wan, Lam
 Breakfast skipping and health-compromising behaviors in adolescents and adults. Keski-Rahkonen, Kaprio, Rissanen, Virkkunen, Rose.
 Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity to show two practices that distort scientific evidence. Brown, Bohan Brown, Allison
 Breakfast and cognition: sixteen effects in nine populations, no single recipe. Zilberter, Zilberter.