Should You Eat Breakfast or Skip Breakfast? The Debate Continues

by Matt Weik

How many times have you heard that if you want to maintain a healthy weight or see any type of weight loss that you need to eat breakfast? That if you skip breakfast, you’re going to slow down your metabolism, go blind in one eye, lose all your gains, and die alone? Ok, that may be a stretch, but you get the point.

The fact of the matter is, much of what you hear and see online when it comes to if you should eat breakfast or skip breakfast is a bunch of BS. Here’s what you need to know so you can make the best decision for YOU.

If You Skip Breakfast, You Won’t Get Fat from It

Looking at a study conducted by Cornell University, researchers observed what your overall calorie consumption would be if you were to skip breakfast and the findings may surprise you. According to the data, the participants of the study were actually at a 408-calorie deficit by the end of the day when they would skip breakfast.

Obviously, this was an average and your mileage may vary if you were to also skip breakfast, but the overall findings showed that when you skip breakfast, your net caloric intake at the end of the day can be less than your maintenance. This deficit when done daily puts you in a great position to lose weight and body fat.

Sure, during lunch and dinner the individuals may have consumed more food than normal when they skip breakfast, but the net at the end of the day was still fewer calories than what they would have consumed if they would eat breakfast in the morning. Most people assume that if you don’t eat breakfast, you’ll be starving come lunchtime and splurge on anything and everything you can. This doesn’t seem to be the case according to the research.

Kiss Your Revving Metabolism Goodbye?

No, your metabolism isn’t going to be singing the Post Malone song. All of a sudden when you skip breakfast your metabolism isn’t going to pump the brakes and leave you high and dry with a spare tire around your waist. More than likely if that were to happen, it’s from your poor lifestyle and nutrition choices – not the fact that you decided to skip breakfast.

The inverse is also not true in that when you eat breakfast, your metabolism isn’t all of a sudden going to put itself in high gear and start melting away body fat. Surprisingly enough, whether you eat breakfast in the morning or get up, skip breakfast, and head out the door, the research shows that there is no difference at all with your metabolism and how many calories you burn throughout the day.

Where Do You Go from Here?

Eat breakfast… Skip breakfast…? It all comes down to your personal preference at the end of the day. What makes you feel better in the morning? If you eat breakfast and feel like it gives you energy, then, by all means, eat breakfast. If you’re not a morning person and you find you’re always crunched for time to get out the door and to school or the office, maybe you should skip breakfast?

Or, if you’re like me… maybe give intermittent fasting a try? I love the fact that by implementing intermittent fasting (IF) into my daily plan, it allows me to stay much more productive throughout the day. Intermittent fasting is where you fast for 16 hours and then give yourself an eight-hour eating window.

As I mentioned above, there is no benefit to eating breakfast or deciding to skip breakfast. Therefore, for me, I skip breakfast and start my day off running versus needing to prepare breakfast for myself, sit down, eat, clean up, and then go to the office. Intermittent fasting allows me to get up and go without interruption each morning.

How I break up my day is as follows. The first meal of my day is lunch at noon. That is where I “break the fast.” I then give myself until 8pm to consume all of my meals. Once 8pm hits, I start my fast. The reason I end my fast at 8pm is simple – I want to use the hours I sleep as the bulk of my fast. That way I’m not missing food or thinking about food to the point where I may crave it and cut my fast short. So, if you sleep eight hours each night, that means half of your fast is already done. It makes the process much easier.

There are even some benefits to implementing an intermittent fasting lifestyle. One of which is the retention of lean muscle tissue. A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that those who used intermittent fasting were able to keep more of their lean muscle mass when attempting to lose weight when compared to a diet that simply reduced the total amount of calories consumed.

Another benefit to intermittent fasting is that you can increase weight loss by implementing the strategy – which is backed by research from the University of Aberdeen.

Whether you are after the weight loss benefits of intermittent fasting or the productivity boost, the fact that you can skip breakfast and still achieve benefits should be exciting to most individuals. So, in conclusion, as the research shows from what I have provided, whether you decided to eat breakfast or skip breakfast, there isn’t much difference in the grand scheme of things. But overall, the choice is yours.