We’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and skipping it is not good for us. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been skipping it for 3 years now. I haven’t seen any unhealthy consequences but enjoying skipping breakfast benefits consistently.
When I told people around me particularly my colleagues back in those days when I was still working in an office environment, they don’t believe me. Just today, I think Washington post just supported my claim about skipping breakfast is as good as a healthy diet plan.
Additionally, when I do intermittent fasting straight for 5 days, I don’t eat breakfast, and I didn’t get fat. In fact, intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast both helped me lose weight and now I’m able to maintain my ideal weight.
Washington Post says;
As with many nutrition tips, though, including some offered by the Dietary Guidelines, the tidbit about skipping breakfast is based on scientific speculation, not certainty, and indeed, it may be completely unfounded, as the experiment in New York indicated.
In the New York hospital researchers put three groups into different breakfast schemes; the first group eats oatmeal, the second group eat frosted corn flakes, and the third group eats nothing.
Although there were no mentioned about drinks, I’m pretty certain the third group was allowed to drink water. After four weeks or a month of this trial, there is only one group where the subjects lose weight, and it’s the third group who skip breakfast.
Skipping Breakfast Benefits
Washington post said this was not the first trial to contradict government dietary guidelines as there are other previous trials showing that skipping breakfast benefits include weight loss and no weight gain at all.
Moreover, individuals who are overweight and skip breakfast for four weeks benefits more, and based on my personal experience it’s true.
When I was around 35% overweight, my weight loss through skipping breakfast is really noticeable, but as I was approaching my ideal weight the weight loss seems to slow down.
Now that I’ve gained back my ideal weight, skipping breakfast doesn’t affect, or at least a slight difference; sometimes higher sometimes lower, but definitely no significant weight gain or weight loss that can potentially result in unhealthy consequences.
Reason Behind Dietary Guidelines Recommend Not Skipping Breakfast
I think there is only one reason, but no real science behind the notion that skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain. Further in the news mentioned;
The advisory committee cited this and similar research, known as “observational studies,” in support of the notion that skipping breakfast might cause weight gain. In “observational studies,” subjects are merely observed, not assigned randomly to “treatment” and “control” groups as in a traditional experiment.
There’s a problem with these so-called “observational studies“. The participants are not randomly assigned to a treatment or control group.
Therefore, there are unaccounted factors that lead to mistaken assumptions by the researchers. These factors include eating behavior and quality of foods consumed by the participants.
For instance, those who skipped breakfast may eat a lot during lunch and mid-afternoon snacks.
Even more, what if the foods consumed by the breakfast skippers are high in sugar and calories. In addition, researchers don’t have any idea if the participants are consuming alcohol in the evening.
Another important factor to consider is stress, which can also result in fat storage sitting in the belly area.
Well, that’s the big issue, but since “observational studies are easier to conduct and cheaper, they did it anyway. Unfortunately, the data gathered are not as reliable as those research in a controlled environment.
When I skip breakfast, I eat my typical lunch and strictly not overeating. I don’t eat mid-afternoon snacks except on days when I do intensive full body workouts after which I drink water and eat fruits. Of course, I eat dinner, I don’t drink alcohol, and I don’t eat snacks at night.
Hydration and Snacks
Generally, I skip breakfast and I don’t snacks. Now for most people that would be a struggle not to eat snacks specially when skipping breakfast.
Yes, I agree, but for only during the first 2-3 weeks of doing it. I don’t know the science behind it, but the cravings are intense particularly during the first week, but eventually the cravings subside.
In addition, consuming healthy fats during morning is helpful. Now, you may be asking how on earth to consume healthy fats when skipping breakfast? My answer is simple, and I do believe our body requires fluid for hydration, and water or any liquid(as long as it’s sugar-free) should not be skipped.
My way of consuming healthy and beneficial fats every morning is through my coffee. Yes, I drink coffee, and I’ve been drinking it for more than 20 years both instant coffee and freshly brewed.
Recently, however, I’ve switched to freshly brewed coffee, and just this year(January 2015), I’ve switched to cold brew coffee as it significantly reduced the acid of the coffee. And, to be honest, cold brew coffee is a lot smoother than brew in the traditional way.
What About Kids, Should They Skip Breakfast, Too?
Here’s what we’ve noticed with our daughter and a few others who are near us. When kids don’t eat breakfast before going to school, they seem to have less energy.
On the other hand, if feed with junk and processed foods, it has the same results for most kids, but others seem to tolerate it.
Through this observation, we are careful about what we give to our daughter for her breakfast.
We don’t give her junk or highly processed foods, but a breakfast high in healthy fats and protein. We don’t allow her to drink bottled fruit juice or those in tetra pack. Instead, we let her eat the whole fruit.
It’s kind of difficult to feed children this way, but it’s worth it. During the after when she came home from school, the energy is still there and she can still do her homework before playing.
We also provided her lunch with the same high-quality foods free from highly processed or junk foods. Her classmates brought with them sugar chocolates or chips while she brings fresh fruits.
When my wife had the opportunity talking to the teacher, she said, she felt guilty when she remember giving her child processed foods.
Well, I guess we provoked someone’s attention to encourage feeding their children healthy whole foods, as well.
Should All People Skip Breakfast?
Now that Washington post published their findings, this would raise a lot of questions including “should all people skip breakfast?“.
In my personal opinion, everyone is different and we can’t just force or recommend to all people to skip breakfast.
Men and women who have jobs that are heavy and requires their physical body to maximize utilization of energy, I think these people should not skip breakfast.
People who work in a construction site I believed should eat their healthy breakfast, and those who are lifting heavy weights most of the time throughout the day should have the energy to do their job efficiently.
On the other hand, people who are overweight and obese, plus they work in a desk environment where the only thing that’s moving is their hands and fingers, I truly believed they should look at their diet and shift it to a healthy one and that includes skipping breakfast.
I mentioned healthy diet because skipping breakfast wouldn’t be much effective if during lunch, dinner and snack times they simply munch on anything without taking consideration the quality of foods, and caloric intake.
Study Findings On Skipping Breakfast Benefits
- Prospective Study of Breakfast Eating and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in a Cohort of Male US Health Professionals
- Longitudinal study of skipping breakfast and weight change in adolescents
- Minifasting: How Occasionally Skipping Meals May Boost Health
- A high-protein breakfast prevents body fat gain, through reductions in daily intake and hunger, in “Breakfast skipping” adolescents
- The effect of breakfast type and frequency of consumption on glycemic response in overweight/obese late adolescent girls
- A cross-over experiment to investigate possible mechanisms for lower BMIs in people who habitually eat breakfast