Is it Bad to Skip Breakfast? 9 Facts

Is it bad to skip breakfast? Well, 65% of Americans believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, while some believe in consuming lunch as the first meal of the day.

So, what to consider and what not to? Is it adequate to eat breakfast or skip breakfast? This might come as a surprise; skipping breakfast may have some benefits but at what cost?

During this debate, the concept of intermittent fasting arose. Intermittent fasting is an eating style where the person eats during a specific time window and fasts for the rest of the time in 24 hours. Generally, it is an 8-hour eating window and 16-hour fasting. People started adopting it while thinking it was good for their bodies. But, this concept holds many myths, like guaranteed weight loss. Yes, it may even lead to weight gain as a normal person fasting usually craves more calories and sugar at another meal.

Various observational studies suggest that skipping breakfast or having an empty stomach for a long time is bad for both physical and mental health, influencing mood while eating a healthy breakfast promotes a good mood and health, ensuring high energy levels throughout the day.

To uncover the absolute truth about skipping breakfast, here are the 9 facts providing righteous knowledge

What Happens when You Skip Breakfast?

1. It Increases the Risk of Diseases

Multifarious researchers concluded that people who skip breakfast are at high risk of getting ill. Nutritionists suggest feeding the body regularly a day as skipping breakfast may lead to cell damage, and eventually, the number of immune cells that fight diseases decreases.

People who skip breakfast have a higher risk of health conditions like hair loss, migraines, high blood pressure, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. To prevent such agony, a person must eat breakfast 7 times a week. Even workers with a time shortage must consume something light and quick to make, like, 3-minute oats before rushing to work, and a protein and nutrient-packed breakfast on weekends. Breakfast helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

2. It Leads to Nutrients Deficiency

Eating nothing as a morning meal will eventually decrease a person’s nutrient intake more than breakfast eaters. People who skip breakfast, in due course, lead to a deficiency of essential nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Some might argue that nutritional needs can be fulfilled by planning other meals accordingly. We agree, but commonly it is not possible without proper guidance, and therefore, people end up with less nutrient intake. So, eating breakfast is an optimal solution without proper dietary guidance.

3. Increases the Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

Scientific studies have shown that people who skip breakfast in the long term may fall prey to Type-2 Diabetes.

Glucose is required for brain function; blood glucose levels are usually low during the morning, while cortisol levels are high. In this scenario, skipping breakfast causes high cortisol levels that maintain adequate blood glucose levels, and this, in turn, causes insulin resistance. If ignored long-term, it may lead to Type-2 Diabetes. Therefore, eat breakfast regularly to maintain blood sugar and glucose levels.

4. High Productivity

Many myths support that an empty stomach sharpens the mind and improves focus, leading to high productivity, due to which many people skip breakfast. But, the reality is that skipping breakfast results in lower energy and blood sugar levels, leading to a frustrated mind and difficulty in concentrating.

To stay productive with a sharp brain, it is recommended that people must consume light and adequate or healthy meals as their breakfast.

5. Impacts on Mental Health

Numerous people witnessed that when they skipped breakfast for multiple days, it affected their mood drastically. Due to low blood sugar levels, they felt very frustrated and anxious. They start facing “hanger issues” (anger issues whenever they feel hungry) which affect their personal and work lives badly.

On the other side, observational studies of the experts concluded that the people who ate breakfast had a good mood and peace of mind throughout the day. So, it is right to say that people who skip breakfast or are hungry for a long time tend to have a bad mood all day.

6. Acidity and Less Brain Functioning Become an Issue

The stomach of the human body is made to release acid whenever the person feels hungry; skipping breakfast creates the absence of food for digestion, which leads the acid up to the stomach and food pipe walls, which eventually causes acidity.

With acidity, lack of food also causes low glucose levels. As glucose is needed in the brain, low glucose levels result in improper functioning of the brain, which makes people feel dizzy and have headaches. If people skip breakfast, these symptoms may occur while roaming out or working and affect their health. So, don’t forget to grab a bite in the morning.

7. May Lead to Obesity

It is widely believed that skipping breakfast promotes weight loss, but it is only partially true with many loopholes. Generally, it depends on the hunger cues of the person; most people who skip breakfast tend to eat more calories in lunch. Due to this overeating, they never lose weight.

Dieticians suggest that breakfast eaters tend to crave fewer calories till dinner, and this activity helps them lose weight better. Weight loss can be achieved faster than intermittent fasting or skipping breakfast by consuming whole grains and healthy fats in breakfast and planning other meals timely while exercising regularly or performing some physical activity to increase the number of calories burned.

8. Inadequate Protein Intake and Loss of Muscle Mass

Eating breakfast and healthy or regular meals always ensures optimum protein intake and clinical nutrition but skipping breakfast makes this harder. Consuming a similar amount of protein in lesser meals without proper guidance results in protein imbalance. The human body uses protein and fat as fuel for muscles, and for people who exercise, it is important to eat breakfast. People who skip breakfast may even suffer from muscle loss in the future.

Athletes and doctors recommend eating a protein-rich breakfast, essential to building and repairing muscle tissues.

9. Period Cycles Become Irregular

A scientific study on female college students revealed that students who frequently or consistently skipped breakfast had irregular menstrual cycles and more pain before and during their periods. Females must consume iron-rich fo1ods in their breakfast, which helps regular cycles and less period pain.

Bottom Line

Therefore, when people skip breakfast, they set their foot on the wrong path from the morning, as they welcome multiple chronic health conditions by starving themselves till lunch. So, breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day, but it is right to say that breakfast is the most crucial meal to jump-start the day. Never skip breakfast; even a light or quick-to-make breakfast ensures a good mood and smooth workflow throughout the day.

FAQs

1. Can Skipping Breakfast or Intermittent Fasting Lead to Weight Loss?

Yes, skipping breakfast or intermittent fasting can help with weight loss. But, it is only possible in the presence of great self-control and if the rest of the meals are planned well under dietary guidance. People who skip breakfast or are hungry for a long time seek more calories in the rest of their meals until dinner.

2. Does Eating Breakfast Kickstart Your Metabolism?

A healthy breakfast infused with healthy fats, lean protein, fiber, and other nutrients helps kickstart the metabolism 2and energy. But, looking at the regular breakfast in normal American houses, it is hard to agree upon. A typical American breakfast is full of sugar, saturated fat3, and refined carbohydrates4, which is not good for health. People must always consume a nutritious breakfast whenever possible.

3. Is It Important to Eat Breakfast?

Yes, eating breakfast is important for good health and proper body functioning. Skipping this morning meal of the day impacts energy and protein levels throughout the day, which results in a frustrated mind and feeling low while performing any task. Trying to regain these levels in lunch doesn’t work well too. So, eating breakfast is a more optimistic and health-conscious approach to starting the day right.

A good breakfast or morning routine sounds as follows:

  • Drink a glass of water right after waking up or as soon as possible.
  • After freshening up, have a balanced, fibre-rich breakfast5 that fulfills all nutrient needs. For example, Oats with bananas and nuts or scrambled eggs with spinach and onions.

It is always better to take advice; people must contact a registered dietitian and convey the figure they want to achieve. A dietitian 6ensures optimum nutrient and protein intake while monitoring the number of total calories present in the food consumed, due to which a healthy lifestyle remains maintained.

  1. Akalu, Yonas, et al. “Iron-rich food consumption and associated factors among children aged 6–23 months in sub-Saharan Africa: A multilevel analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys.” Plos one 16.6 (2021): e0253221. ↩︎
  2. Leone, Robert D., and Jonathan D. Powell. “Metabolism of immune cells in cancer.” Nature reviews cancer 20.9 (2020): 516-531. ↩︎
  3. Hooper, Lee, et al. “Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease.” Cochrane database of systematic reviews 8 (2020). ↩︎
  4. Yki-Järvinen, Hannele, et al. “Dietary carbohydrates and fats in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” Nature reviews Gastroenterology & hepatology 18.11 (2021): 770-786. ↩︎
  5. GUINÉ, RAQUEL PF, et al. “Consumption of fibre rich foods: comparative study in different countries.” Croatian journal of food science and technology 12.1 (2020): 67-76. ↩︎
  6. Fleurke, Matthijs, Dorien W. Voskuil, and Deirdre M. Beneken genaamd Kolmer. “The role of the dietitian in the management of malnutrition in the elderly: A systematic review of current practices.” Nutrition & Dietetics 77.1 (2020): 60-75. ↩︎

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Divyansh Goyal

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