Nutrition Myth 15: You 'MUST' Eat Breakfast

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This is one of the most widely-circulated nutrition myths, and certainly one of the oldest. I’m pretty sure that every single person reading this will have heard this before, on more than one occasion. However, no matter how old or how common, a myth is still a myth - and here I will explain why.

“Breakfast - the most important meal of the day!”, “Make sure you don’t skip breakfast!”, “Start the day with a good breakfast”, “Eating breakfast helps weight loss!” - These are claims and headlines that we all hear over and over again, but unfortunately just don’t hold up under scrutiny. Is there anything wrong with having breakfast? Absolutely not, but it should by no means be considered a necessity, or any more important than any other meal in the day.

All of the evidence showing the ‘benefits’ of eating breakfast for weight loss and health tend to com from observational studies - this means that although eating breakfast may correlate with improved health / better weight loss, it does not mean that eating breakfast is what caused, or even had an effect, on this.

On the other hand, nearly all clinical trials (where we can see causation) have simply shown the importance of personal preference when it comes to whether or not you eat breakfast. Some individuals will replace the calories they don’t eat by skipping breakfast, while others won’t feel the same craving or need to. Conversely, forcing breakfast on someone who habitually skips breakfast can actually be very detrimental to their weight - causing many individuals in trials to gain significant amount of weight.

Eating breakfast should be seen as an individual thing - eating habits vary from person to person, and we shouldn’t be imposing strict rules and criteria on everyone. The most important aspect of any diet is always going to be adherence - so finding a diet and way of eating that you can stick to consistently is what matters - not whether you have breakfast every morning.

Feel free to try skipping breakfast to see if it works for you and helps with your nutritional goals - but don’t feel obliged to stay strictly in one camp or the other - it’s possible to get great results and be extremely healthy whether you eat breakfast or not. Just don’t listen to the hype from either #teambreakfast or #teamnobreakfast - make the choice based on your own preferences!