The importance of Breakfast as a topic is always subject to debate with many famous quotes over the years telling us that “it is the most important meal of the day”.
To really answer the question of “does breakfast matter” we will also need to answer a few other questions before hand.
- What is your goal? (Fat loss/muscle building/sports performance)
- Based on your goal, do you know your calorie target and are you willing to track your food?
- Do you find it easy or hard to go long periods without eating food?
- Do you enjoy eating typical breakfast style foods?
- What time of day do you usually train?
- Does training fasted affect your performance?
It’s a broad topic and an open ended question which depends on a number of factors namely those listed above. A majority of clients we work with are fat loss clients and when the question asked by them to us is “does breakfast matter” the answer is “probably not”.
Skipping breakfast won’t slow your metabolism down and it won’t put your body into ‘starvation mode’ so now you know this you can be free to make your diet work around you rather than feel like you must have breakfast for other reasons.
If you eat less calories than you burn on a daily basis, you will lose weight regardless of when you eat your meals.
You can lose weight eating breakfast, and you will lose weight without eating breakfast.
You may find that skipping breakfast makes it really easy to reduce your daily calories consumed and achieve a calorie deficit.
On the other hand you may find that skipping breakfast makes you so hungry that you binge on junk food later in the day which counteracts what you are trying to achieve.
Here is a couple of practical examples:
Let’s say that you have figured out that you require 1,500 calories per day in order to create a caloric deficit and lose weight.
On day 1 you eat 3 meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and each meal is 500 calories in total.
Total calories consumed = 1,500
On day 2 you are up early for work, and in a rush you forget to have breakfast so instead you ate two meals, lunch and dinner, with each meal being 750 calories in total.
Total calories consumed= 1,500
On both days you consumed the same amount of calories, despite the fact that one day you ate breakfast and the other day you didn’t.
A poll on our private facebook group of over 100 members proves that it is purely personal preference.
With 50% eating breakfast every day, 32% sometimes eating breakfast and sometimes going without, and 18% never eating breakfast and favouring a more fasted approach.
All of the above have achieved fantastic results, creating a plan that is sustainable and works for them.
So if you are ever in doubt as to whether eating breakfast or not will affect your weight loss results, it really doesn’t matter!
Take home message– establish what you want to achieve, do what works best for you and don’t be afraid to adapt and change your approach later down the line.