Skipping Breakfast Causes Weight Gain
According to the Spanish Agency of Consumer Affairs, Food Security, and Nutrition, almost 30% of the population is skipping breakfast. Instead, they have a coffee when they get to work, to give one example. It’s surprising, isn’t it? Something even more troubling is that only 3% of children today are regularly eating healthy breakfasts.
Most of us – children included – generally limit ourselves to a glass of milk and a pastry. It’s sweet, rich, instantly satisfying, and gives you a little energy when you’re leaving the house. But what’s the long-term impact of that? Well, day after day, the population is becoming more obese.
Another misconception that we’re here to clear up today is the belief that to lose weight, you’re better off skipping breakfast. Today, we’re going to explain what can happen to your body if you skip the first meal of the day. Hopefully this information will help you make the right choice from now on.
Did you know that skipping breakfast can actually cause weight gain?
This might surprise you, but the justifications you generally hear from people who leave home without eating breakfast fall into the following categories:
- Lack of time
- Had a large dinner the night before
- Want to lose a few pounds
If any of these sounds familiar to you, you should understand what kinds of consequences this “fast” can have for your health.
- Starting the day without any food has a direct link to a drop in energy, poor intellectual performance, fatigue, and moodiness. Did you know that your brain needs about 20% of the total energy you consume to function normally? That’s why if you don’t get enough nutrients and vitamins you can feel sluggish and get headaches, causing you to perform poorly at work.
- People who skip breakfast often have constipation.
- Skipping breakfast causes what professionals call a “metabolic syndrome,” or a build-up of fat, usually in the abdominal area. This is mostly because when your body senses a lack of food it activates enzymes that stockpile fat. Far from losing weight, your body is actually collecting all the lipids and fats it can and storing them for later. The abdomen happens to be one of its favorite spots for that.
- Abdominal fat can lead also to higher levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. All of these can eventually cause serious heart problems.
- According to an interesting study conducted at Harvard University’s School of Public Health in Boston, men who leave the house without breakfast or only have a coffee in the morning are at a higher risk for heart attacks after several years.
Women’s Fight against Abdominal Fat
As you can see, skipping breakfast is risky. Not only does it slow down your metabolism, but by building up fat in certain parts of the body you can also develop more serious problems down the road. So, be sure to eat your breakfast!
Six tips for healthy breakfasts that won’t cause you to gain weight
1. Incorporate whole grains
Oats, for example, are one of the best healthy breakfast options out there. Having oatmeal with some slices of apple and grapes makes for a delicious alternative to skipping breakfast. Rye bread is another great choice. Some natural plum jam and fresh squeezed orange juice will turn it into one of your favorite parts of the day.
2. Try a little protein – are you surprised?
You must already know that protein is essential for building muscle mass. What good is losing weight if your skin hangs off your bones? A healthy breakfast should include some kind of protein, like a hard-boiled egg. It can be absolutely delicious drizzled with a little olive oil. You could also make a simple spinach omelet.
You might like:
3. Milk, tea, or coffee?
We usually recommend having plant-based milks made from almonds, oats, rice, or other nuts. They’re lactose free for the intolerant and also provide lots of energy. They also work great as creamers for your coffee, or even for your green tea. You can’t go wrong with them.
4. Eat some fruit
Do you want to know which fruit is the best for breakfast? Whichever fruit you like the best. It could be green apples, pears, kiwis and strawberries, sliced papaya, or pineapple. Ideally, you should be eating fruits that are fresh. If you’re wondering if you can have fruit juices instead, remember that juices almost always have added sugar. So, it’s better to eat a piece of the raw fruit with its skin or peel.
5. Don’t forget the nuts!
You can eat a handful of nuts every day – you can add them to just about anything, and they give you an excellent dose of magnesium and healthy fatty acids like omega-3.
6. Say “yes” to probiotics
One of the best choices is plain Greek yogurt with no added sugar. It gets your metabolism going and also replenishes the healthy intestinal bacteria that help your digestion.
So now you know… never leave home without breakfast!
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad alimentaria y Nutrición. (2018). Expertos en nutrición y gastronomía presentan el informe ‘Estado de situación sobre el desayuno en España’. Disponible en: https://www.aesan.gob.es/AECOSAN/web/noticias_y_actualizaciones/noticias/2018/dia_nacional_desayuno.htm
- Ballesteros Arribas, Juan Manuel, et al. (2007).La estrategia para la nutrición, actividad física y prevención de la obesidad: estrategia NAOS. Revista Española de Salud Pública 81: 443-449. Disponible en: https://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1135-57272007000500002
- Barbera-Saz, C., Bargues-Navarro, G., Bisio-González, M., et al. (2020). El ayuno intermitente: ¿la panacea de la alimentación? Actualización en Nutrición, 21(1), 25-32. Disponible en: https://pesquisa.bvsalud.org/portal/resource/pt/biblio-1282196
- Better Health Chanel. (n.d.). Breakfast. Victoria State Government Department of Health. Disponible en: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breakfast
- Chen, J., Cheng, J., Liu, Y., Tang, Y., Sun, X., Wang, T., Xiao, Y., Li, F., Xiang, L., Jiang, P., Wu, S., Wu, L., Luo, R., & Zhao, X. (2014). Associations between breakfast eating habits and health-promoting lifestyle, suboptimal health status in Southern China: a population based, cross sectional study. Journal of Translational Medicine, 12(1), 348. Disponible en: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-014-0348-1
- Fanelli S, Walls C, et al. (2021). Skipping breakfast is associated with nutrient gaps and poorer diet quality among adults in the United States. Proceedings of the Nutriton Society. Disponible en: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society/article/skipping-breakfast-is-associated-with-nutrient-gaps-and-poorer-diet-quality-among-adults-in-the-united-states/C7943690D97E913FA19B936BFBDB0F2A
- Guevara R, Urchaga J.D, et al. (2020). The quality of breakfast and healthy diet in school-aged adolescents and their association with BMI, weight loss dietas and the practice of physical activity. Nutrients. 12 (8): 2994. Disponible en: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7469001/
- Karlen, G., et al. (2011). Consumo de desayuno en estudiantes universitarios: hábito, calidad nutricional y su relación con el índice de masa corporal. Diaeta 29.137: 23-30 Disponible en: http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_abstract&pid=S1852-73372011000400003
- Li Zh, Xu L, et al. (2021). Effects of regular breakfast habits on metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Medicine. 100 (44): e27629. Disponible en: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568444/
- Londre R. (2022). Intermitent fasting: fad or valid intermittent weight loss solution? Mayo Clinic. Disponible en: https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/intermittent-fasting-fad-or-solution
- López-Sobaler, A. M., Cuadrado-Soto, E., Peral-Suárez, Á., Aparicio, A., Ortega, R. M., López-Sobaler, A. M., & Ortega, R. M. (2018). Importancia del desayuno en la mejora nutricional y sanitaria de la población. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 35. Disponible en https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3104/0f96d81b8cb0465bb359158ebcacf80f76bf.pdf
- Romero, Nicolás. (2020). Comer bien para bien estar. Disponible en: https://planetadelibrospe0.cdnstatics.com/libros_contenido_extra/43/42619_ComerBienParaEstarBien.pdf
- Segovia, MJ Galiano, and JM Moreno Villares. (2010). El desayuno en la infancia: más que una buena costumbre/Breakfast in childhood: more than good manners. Acta pediátrica española 68.8: 403. Disponible en: https://www.actapediatrica.com/index.php/secciones/nutricion-infantil/170-el-desayuno-en-la-infancia-m%C3%A1s-que-una-buena-costumbre#.Y_4-unbMJEY
Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
- Spence Ch. (2017). Breakfast: the most important meal of the day? International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science. 8: 1-6. Disponible en: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X17300045
- WHO. (2016). Noncommunicable diseases: Risk factors. Documento en línea. URL disponible en: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/topics/topic-details/GHO/ncd-risk-factors
- Whycherley Th, Moran L, et al. (2012). Effects of energy-restricted high-protein, low-fat compared with standard-protein, low-fat dieta: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 96 (6): 1281-98. Disponible en: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23097268/