That’s the number of people who skip breakfast AT LEAST once per week.
12% of people admit to NEVER eating breakfast.
There’s probably only 12 days in my entire life that I’ve skipped breakfast.
I grew up in the era of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”
But in the last decade or so, that feeling is not so mutual.
I believe there are 3 primary reasons our society has turned to skipping or skimping on breakfast.
Take a look at the pace of life over the last century…
We live a MUCH faster paced lifestyle now.
Workdays start earlier.
Commutes are longer.
We work longer days and at a higher frequency.
And all of that has led to an added pressure to hurry off in the morning and get on with our day.
That doesn’t even include the added family and social commitments that have left the majority of the population downright exhausted.
So, in order to avoid sacrificing our work, family, or social lives, we give up things in our personal lives.
Sleep, time alone, and MEALS!
And breakfast, that’s one of the first to go.
#2 Fat Loss
The second biggest reason our culture has decided to pass on breakfast relates to fat loss.
Breakfast foods have been RIPPED on for containing processed carbs, heavy trans fats, and A LOT of calories.
Once intermittent fasting came onto the scene, breakfast really earned a bad reputation.
It was like all of a sudden skipping or skimping on breakfast was THE SECRET to fat loss.
The only problem is that it doesn’t matter when or where you eat the calories, if you’re not eating in a caloric deficit overall you CANNOT lose body fat.
The last killer for breakfast was flat out confusion.
Do I eat this? Should I eat that?
Is this healthy? Is that?
You’d read one magazine in the check-out line that said breakfast was BAD, then go home and scroll the internet to find breakfast is GOOD.
As a result, traditional to human form, people let the confusion get the best of them and just ignore it all together…
So where do you fall?
Since you’re reading this, my guess is that you’re not entirely sold on breakfast…
Which is why I want to fill you on the benefits of breakfast.
5 Benefits of Breakfast
Prevents Midday & Evening Cravings
Do your cravings sabotage your fat loss results?
If yes, a high-quality breakfast might be the reason those cravings continue to plague you.
Cravings primarily surface as a result of a shortage in vitamins and minerals.
The goal of a breakfast is to fill you with vitamins and minerals used in the day prior or burned in the day to come.
Not only are you going to physically and mentally suffer, but your cravings are a KILLER!
Fuels You for the Day (Physically & Mentally)
The word ‘Breakfast’ quite literally means to break your fast, and when any time you break a fast, your body needs to be refueled.
Physically, your muscles are running on stored fuels, but depending on when you last ate, your stores could be VERY close to empty.
The longer you wait and the more active you are early in the day (traditional to most Americans), the more likely you are to feel physically fatigued, shaky, and weak.
Then, you must consider the requirements for mental fuel.
Several studies in both children and adults suggest a high-quality breakfast to improve memory, alertness, concentration, and mood.
Skipping on breakfast pushes your brain into conservation mode, which means your brain slows down a number of processes in an attempt to conserve energy.
Prevents Overeating Later in the Day
Now, research doesn’t GUARANTEE this, but it does suggest it to help.
When individuals feel hungry and underfed, decision-making abilities are limited.
In those situations, you are MUCH more likely to look for something fast, easy, and low-quality.
In Michael Pollan’s Food Rules book he suggests individuals eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
Pollan suggests this helps to fill and fuel you for your day and prevent large influxes in hunger later in the day.
Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
If you’re diabetic, you know ALL ABOUT blood sugar levels, but they aren’t the only ones who should pay close attention to blood sugar levels.
Dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels impact your energy levels, mental focus, clarity, mood, anxiety levels, and MORE.
Now, diabetics play close attention to their blood sugar levels to avoid some serious health crises, but low blood sugar in the general population is no joke. It can lead to extreme fatigue, shakiness, irritability, and in the worst-case scenarios, seizures.
Encourages a Healthy Weight & Body
Look, facts are facts and research has been found showing that regular breakfast skippers are at a greater risk for obesity and weight gain when compared to individuals who regularly eat breakfast.
It is interesting to note that research has NOT found breakfast skippers to overeat at lunch or dinner. In fact, these individuals were found to consume an average of 408 calories LESS per day; however, the hunger that came as a result of skipping breakfast led to lower food quality choices later in the day.
Hopefully at this point you understand just how important breakfast is…
However, just because you understand the importance doesn’t mean you know HOW to build a better breakfast.
Everyone’s day is uniquely structured, so are goals, lifestyles, and desires, but here are my general recommendations for breakfast.
5 Must Have’s for Breakfast
20-25g of Protein
That’s 4 to 6 ounces or ½ to 2/3 cup of a protein source.
My best recommendations include
- Eggs and Egg Whites
- Ground Turkey or Beef
- Chicken or Turkey Breast
- Protein Powder
This serving of protein fills your body up with amino acids as well as serving as a satiating food source to stave off hunger later in the day.
1 Minimally Processed Carb Source
The majority of breakfast foods out there are HIGH in carbohydrates – very, very processed carbohydrates.
I recommend 1 source of minimally processed carbs in your breakfast to provide fuel for your body and mind throughout the day.
My top recommended sources include:
- Fruits (Specifically Berries)
- Potatoes (White or Sweet)
- Whole Wheat Grains
8-10g of Fats
Outside of being HIGH in processed carbs, standard breakfast foods are HIGH in fats.
Unfortunately, not good fats, but trans fats.
I suggest including a quality source of fat to aid in satiation, provide a long-standing fuel source, and add some flavor to your breakfast.
Here are some food sources I suggest you consider:
- Egg Yolks
- Nuts or Nut Butters
- Oils (Avocado, Olive, and Coconut)
- Full Fat Yogurt
16 Oz. Water
This one is big.
Too many people go through the day dehydrated, which influences hunger levels, cravings, and mental focus.
The problem is that people are worried about needing to go to the bathroom during their day, so they try to restrict water.
DRINK THE WATER!
Especially early on in the day!
Get it in your system with the opportunity to get it out before you settle in for your busy day.
Personally, I recommend you drink 8 ounces before eating breakfast and 8 ounces at the conclusion of breakfast.
Last, but certainly not least.
EAT. ENOUGH. FOOD.
The goal with breakfast is to break the overnight fast.
Look, if you overeat or eat at maintenance, when you take in those calories doesn’t matter, you WILL gain weight.
Whenever you break your fast, make it a good quality meal with enough food.
Remember all those benefits from the section above?
Yea, all of those are possible when you eat EAT ENOUGH food at breakfast!
About The Author
Jordan Davies is the Co-Owner of Complete Performance. Jordan has her B.S. in Exercise Science and Psychology, and her M.A. in Holistic Health Studies. She is a CSCS certified strength and conditioning coach, and a PN-1 and NCI-1 certified nutrition coach. She loves to study how the human body needs to be moved and nourished and making that fit to your unique lifestyle. Click Here Now to Apply for Coaching with Jordan.