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Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Most of the time, you’ll hear people say breakfast is the ‘most important meal of the day’, but is that really the case? Does skipping it actually hurt your health?

Newer studies are hinting that it might not be as bad as we thought. In the 1960s, American nutritionist Adelle Davis said that in order to stay in shape and prevent obesity, one should “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”[1] As a result, breakfast gained the reputation of being the most important meal of the day.

We’re digging into breakfast to see how true this actually is.

Keep reading to find out if breakfast is the most important meal of the day below…

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Breakfast is one of the most commonly skipped meals of the day. In countries such as Greece, more people skip breakfast than eat it. Nobody skips their evening meal though, which is where you also get most of your protein. So really, your evening meal is probably the most important meal of the day.

The idea that skipping breakfast can lead to you consuming more calories during the day has been disproved several times. People who skip breakfast tend to weigh less than people who consume breakfast [2].

If you have been skipping breakfast for the last ten years and all of a sudden started eating it, you should not expect to lose weight. Unless the act of having breakfast can help you to avoid high-calorie snacks during the day.

Origins of Breakfast

You would probably not be surprised to hear that breakfast cereal is fairly modern. No Roman soldier was sitting down to a bowl of Weetabix, nor were there Coco Pops during the reign of King Henry VIII. Sure, people ate a meal to “break their fast” after waking, but that meal could be anything.

You still see this in some cultures today. In Bangladesh, for example, you are more likely to be given a curry than you are a bowl of Shreddies.

Breakfast has been historically based around what is easy to eat first thing in the morning. According to this article in the Guardian [3], eggs were commonly consumed in the morning because that is when chickens laid them.

Breakfast cereal was invented by James Caleb Jackson and John Harvey Kellogg, two Seventh Day Adventists. They did so as they believed that following a vegetarian diet and eating bland foods would help to treat unhealthy lifestyles.

Still, breakfast was not seen as particularly important. That all changed when Edward Bernays wanted to shift his bacon. Not only did he reinvent bacon as a breakfast food, but he also began to promote breakfast as the most important meal of the day.

This genius marketing trick still works to this day, with many people convinced that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Why is Breakfast Important?

Breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day, and there are no downsides to skipping it. But there’s no denying it’s importance and there are many reasons to eat breakfast, and here are some of them:

1. Increases Protein Intake

Most people get the majority of their protein through their evening meal. But studies have shown that spreading your protein out amongst three meals is actually more effective for protein synthesis [4].

2. Easier to Get Your 5 Per Day

Adding a third meal to your day will make it easier to increase the number of fruits and vegetables you consume. You could get creative and add vegetables to a breakfast omelette, or just do something as simple as cutting a banana and adding it to your cereal.

3. Improves your Morning Energy

Your energy will noticeable improve after eating breakfast and start sending signals to your body to start burning calories. While it is possible to exercise while in a fasted state, you will always see better results if you are exercising after you have had your morning meal. This can be something as simple as a protein bar and a piece of fruit, or something a little more calorific.

4. Helps you Cut Down on Snacking

Many people who skip breakfast find themselves snacking more during the day. Particularly if you need to take a late lunch and especially if you’re hit with the dreaded 3pm slump. These snacks are generally high in calories and low in nutrients but eating a good breakfast can help you to cut down on unnecessary snacking throughout the day.

How to Fit Breakfast into a Busy Schedule

One of the most common reasons why people skip breakfast is a lack of time. However, this issue can be fixed by using the following tricks:

  • Consume a simple breakfast– As we mentioned earlier, a protein bar and a piece of fruit can be considered a good breakfast. However, a diet breakfast shake or a superfood breakfast bowl takes no time to make and offer nutritional and protein value to keep you sustained for longer. Choosing options that are quick and simple are a great way to make sure breakfast stays in your routine.
  • Prepare your breakfast before bed – Many breakfast meals can be made the night before, or at least prepped. You can break the eggs and stir them if you want to make scrambled eggs. You can make overnight oats. Even just setting out your bowl and spoon on the table can save you time in the morning.
  • Find commuter friendly options – Invest in a travel bowl or mug and take your breakfast on the go with you to save time in the morning. Things like fruit muffins and pastries, a breakfast burrito or wrap, or a protein yogurt are great to eat on the go. You can even choose a meal replacement shake for more efficiency.

The Take Home on Breakfast

At the end of the day, what matters is your overall calorie intake and your overall calorie expenditure. Get this right, and you can do it in as many or as few meals as you want. Hitting your protein and fibre goals is also important.

But having breakfast has many advantages and it is well worth considering. Many people state that breakfast is their favourite meal of the day, and it could be yours too!



For more inspiration, check out some of the best Protein Breakfast Ideas to inspire your mornings. And, don’t miss out on our selection of High Protein Breakfast options right here.

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