You might have heard the popular statement that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this may not be entirely correct (scientists are still debating it), it may not be the ‘most important’ but certainly has its benefits.
Nowadays, there are many companies and bloggers that preach that you need to skip breakfast to maintain a healthy weight, also, you might have seen a couple of your friends who live their lives without eating a proper meal in the morning seemingly doing just fine. But the question you may have is: ‘Is a proper breakfast really necessary?’.
The thing is based on research, there many arguments on both sides about the pros and cons of skipping breakfast, particularly for people who are trying to shed some weight.
In this article, we will be exploring 4 reasons why you should take breakfast.
1. Skipping Breakfast May Not Help You Lose Weight
People who have been promised that skipping breakfast may help with weight loss may be in for a big shock when the scale readings still stay up. The fact is that studies have shown that people who do not take breakfast may not shed any weight, also, if they stay physically inactive, they may even gain some weight instead of losing it.
You may be wondering how this is possible. Well, the truth is that skipping breakfast may make you take higher-calorie meals later in the day. You may make a quick semi-heavy brunch by quickly baking a small snack using your countertop oven then go ahead to cook a ‘proper lunch a few hours later. Afterall, the body needs an energy source for its daily activities. People who take meals in the morning also were found to have about the same calorie intake per day as those who do not take meals until later in the afternoon.
2. Your Hormones Need A Balance
Hormones are chemicals released by the body that act on organs or tissues that are located far from where it is released. You might have heard about one important hormone that regulates the blood sugar- insulin. Insulin with other hormones and growth factors work effectively in maintaining the amount of glucose present in the cells and bloodstream. Insulin helps the cells in our bodies take up glucose. Some studies have shown that skipping breakfast may upset this natural balance, and may cause long-term problems later on. For instance, diabetes mellitus develops if the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas drops or if the body’s cells become resistant to the presence of insulin.
3. You Might Be Less Physically Active
When you wake up in the morning, your body would have been fasting for about 10-12 hours, so, if you choose to increase this fast by an extra 4-5 hours by skipping breakfast, you may not have enough energy to carry out adequate physical exercise. It is not uncommon to find people less productive or averse to exercise, just because they feel very weak when skipping breakfast. Eating a meal in the morning can help your body have some extra calories to provide enough energy to stimulate you to run, walk briskly or even use the staircase instead of elevator when at work.
4. Your Brain Needs Some Energy
Unlike some other organs in the body that can cope with an alternative source of energy like ketones, the brain requires glucose to work effectively. So, starving yourself off breakfast may deplete the amount of glucose available for your brain, making you feel dizzy, confused and very unproductive. Low blood glucose is a common reason why people faint and sometimes die.
Skipping breakfast should not be an option if a person has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and is on medications to lower blood sugar.
Guest article by Dr. Charles-Davies, a medical doctor based in Lagos. He runs 25 Doctors, a health educational website, and also serves as an editor of 93 Treats, a food informational blog.