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Do You Really Need to Eat Breakfast?

By Randi Morse

Growing up I remember my grandmother constantly reminding me that I needed to eat breakfast. This is especially true when I reached my teenage years and thought it was more important to get 15 extra minutes of sleep than to eat a healthy meal. School staff always seems to talk about how important that first meal of the day is. But is breakfast a meal we truly need to eat?

The Theory

The theory behind eating breakfast is that we need to start our day with calories in order to have the energy to make it through the morning. The very word "breakfast" came from the 15th century and literally means to break your fast, or to eat again after you haven't eaten in a long time. Of course, breakfast in the 15th century was vastly different than it is today. There was no coffee or sugary donuts, instead they were likely to eat leftover meat or pieces of bread and cheese from the night before. 

The Controversy

There are two schools of thoughts when it comes to the need of breakfast: it can help you gain weight or it can help you lose weight. On one hand there are those who believe that eating breakfast helps people to lose weight because it kick-starts the metabolism for the day and helps to fill your hunger, making you less likely to eat food later on. One review that was completed in 2011 reviewed 153 studies and saw that there may be a potential link between breakfast and weight loss. The problem is that the studies were fairly small.

On the other side you have those who believe that skipping breakfast can help contribute to weight loss because you're eating fewer calories. In 2019, BMJ magazine did a review of 13 studies and found that those subjects in the trials who skipped breakfast had a lower weight than those who didn't.

The Problem

The biggest problem we have with knowing whether breakfast is a vital meal is that we really don't have any great studies. The majority of the studies completed were done by companies who manufacture breakfast items. A good rule of thumb, when it comes to eating breakfast, is to make sure that whatever you eat is packed with protein and isn't just refined sugar.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fayetteville, N.C.

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