You've probably been hearing it since you were a child: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is it really? Most of us have just accepted this piece of information as being "true" without putting any thought into why
this is even the case! Fortunately, there is research available to us that might just shed a little light on the subject.
A new study from the University of Bath in England, examined the way eating breakfast impacted the weight and activity levels of obese adults. Those assigned to the breakfast eating group were instructed to consume 700 calories by 11 a.m. The fasting group were allowed only water until noon. The researchers found that eating breakfast boosted overall activity levels during the course of the day. This means, if you are hoping to squeeze a workout into your day (like one from the over 115 hours of workouts available on SweatFlix℠
), you might want to eat breakfast.
But, if you are gnoshing in the morning in an effort to lose weight, you may be out of luck. The breakfast eaters in the study were more active but they did not lose any weight and ended up eating more calories than the fasting participants. "You do eat a little more at later meals if you haven't had breakfast, but it's not enough to make up for all the calories you 'missed' at breakfast time," says James Betts, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study. "The net effect is that people skipping breakfast end up consuming fewer calories—and nutrients!—than those who have breakfast."
This study served as a follow up to a 2014 study with the same design that tracked lean adults. The findings in both studies were the same. Breakfast lead to a boost in activity levels but did little for weight loss.
[bctt tweet="The Upside (And Downside) To Eating Breakfast"]
Whether or not this comes as good news to you depends, of course, on your fitness goals. If you are looking to lose a couple pounds, eating breakfast may not be the miracle solution it is held up to be -- despite its metabolism boosting claims. But, if you are trying to change your lifestyle and increase your activity levels, breakfast is about to become your favourite meal of the day.
But, before you go out into the world declaring breakfast to be your curse or your savior, you need to know this one thing about the study: the adults in the breakfast eating group were given the freedom to eat whatever they wanted as long as it fit 700 calories. 700 calories from sugary cereal or a donut are not the same as 700 calories from an omelet and some fruit. Obviously eating a sugary and junky breakfast will impact your weight differently than eating a nutrient dense, healthier option.
Turns out skipping breakfast may not be the worst thing you do all day -- unless you want to maintain or increase your activity level. When you do choose to eat breakfast, make sure you are eating a nutritious, balanced meal that contains things like whole grains and a hefty dose of protein. If you get a little confused each time you think about balancing your diet, or if you'd just rather not spend a bunch of time thinking about your meals, the BodyRock Meal Plans are perfect for you! By following the BodyRock Meal Plan, you will gain the foundation required for building a balanced, healthy diet for years to come. The Meal Plan covers everyone from meat eaters to vegans and takes virtually all the guess work out of meal prep. We provide you with a weekly grocery list so all you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow along! We are talking 30 days worth of real, whole, exciting, flavorful meals and snacks, that will satisfy your taste buds! What are you waiting for? Get your Meal Plan here
Where do you stand on the great breakfast debate?