Why eating breakfast is critical in weight management?
There is no single best strategy for weight management. Low-calorie recipes, especially low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets have been suggested as the first dietary strategy. Reducing daily calorie intake is the most important factor for weight loss. Research shows that breakfast is one of the factors that affect weight reduction.
Why breakfast plays a crucial role
Breakfast is a crucial meal of the day as it provides calories and essential nutrients after a long period of fasting during the night and can help regulate hunger while enhancing insulin sensitivity for the next meal. Studies indicate that breakfast skipping is associated with the higher energy consumption during later meals and poor food choices. Many studies found that eating more energy at breakfast was linked to improved nutrient intake, healthier food choices throughout the day, and lower total energy intake. Obtaining a higher fraction of total energy intake from breakfast is associated with a higher intake of protein, dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals and lower intakes of saturated fat and added sugar. High-calorie breakfast in combination with overnight fasting may help prevent obesity.
Consequence of skipping breakfast
Breakfast skipping is linked with poor food choices characterized by a high intake of total fat, saturated fat, and added sugar and a low intake of vitamins and minerals. Many studies reported that breakfast skipping leads to a rise in the incidence of obesity, depression, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and some cancers while eating breakfast can effectively lower obesity risk. Breakfast skipping also influenced the expression of genes related to the circadian clock and metabolism, affecting circadian hormone production and raising postprandial blood glucose.
The absence of awareness about the beneficial health effects of regular breakfast eating and limited time in the morning to prepare and eat breakfast are the main factors that lead to skipping breakfast, especially among young adults. Raising awareness about the health benefits of regular breakfast consumption can positively impact weight loss goals and prevent obesity.
The American Heart Association recommends distributing calories over a defined period of the day, consuming a greater share of the total calorie intake earlier in the day, and maintaining consistent overnight fasting periods. Eating a high-calorie breakfast and overnight fasting could have positive effects on the prevention of obesity, while intermittent fasting may help control calorie intake in people with obesity.