Many people still subscribe to the paradigm that cutting calories equates to weight loss. Skipping meals is an easy way for people to feel like they are cutting calories and making strides towards their goal of losing weight.

Skipping breakfast is a very typical theme to those who cut calories and don’t know how to replace them with the right kinds of food. It doesn’t matter what the excuse is; rushed for time, no food in the house, etc. I’ve heard every reason in the book! I like to be totally upfront with people and let them know the truth based on clear science.

Maybe reading the truth about the cost we pay when not eating breakfast and the gains achieved when we do will help.

Downside of skipping breakfast

The thing is – skipping breakfast can have the opposite effect; it can actually lead to weight gain.

A recent study investigated the effects of skipping breakfast versus eating a normal protein breakfast or a high protein breakfast has on 20 adolescent girls, which is a population most likely to skip breakfast on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at what they found; it is quite eye opening

Skipping breakfast led to increased feelings of hunger throughout the morning, greater amounts of food eaten at lunch and dinner, an increased consumption of high fat snacks after dinner. In addition, it led to increased activation in areas of the brain related to food-reward motivation.

What are other benefits of eating breakfast?

On the flip side; those who consumed breakfast were not as hungry throughout the morning, felt more satiated after lunch, ate smaller dinners and had decreased activity of the brain related to food-reward motivation.

Eating breakfast not only helps with weight loss, but it also increases satiety throughout the day. Over time, consuming the proper breakfast with the right kinds and amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fats may also lead to reductions in blood pressure and improvements in HDL cholesterol

Does the amount of protein in our breakfast matter?

A high protein breakfast (35 grams of protein) further improved satiety and appetite control when compared to a normal protein breakfast (13 grams of protein). Not only did it result in the consumption of fewer calories at lunch and dinner, but also eliminated the consumption of late night high-fat, calorie dense snacks.

The high protein breakfast also reduced neural activation in regions of the brain that control food motivation or food-reward behavior.

what happens when you skip breakfast_2

What does all of this mean?

Eating a high protein breakfast can prevent us from overeating later in the day. Also, this means that protein may be the key to keeping us from stuffing our faces in order to feel good.

Skipping breakfast or consuming a normal protein breakfast (e.g. ready to eat cereal) didn’t have this same effect. In fact, skipping breakfast caused an increase in activity in these areas resulting consuming calorie dense, high-fat snacks at night.

Here’s an important point to note from research: Ingesting protein affects gastrointestinal hormones, which affect areas of the brain and cause alterations in hormones controlling appetite, satiety and energy intake.

Data from research supports the role of increased dietary protein at the morning meal to provide immediate and/or sustained improvements in hormonal signals that control food intake regulation.

We know what happens when we skip breakfast and we know that eating breakfast is good, but eating a breakfast high in protein (~35 grams) is better. The positive effects include: changes in appetite and hormonal function, reducing hunger later in the day, increasing satiety and decreasing the motivation for food-reward behavior.

In addition, it leads to greater reductions in hunger stimulating hormones and greater reduces cravings for late night, high-fat foods.

What should you eat for breakfast?

Clear guidance on what you should eat for breakfast along with how to structure all your other meals of the day is a key part of Metabolic Precision online.

Knowing how to structure your workouts with the right type and amount of exercise according to your personal metabolism is key to get you off on the right path to getting the health, energy levels and body shape you desire.

Also, knowing how to eat with metabolic precision and utilize the latest research in nutrient timing to shed body fat and get lean is all part of Metabolic Precision online.

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Dr. Paul Henning


Leidy H. Beneficial effects of higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr. April 2013 vol. 97 no. 4 677-688.


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