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Do You Really Need to Eat Breakfast?


Wake Up WeekThis week, we’re looking at what it really means to have the “perfect” morning, whether you start your day like a Soylent-chugging Silicon Valley CEO, or by rolling out of bed and straight out the door. Rise and shine.  

What matters most in nutrition is that you eat (1) at all, (2) a reasonable amount, and (3) food that is at least healthy-ish. The exact timing of your meals is not a huge deal, and there is no galactic scoreboard on which you’ll be made to reckon with the number of times you skipped breakfast.

So the short answer is: No. You can skip breakfast and be totally fine.

As we’ve discussed before, the idea that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” was popularized by companies that sell breakfast food. Nutritionally there are some minor pros and cons. For example, eating in the daytime and especially early in the day can help your biological clock keep better track of when you should be awake; on the other hand, skipping breakfast prolongs your nighttime fast (you are literally breaking your fast, get it?) which may have some advantages for your metabolism.

So, whether you should eat breakfast depends on what it does for you. If you tend to have healthy and delicious food available at home, eat breakfast before you leave the house so you don’t end up stopping by the bakery or the vending machine when you get hungry mid-morning. Or if you work out in the mornings and prefer to do that on an empty stomach, stick with what works.



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