Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

The single most frequent question that I get asked in clinics is:

“should I be eating breakfast?”

We’ve all heard the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And the importance of eating breakfast has been strongly impressed on us.

But in reality, it’s just another food rule that may work for some and not for others.

And as always with nutrition, there is not a clear cut answer.

So should you eat breakfast?

Are you hungry?
Then yes. Eat breakfast.

If you don’t eat breakfast, do you:
get hangry,
feel irritable,
have difficulty focusing or performing at work/school etc, feel fatigued,
get super hungry later? meaning by ten am you are rushing to the nearest canteen or vending machine to shove as much of whatever you can get your hands on in your mouth as fast as possible?
If you answered yes to any of these:
Then yes. Eat breakfast.

Are you skipping breakfast to be “good”, follow a diet plan or to try and lose weight? And you would actually be happier if you ate some food first thing?
Then yes. Eat breakfast.

If you are not hungry in the morning, don’t feel like eating straight away, find that skipping breakfast and eating a larger lunch, or having a breakfast meal later in the day works well for you.
Then don’t eat breakfast.

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