Breakfast has been touted as a pillar of a healthy diet and is an important part of the Isagenix System, especially in the form of a nutritious, protein-rich Whole Blend IsaLean® Shake.
More and more individuals report skipping breakfast on a regular basis (1). This may be due to multiple factors, such as time constraints in the morning, lack of appetite, and sleeping in a little too late. However, many consciously choose to skip this meal because of the recent scrutiny breakfast has come under in the media. For example, some reports have not shown strong evidence that breakfast is useful for weight loss (2, 3).
Is breakfast worth the calories?
When assessing scientific literature, it is useful to look at many studies rather than just a few. In a recent review, nutrition researchers did just that by conducting a comprehensive examination of clinical trials that tested whether breakfast consumption improves appetite, fullness, and energy expenditure compared with skipping breakfast (4).
The researchers found that approximately 70% of these studies reported significantly less hunger and increased fullness with breakfast consumption versus skipping breakfast (4). There were also positive changes in hormones involved in appetite control after a meal.
Further examination of the calories and nutrient content indicated that breakfast meals containing a moderate amount of energy and protein not only supported healthier appetite and satiety responses but also promoted greater energy expenditure (“calories burned”) compared to skipping breakfast.
How breakfast affects appetite, metabolism, and sleep
There are many reasons why eating breakfast may better serve your appetite control and metabolism. One is nutrient timing, which is an established moderator of circadian systems in the body. These systems are a complex of rhythms that promote synchrony of biological processes (5).
Changes in circadian rhythm from something like meal skipping may affect the regulation of metabolism, eating behavior, weight management, and sleep (6). Because breakfast is known to have positive regulatory effects on metabolism, it is plausible that breakfast consumption may positively affect these systems.
Eating breakfast may be especially important for sleep. Many breakfast skippers have poor sleep and snack more throughout the day compared to those who eat breakfast (7). In fact, breakfast consumption may indirectly aid sleep health by reducing snacking later in the afternoon and evening instead of when breakfast is skipped (4). This phenomenon is particularly seen when participants consume a protein-rich breakfast (8).
The bottom line is that breakfast is important, and we recommend you enjoy breakfast on Shake Days. While skipping breakfast might cause you to eat less in the short term, over time, it can negatively affect sleep, increase hunger, and promote unnecessary snacking.
- Drewnowski A, Rehm CD, Vieux F. Breakfast in the United States: Food and Nutrient Intakes in Relation to Diet Quality in National Health and Examination Survey 2011-2014. A Study from the International Breakfast Research Initiative. Nutrients. 2018 Sep 1;10(9):1200.
- Leidy HJ, Gwin JA, Roenfeldt CA, Zino AZ, Shafer RS. Evaluating the Intervention-Based Evidence Surrounding the Causal Role of Breakfast on Markers of Weight Management, with Specific Focus on Breakfast Composition and Size. Adv Nutr. 2016 May 16;7(3):563S-75S.
- Brown AW, Bohan Brown MM, Allison DB. Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity to show 2 practices that distort scientific evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1298-308.
- Gwin JA, Leidy HJ. A Review of the Evidence Surrounding the Effects of Breakfast Consumption on Mechanisms of Weight Management. Adv Nutr. 2018 Nov 1;9(6):717-725.
- Vitaterna MH, Takahashi JS, Turek FW. Overview of circadian rhythms. Alcohol Res Health. 2001;25(2):85-93.
- Asher G, Sassone-Corsi P. Time for food: the intimate interplay between nutrition, metabolism, and the circadian clock. Cell. 2015 Mar 26;161(1):84-92.
- Kant AK, Graubard BI. Association of self-reported sleep duration with eating behaviors of American adults: NHANES 2005-2010. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;100(3):938-47.
- Gwin JA, Leidy HJ. Breakfast Consumption Augments Appetite, Eating Behavior, and Exploratory Markers of Sleep Quality Compared with Skipping Breakfast in Healthy Young Adults. Curr Dev Nutr. 2018 Aug 28;2(11):nzy074.