Here's What Happens When You Skip Breakfast Every Day

For years we've been told, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." According to Day Two, the phrase was originally coined by James Caleb Jackson and John Harvey Kellogg — a pair of Seventh Day Adventists in the 19th century using the tagline to try to sell their homemade breakfast cereal. That's not exactly the most scientific backing, so does that age-old adage even truly stack up? Scientifically speaking, the benefits of breakfast have been largely debated, with some saying the meal is incredibly beneficial (via WebMD) and others touting completely skipping it (per Ultimate Performance). With so many differing opinions, it's hard to know exactly what to follow.

Intermittent fasting, for example, encourages followers to eat during certain time windows only, restricting the cadence of meals and snacks to an 8-hour period (such as 12-8 p.m.), explains Healthline. For those following that advice, that would mean skipping straight to lunch. On the flipside, Livestrong highlights the Big Breakfast Diet, noting the creators of the plan based it on research that said that a high-calorie breakfast and lighter later meals could be the impetus for a metabolism boost and, therefore, may help further weight loss. So what does actually happen if you decide to skip that first meal of the day?

Is it really worth it to skip breakfast every day?

Aside from the obvious possible hunger pangs that may come from delaying eating until midday, there may also be some metabolic disadvantages from missing that morning scramble. According to a study highlighted by Time and published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, skipping breakfast led some of participants' bodies to break "down more of their stored fat reserves," which may seem great, but actually "suggests an impairment in metabolic flexibility and the body's ability to switch between burning fat and carbohydrates." All of this to say, skipping breakfast may cause future problems if done so regularly, such as long-term issues with glucose levels. Researchers in this study do note that the parameters may not have been enough to completely rule out skipping the meal as the results may have been influenced by other factors, such as the timing of blood tests done on participants.

However, according to Future Fit Training, there are other common side effects of missing the morning meal. Per their research, other issues that have been found to be a result of skipping breakfast include drops in blood sugar, increases in stress hormone levels, and "an increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol." When it's all laid out like this, it really begs the question, why take the risk? Maybe just enjoy that omelette instead.