Here is Why You Should Never Skip Breakfast

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper

Photo from Rachel Park on Unsplash


Break + Fast = Breakfast

It’s literally in the name. You eat breakfast to break your fast that you had while you were sleeping. The average person sleeps around 7 hours so when you wake up, the body and the brain are literally starving for food and energy.

Here is what happens when you skip breakfast:

Your body doesn’t get the essential nutrition it needs.

It increases the risk of many diseases.

Cortisol levels remain high which puts the body in stress mode.

Your body doesn’t get the essential nutrition it needs.

When you wake up in the morning, blood sugar level is low due to the overnight fast of usually 7 hours or more.

Because of this, the brain and the body are hungry for food, glucose, and energy when you wake up. By skipping breakfast, you deprive your body and brain of essential nutrients, energy, and glucose that they need to function at their peak level.

Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism and if this fasting goes for too long, then your body begins to store as many calories as it can to prepare for starvation. This can lead to fat and weight gain. When your metabolism lowers, the body starts using the glucose stored in your muscles which can waste away your muscles and cause fatigue.

If breakfast is not eaten, then the low blood sugar affects the brain’s ability to carry out tasks such as concentration and decision-making. The brain functions almost entirely on glucose and since the brain has no fuel stores, it requires a continuous supply of glucose. Skipping breakfast especially before major exams where the brain is used extensively can result in lower performance on these tests.

Breakfast replenishes and resupplies energy and nutrients to the body which the body can then use to successfully navigate through the day. Breakfast is a must if you want to be on your highest performance and activity level.

Let me give an example.

Not eating breakfast is equivalent to a marathon runner running with his right leg chained to a bowling ball. It’s very hard for the body to support all the body systems and internal organs without energy. That energy comes from the breakdown of food and if there is no healthy food to start the day, then you will be fatigued, tired, and unable to perform strenuous activities.

It increases the risk of many diseases.

Type 2 Diabetes:

It increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. A research study that looked at 96,000 people from 6 separate studies found that skipping breakfast 4 or 5 times per week raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by 55%.

Through the night as you are asleep, the body releases hormones such as cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine that increase your blood sugar. That is why you have a slight rise in morning blood sugar levels. By eating breakfast, the body is able to stabilize these blood sugar levels along with insulin.

Heart Disease:

It increases the risk of heart disease. A US study that looked at the breakfast habits of more than 6,500 adults aged around 50 found that skipping breakfast raises the risk of heart disease by 87%. When people skip breakfast, insulin sensitivity (how sensitive the body is to insulin) goes down.

A high insulin sensitivity level is beneficial for the body and when it goes down, blood sugar levels go up which increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, people who skip breakfast are more likely to have plaque buildup in their arterial walls which increases the risk of a heart attack.

Mental Health:

It affects your mood and mental health. A study found that adults who regularly skip breakfast have a higher likelihood of getting a mood disorder. Not only that, but it also increases the risk of depression. A South Korean study showed that skipping breakfast increases the risk of depression by 43%.

Cortisol levels remain high which puts the body in stress mode.

Naturally when we wake up, our cortisol levels are at its highest. These levels rise during the early morning hours and then fall throughout the day. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps produce the fight-or-flight response. It is also involved in controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism, decreasing inflammation, etc.

When the adrenal glands release cortisol into the bloodstream, a huge stream of glucose suddenly gets released which supplies energy to the various muscles. Cortisol also has the additional effect of inhibiting insulin production so the glucose can be available for additional use. Remember that cortisol is a stress hormone and so when it gets released, this primes the body to always be ready to fight or flight so this results in a high glucose level.

However, having a high cortisol level can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, weak muscles, diabetes, etc.

A high cortisol level can:

  • It narrows the arteries while epinephrine increases the heart rate which forces the heart to work harder than normal.
  • It can cause unintended weight gain as the cells require energy due to the ongoing stress.
  • It can weaken the immune system which would make your body more susceptible to illnesses and diseases.
  • It can cause plaque buildup which contributes to the formation of atherosclerosis.

If cortisol levels remain too high, this also has the effect of keeping the body in stress mode. We all know that stress is not good and due to these high cortisol levels, the body systems and organs will be in stress and this can significantly affect one’s health.

Eating breakfast helps the body bring down these cortisol levels. By bringing these levels down, the body gets a chance to relax and support itself. Some people naturally have high cortisol levels. Because of this, they shouldn’t skip breakfast as that only makes the problem worse.

What should I eat for breakfast?

You should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. This means that breakfast should be a big & healthy meal that satisfies you for so many hours.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the core of a healthy breakfast includes:

  • Lean protein
  • Low-fat diary
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables

Even though you may or may not consume all of this in your breakfast, it is essential to eat a breakfast that is healthy and satisfying. Eating a healthy breakfast supplies your body with the necessary power to progress through the day.

Examples of an healthy breakfast are:

  • Oatmeal with almonds or cranberries
  • Whole-wheat sandwich with meat, tomatoes, & cucumbers
  • French toast with avocado and eggs

Next time you wake up in the morning, make sure you consume a healthy breakfast.

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Samir S.

Samir S.

Writing to Inform, Educate, & Teach | Obsessed with Health & Wellness |