Does the widespread saying: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” hold any truth?

The belief that breakfast is the most important meal is now so ingrained into modern culture that, like most nutritional beliefs, we never question if this is accurate or how it came into existence.


The word breakfast simply means breaking the fast from the last meal the evening before, perhaps with a 10 or 12-hour gap. From this definition we are really talking about time of the first meal, whenever that happens.


Fact and Fiction


It is crucial to understand how this modern belief came into existence. It turns out it was a slogan coined by Seventh Day Adventists James Caleb Jackson and John Harvey Kellogg in the mid-19th century, and if the latter name sounds familiar, it is because the two men were selling their newly developed breakfast cereal foodstuffs. So, no science, just the food industry making money.


The modern-day concept of breakfast is misguided. Professor Terence Kealey states: “Humans did not naturally eat in the morning. As a result, our body provides a spike in blood sugar to cope with the natural fast we have. So, if we eat breakfast, which in the West is usually full of carbs (i.e. sugar) and other foods of low nutritional value, then our blood sugar levels rocket up, which also increases our insulin resistance, eventually leading to fat gain and type 2 diabetes”.


The promoters of Intermittent Fasting rationalize that eating breakfast increases your hunger throughout the day and makes it more likely for you to eat more calories throughout the whole day. Other analysts have stated that many of the studies which try to prove that breakfast is good for us are flawed for two reasons; first, they are nearly always funded by Kellogg’s or similar, and second, they are based on correlation not causation.


Right Place, Right Time


Here at Body Expert Systems we believe that no one meal is more important than another. However, how you start your day is extremely important, as this sets your body and auto-regulatory system up to either burn fat or store fat. The time of eating really is all about body composition and how you feel. Health can be taken care of by simply giving the body all the vitamins and minerals it needs regardless of the time you consume them.


Therefore, calories are not important in the morning for optimal health and ideal body composition. For us it is a focus on nutrients in particular vitamins, minerals and water. With this in mind, conventional breakfasts are absolutely terrible for us.


Whether you eat breakfast or not, you must hydrate and provide the nutrients your body requires. Our body holds stored energy, in the form of fat; why not use that in the morning to fuel activity? Provide your system the essentials it needs to thrive (water, vitamins and minerals) to break the fast (breakfast) and then feed yourself the best type of calories once you’ve been moving around for a little bit.


How you set up your day should be a result of what you want to achieve and your personal preferences, but ideal health comes down to more than whether you have breakfast or not. It is clear that the conventional concept of breakfast is not based on science and that our biology and evolution suggests there are better routines and many more options when considering both a healthy and fat-loss start to the day.


Phil is founder and master trainer at Body Expert Systems. Contact him on 0934 782763, at his website or through Star Fitness (

Phil Kelly

Phil is an avid sportsman and loves most things fitness. With the final realisation that he would not be an All Black, he turned his full focus to studying the human body in regard to improving movement and posture, developing strength, function and performance, as well as scrutinising the conventional wisdom of nutrition for fat loss and performance. He loves challenging the 'norm' and is dedicated to the prosperity and health of his clients and the community. He has a mission to educate and empower people to "be all they can be" by providing accurate, research proven and industry leading information. 


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