Is Skipping Breakfast Good for Weight Loss?

Bust your myths about breakfast to lose weight faster

skipping breakfast for weight loss
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You've probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why are many smart dieters are skipping breakfast for faster weight loss? So should you eat a morning meal to lose weight or should you skip breakfast to slim down? The answer depends on you.

Why You May Not Want to Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast in the morning might mean that you miss out on some important weight loss benefits.

Researchers have found that people who lose weight and keep it off are generally those people who eat a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast might help you lose weight in a few different ways. 

  • Eating a calorie-controlled breakfast can help to curb late morning cravings. These cravings may lead to unhealthy food binges when the only food available is high-calorie junk food from vending machines or fast food restaurants.​
  • Eating a modest breakfast and small meals throughout the day can help to reinforce portion control. If you stay satisfied throughout the day, you reduce the chances that you'll overeat later at lunch or dinner to make up for a lack of calories.​
  • Eating a healthy breakfast with lean protein and diet-friendly whole grains will help you to feel full and comfortable throughout the day.​
  • Eating breakfast may improve performance during morning or early afternoon workouts.

For these reasons, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that you divide your total daily food intake into four or five meals or snacks per day including breakfast.

They do not, however, take the position that breakfast is necessarily more important than any other meal in the day.

When Skipping Breakfast Works for Weight Loss

Eating breakfast can be good for your diet. But the morning meal doesn't cause weight loss. So for some people, skipping breakfast works better.

Skipping breakfast allows you to save your calories for later in the day. For some dieters, this means that they consume fewer calories throughout the day and lose weight faster.

So does skipping breakfast affect your metabolism? Probably not. Some weight loss experts used to say that skipping breakfast can cause your metabolism to slow down. But that myth has been busted. Several studies have shown that skipping breakfast has no effect on the total number of calories you burn throughout the day

Is Skipping Breakfast Better for Weight Loss?

So should you wake up to a morning meal or should you skip breakfast to slim down? The answer depends on your lifestyle and your preferences.

If you skip breakfast and find yourself at the vending machine eating junk food later in the morning, then eating breakfast might be best for you. But if you're trying to cut calories to lose weight and breakfast isn't important to you, then skipping breakfast might work. You may be able to eat a healthy protein-rich snack and stay satisfied until lunch.

Whichever method you choose, it's important to keep your expectations in check. If you eat breakfast to lose weight, then you need to monitor portion sizes and keep your breakfast calorie count in check. And if you skip breakfast to lose weight, you can't overeat at lunch or dinner time to compensate. In the end, it's the total number of calories you consume that matters -not the meal in which they are consumed. 


David J. Clayton, David J. Stensel, Lewis J. James" Effect of breakfast omission on subjective appetite, metabolism, acylated ghrelin and GLP-17-36 during rest and exercise Journal of Nutrition July 11, 2015.

McCrory MA, Campbell WW. " Effects of eating frequency, snacking, and breakfast skipping on energy regulation: symposium overview." Journal of Nutrition, January 14, 2011.

American Dietetic Association. " Position of the American Dietetic Association: Weight Management." February 2009.

Paul M La Bounty, Bill I Campbell, et al. " International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: meal frequency." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition March 16, 2011.

Lecture: Nutrition and Exercise. Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D.. November 3, 2012. Woodwinds Medical Center, Woodbury, MN

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