Why It's Okay to Skip Breakfast

Alaysha Germosen

Article Summary

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ is what we have always heard, however, Pernille Jensen, naturopath and clinical nutritionist, states that skipping breakfast could be the answer to burning fat according to an article on The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2014.) Jensen’s article blog states that there is no evidence linking eating breakfast and weight loss. It really depends on if you are hungry in the morning. Jensen states that many of us are not hungry in the morning due to our circadian system which regulates hunger and appetite.


Jensen also breaks down the myth that eating small frequent meals throughout the day helps us lose weight. She affirms that eating frequent small meals prevents the body from burning fat. Her approach is to teach our bodies to become a fat burning machine by re-educating our bodies to go long enough without eating, forcing the body to use fat as fuel as opposed to glycogen.

Jensen claims that one of the benefits to skipping breakfast is burning more fat by what she calls intermittent fasting. Her logic is that if you skip breakfast and extend the fasting period beyond the typical eight to ten hours (avg. normal sleep cycle), you may increase insulin even more, thus burning more fat. Jensen does claim that her approach is not extreme and she only does this about three times a week because the study on this topic is still in the early stages.

Article Critique

This article fails to state the benefits of eating breakfast. One benefit is a much needed energy boost in the morning. A breakfast rich in vitamins and fiber can help increase energy levels. Another benefit to eating breakfast is focus. It is easier to focus on school work or work if one is not constantly thinking about food. This is one of the main reasons most schools provide breakfast even to those who can’t afford it. Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast before school tend to focus and do better in school (Wesnes KA,et al. Appetite. 2003).


Jensen failed to mention the consequences associating with fasting. Fasting can have many consequences such as wasting of lean tissues, impairment of disease resistance, lowering body temperature, and fluid and electrolyte imbalance (Debruyne, 2014, p. 144). When making any dietary and lifestyle changes it is important to speak to your physician as everyones’ nutritional needs are different based on weight, BMI, and health issues.


Although I do believe Jensen has made some valid points, the Huffington Post is mainly a mainstream blog for news and not a creator of original news. I would not take this article to have much medical or scientific validity as the popular press, in regards to media coverage, tend to leap to publicize the latest "study" or fad. Nowadays, people tend to follow diets just because it's what "in." There are many factors to take into account before starting any new diet such as age and medical history. When it comes to our health, we have to be very careful and we can not stress enough the importance of speaking with your physician before making any lifestyle changes.

References

Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the ... (2003). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14637332


DeBruyne, L., & Pinna, K. (2014). Nutrition for Health and Health Care (5th ed., p. 144). Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.