YMCA Healthy Living Magazine Spring 2020 - Page 19

Some people function better mentally , and are more efficient studying and at work after a satisfying breakfast .
JUHI BHAMBHANEY , APD Juhi is an Accredited Practising Dietitian working across three clinics in Sydney . She believes in helping her clients improve their health through lifestyle changes rather than restrictive diets . You can follow her on Instagram : @ dontliketodiet .


Dietitian Juhi Bhambhaney investigates the science behind this age-old argument .
Most of us will have heard throughout our lives that breakfast is the most important meal of the day . As the proverb goes , we ’ re told we should ‘ eat breakfast like a king , lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper ’. But , how does this advice really stack up when we look at the scientific evidence ? Is breakfast really a non-negotiable for someone trying to be healthy ?
Let ’ s look at the research behind breakfast and body weight
A big argument put forward for eating breakfast is that it kick starts our metabolism and helps us manage our weight . Based on 13 different studies conducted over the last 28 years , a team from Monash University in Melbourne have analysed the effect of regularly eating breakfast on weight change and daily energy intake .
The review concluded that people who skipped breakfast had a slightly lower overall daily energy ( kilojoule / calorie ) intake . Results also showed that participants who skipped breakfast weighed on average 0.4kg less that those who ate breakfast regularly . In short – the evidence did not support the theory that eating breakfast was a superior weight management strategy . Another interesting finding of the study was that despite common beliefs , skipping breakfast was not linked to people feeling hungrier in the afternoon or having a lower metabolic rate .
Let ’ s now look at the possible benefits of eating breakfast
Although the myth about breakfast and metabolism has been busted , we can still recognise plenty of positives here . Breakfast can be a great opportunity to help you meet your nutrient requirements for the day – depending of course on the choices you make . Wholegrain cereals can contribute important fibre and slow release energy . Milk on cereal or in a smoothie provides valuable calcium , protein and micronutrients . Even a small bowl of
yoghurt and fruit ticks off two core food groups . Another consideration is that some people function better mentally , and are more efficient at work after a satisfying breakfast .
Final verdict , is breakfast a must ?
The simple answer is – no . Studies do not show significant differences in the health of breakfast eaters verses those who give it a miss . If skipping breakfast and starting later with a healthy meal or snack works for you , there ’ s no need to change . But if you ’ re starving and feeling miserable in the morning just to control your weight , it really doesn ’ t stack up as a healthy or useful strategy !
At the end of the day , there ’ s no ‘ one size fits all ’ rule about eating breakfast . When It comes to good health and weight management , our long-term diet and lifestyle are much more important than what time we choose to break our fast .