8 Reasons Skipping Breakfast Can Do More Harm Than Good

Breakfast, often hailed as the most important meal of the day, is less practiced in the United States than one would think. Statistics from 2022 show an interesting trend: Only 35% of respondents in the United States eat breakfast daily. Even more surprising was that 12% say they eat breakfast only a few times a month, and 6% don’t eat breakfast at all.

It appears that breakfast isn’t a priority for many Americans, with the decline mostly among adults and students.

The reasons why Americans skip breakfast vary. Some of the most common responses include:

  • Not enough time to make or eat breakfast
  • Don’t like breakfast foods
  • Don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning
  • Don’t have the energy to make breakfast
  • Worried about weight gain
  • Think fasting is beneficial for their health and body

Though it may seem harmless, over time, skipping breakfast can have consequences, and many can be impactful.

Here are 8 reasons why skipping breakfast can do more harm than good. This post was sponsored by Naked Nutrition. 

1. Not Eating Enough Protein

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Breakfast is the first meal of the day during which you can consume protein. Protein is needed to build and repair the body’s bones and muscles and provide energy. Eating sufficient protein daily helps curb snacking, which is essential for those concerned about their weight. Over time, failure to eat enough protein will result in the loss of muscle mass, reducing strength and causing fatigue. It can also lead to anemia due to iron deficiency. 

The recommended daily protein intake for an average sedentary person is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, based on this calculation, a person weighing 165 pounds should consume 60 grams of protein a day.

2. The Afternoon Slump

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Perhaps the most common result is the afternoon “slump,” leaving many feeling drained of energy and focus and making it difficult to function. Moreover, people may not realize that eating lunch doesn’t necessarily compensate for the valuable calories and nutrients missing from not eating breakfast. 

3. Relying Too Heavily on Coffee

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Another common mistake Americans make when skipping breakfast is relying heavily on coffee. Coffee provides an instant caffeine energy boost but won’t last long. It also doesn’t contain the same calories and nutrients as healthy breakfast foods. Flavored coffees and lattes are even worse because they contain significant amounts of sugar, resulting in empty calories and fat. Generally speaking, coffee’s stimulating effects last a maximum of four hours, after which there will be a noticeable slump.

4. Poor Concentration

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A lack of concentration can be detrimental for many. Even just driving to work every day requires focus and concentration. Careers can suffer because of low productivity and lack of focus can be a risk factor in other jobs, such as operating machinery. 

5. It Affects Your Mood

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Skipping breakfast may cause some people to start the day off on the wrong foot. Not giving the body the calories and nutrients it needs to “power up” in the morning can negatively affect a person’s mood. Some people may become grumpy or irritable without realizing it. 

6. It Can Cause Sleep Disruption

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Many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Changing a sleep routine, sleep environment, and bedtime may help. However, not many realize the connection between eating breakfast and sleeping well.

A study showed that skipping breakfast affects sleep chronotypes, the body’s natural inclination to regulate sleep and wake up times. Not eating breakfast can actually elevate depressive symptoms, which can result in sleep disruption.

7. It Can Negatively Affect Weight Loss Goals

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For those trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast may seem like a great idea because you are initially reducing your calorie intake. However, some studies show that people who skip breakfast may gain weight. The problem is that many people start to get cravings and end up eating something quick and unhealthy. It can also lead to late-night snacking as people may become hungrier as the day goes on. Eating closer to bedtime can result in weight gain.

8. It Can Affect Your Overall Health

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skipping the morning meal can increase blood sugar levels after eating both lunch and dinner. When skipping breakfast, the pancreas produces a hormone called glucagon which is eventually converted into glucose and causes blood sugar levels to rise. Eating breakfast will properly restore insulin and glycogen levels. Skipping breakfast could open the door to weight gain, which also increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease.

Incorporating a healthy breakfast into a daily routine may be easier than you think. Just be mindful of what’s quick and easy because it isn’t always the best. 

Don’t Reach for Unhealthy Food

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Eating the wrong foods for breakfast can pose various risks to your health and well-being. Adverse effects of choosing the “wrong” breakfast foods include not getting enough calories, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. It may also contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease over time. 

Sugary Cereals Can Cause an Energy Crash

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The cereal aisle is full of choices and can often be overwhelming and confusing. Many cereals look tempting and taste great but contain high amounts of sugar and little protein. Consuming high-sugar cereal first thing in the morning will result in a sugar crash by mid-afternoon. A sugar crash negatively affects energy, focus, and mood and reduces work productivity. High-sugar cereal doesn’t offer any benefits that a healthy breakfast should; it’s just empty calories.

There Are Healthier Alternatives

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It can be challenging to hit daily protein targets with just two meals. However, there are quick and easy ways to incorporate a healthy breakfast. A high-quality protein shake is a great option since it’s also an ideal grab-and-go breakfast. Not all protein shakes are the same or necessarily healthy. It’s best to research and find a protein powder with good ingredients. Naked Nutrition offers quality protein powder products that contain very few and very clean ingredients. The Naked Shake line comes in five different flavors that deliver 20g of protein and only 3g to 4g of sugar per serving. There are no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. 

Keep Good Options on Hand

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It’s important to keep the fridge and pantry stocked with good breakfast options. There are many high protein breakfast options available that can be a healthy, well-balanced meal. Some of the healthiest breakfast foods include:

  • Homemade oatmeal (you can use quick oats)
  • Freshly sliced fruit
  • Cottage cheese
  • Nut butter and nuts
  • Avocado toast
  • Greek yogurt
  • Whole grain toast
  • Eggs

Many People in the Blue Zone Eat Breakfast

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You may not live to 100 years of age because you eat breakfast, but studies show that many centenarians living in the blue zones do. Blue zone areas of the world have been studied extensively for the fact that people have longer lifespans in these regions. Not only do many people in blue zones prioritize breakfast, they also make it the biggest meal of the day. Breakfast in these areas generally consists of protein, complex carbs such as beans or vegetables, and plant-based fats such as nuts, seeds and oils.