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Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

As a dietitian, one of the most common questions I get is whether or not eating breakfast every day is necessary. As with many nutrition questions, the answer depends on the individual. For some people, eating breakfast is essential. It can jumpstart your metabolism and give you the energy you need to get through the morning. In general, most people can benefit from consuming around 20-30 grams of protein at breakfast.

So, how do you know if you need to eat breakfast? Here are some things to consider: 

  1. Your hunger levels: If you wake up in the morning feeling ravenous, then it's probably a good idea to eat something. On the other hand, if you're not hungry right away, then there's no need to force yourself to eat breakfast. 

  2. Your energy levels: If you're sluggish or tired in the morning, you may find yourself grabbing another cup of coffee. However, it may be food your body needs for an energy boost rather than more caffeine. Remember that your cup of coffee is an appetite suppressant. So, the more coffee you drink, the less you may "feel" hungry.  

  3. Your overall diet: If you're someone who tends to overeat later in the day, then eating breakfast may help you control your appetite and make healthier choices throughout the day.

  4. Your goals: Studies have found that consuming a high-protein breakfast may be associated with increases in muscle mass gains. Consistent, evenly distributed protein intake may also lead to more favorable body composition changes (for example, consuming 20 grams of protein four times per day). Skipping a meal (e.g., breakfast) may make it harder to achieve your daily protein goals.  

Nutritionist Arlington, VA

To eat or not to eat breakfast? Is skipping breakfast going to make or break your progress in maximizing muscle gains? Probably not, as long as you hit your daily protein goals and consume a nutrient-dense diet for the rest of the day. However, a nutritious breakfast can help improve energy, regulate appetite, and help meet your daily protein goals.

Check out ten breakfast recipes with 20+ grams of protein:

10 High Protein Breakfast Recipes
Download PDF • 888KB


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