Is breakfast essential?

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

After the holidays, when we get back on track, we think it’s going to be complicated to make time for breakfast.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

But is breakfast really essential?

The answer will certainly surprise you.

Little theoretical lesson to start: breakfast must cover 1/4 of the A.E.T. (Total Energy Intake of the day)

Lunch must cover 40% of the AET, snack 5% of the AET and Dinner, 30% of the AET.

It must be composed of a dairy product (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.), a cereal product (bread, rusks, cereals, etc.), a fruit (fruit, compote, etc.). .) and a drink (water, herbal tea, coffee, tea)

This breakfast breaks the fast of night…

And brings energy to the body to attack the day.

You should know that today, 30% of adults and 12% of children do not eat breakfast: Are they right? Are they wrong?

This question of whether breakfast is essential or not divides nutrition professionals: there are 2 schools but I today tell you that, in my opinion, No, breakfast is not essential.

There are even 2 studies, which were published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, who claim that skipping breakfast “would have no impact on weight gain” on the one hand, but also “that it would change nothing or not much on cholesterol levels or even the blood sugar level” on the other hand.

cottage cheese and strawberry

My advice is not to force yourself if you don’t have really hungry!

But, for example, you can take with you a snack that is practical to transport, such as a low-sugar cereal bar +/- a piece of fruit or a handful of almonds +/- a carton of milk or even a portion of individual cheese.

The body, fortunately, knows how to regulate its energy intake throughout the day.

In other words, if you eat less at one meal, you will eat more at the next, the key is knowing how to listen to your body without being disturbed by other factors.

You should know that leptin, which is the satiety hormone secreted by white adipose tissue, can sometimes take a little time to dissipate upon waking, resulting in little or no hunger felt. Besides, my advice, when you are not hungry when you wake up, is to start by getting dressed, shower, etc….and finish with breakfast because your body will have had time to ” wake up” and this famous hormone I’m talking about will have had time to dissipate.

And if you’re wondering if it can be dangerous for children to go to school on an empty stomach?

No worries, no danger if the child does not have a pathology such as diabetes.

But it is recommended that he takes a small snack with him to eat at recess to prevent him from being focused more on his possible hunger than on what the teacher says.

Also, no impact on weight gain if the meal is skipped because you are not hungry. On the other hand, if you force yourself to skip this meal, there is a risk that you will start snacking on high-calorie foods in the morning, which will therefore contribute to possible weight gain.

Moreover, to come back to this point, it is very important to differentiate between snacking and food splitting.

THE snacking is eating outside of main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) while the body has no need energy at that time.

In in other words, we eat without being hungry!

We provides the body with excess energy that is not useful to it so this contributes to weight gain, among other things.

Nibble it is always linked to an emotional aspect such as stress, fatigue, boredom, a negative feeling.


I’m going to give you a tip right away to know if you’re really hungry or if it’s just a desire to snack.

At moment to move on to the fateful act of eating between meals, ask yourself if you would eat a bowl of soup.

If the answer is yes, you are hungry and if you hesitate a lot or that it’s no, ouch, it’s certainly a snack that was going to arrive.

If you are really hungry, then I recommend practicing what we call food splitting.

And it is the fact of “dividing” the 3 main meals, into 4-5 or even 6 meals. And so, yes, to eat this famous bowl of soup, because you are REALLY hungry.

It is a physiological need.

In fact, you make lots of “small” meals during the the day, but small, balanced meals!

By example, when you wake up, you have 2-3 buttered rusks with a coffee then around 10 a.m., a banana then at lunch time your dish main but you judge that you are no longer hungry and you keep a dairy and a fruit for the afternoon.

Of even for dinner, where you can keep the desserts to make yourself a snack in the evening.

Good news: it even tends to make us “ burn » more energy so this contributes to weight loss.

He It is therefore necessary to differentiate between food snacking and food splitting because one is bad for health, and the other not at all.

Remember : Do you think you’re feeling a little peckish? Would you eat a bowl of soup? If the answer is no, then don’t eat, don’t snack!

To sum up :

  • At breakfast, you don’t eat if you’re not hungry
  • If necessary, provide a balanced snack: a low-sweet cereal bar + 1 portion of individual cheese + 1 fruit
  • We avoid uninteresting candies or chocolate bars.