Breakfast is the first meal of the day and it can have a very different meanings for different people. For some a fruit or a piece of toast is enough to start the day; for others, it includes a more elaborate preparation. Then, there many who skip breakfast altogether.

Everyone has an opinion about breakfast, but how does breakfast really affect weight loss, energy and hunger throughout the day? Is it really the most important meal of the day?

Myth 1: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

This statement is true only if breakfast is your only healthy meal of the day. Healthy eating is determined by what you eat over the course of the day, and not just the contents of a single meal. Overdoing it on bacon, pancakes and fattening foods for breakfast will negatively impact your health. Eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other high energy snacks throughout the day for a nutrient-rich diet.

Myth 2: Breakfast is directly linked to weight loss.

It’s popular belief that breakfast kick-starts your metabolism so you boost your calorie-burn throughout the day, but the truth is that eating breakfast does not significantly increase the speed at which your body burns calories.

Studies have shown that people who ate breakfast daily burned only 10 more calories per day. Eating in the morning doesn’t have a direct effect on weight loss.

Breakfast eaters do not lose any more weight than those who skip it, but specific foods and timing may help shed kilos.

Myth 3: Boxed cereal should be avoided at breakfast.

It’s true that you should lay off the sugary stuff for breakfast, but not the cereal itself. Sugary cereal may taste delicious, but it doesn’t fulfill your daily nutritional requirements. Muesli, oats, wheat bran and other whole-grain cereals on the other hand can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet. They lower cholesterol and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Myth 4: Breakfast makes kids smarter.

Studies do show that children who eat breakfast daily perform better academically. But this does not mean that children who skip breakfast aren’t as smart as those who have access to a healthy breakfast every morning. Breakfast does not boost brain activity, but kids study better when they’re not distracted by hunger, no matter what time of the day they eat.

Myth 5: Breakfast makes you lethargic.

The truth is that breakfast can give you more energy. Especially if you have a coffee machine like the Cuisinart DCC-3200 too. A study asked two groups of lean adults to either eat breakfast or stay hungry until noon. They monitored their activity levels and found that the group that ate breakfast moved around more than those who skipped it. High energy levels helped them torch more calories throughout the day.

Myth 6: Eating breakfast keeps you from getting hungry.

People believe that if you skip breakfast, you binge eat at lunch and for rest of the day. This has little truth to it as a study showed that breakfast skippers were the hungriest at lunchtime, but didn’t eat more calories than those that ate a high-carb or high-fibre breakfast.