“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.” This old saying originated centuries ago. A rabbi from Spain doubled as a doctor and among his many recommendations regarding health, this one stuck. Our grandmothers remind us of the saying, and nutritionists write it in their books about healthy diets. Apparently, a big breakfast is supposed to be an excellent weight loss trick. However, the thing about old sayings is that they’re old.

The beauty of the modern world is that all of our parents and grandparents traditions, remedies, superstitions, and “knowledge” can be put to the test. The results are then published on the world wide web for millions of eyes to see. There’s nothing better than pulling up a source about how the cold doesn’t cause a person to be sick when your mother is chasing after you with that embarrassing coat she wants you to wear to school. Popular Everything decided to take a closer look at the whole idea that a big breakfast is great for weight loss and that skipping this early meal will cause weight gain.

Is Breakfast Boosting Your Metabolism?

Our bodies expend energy for every action we take, that includes munching on our food. The body uses energy to store food in our stomach, move it to our small intestine, absorbed it into our bloodstream, and then digest it. This process is known as “diet-induced thermogenesis.” These energy spending processes, along with our natural metabolism and physical activity are what determines how many calories our body takes in on a daily basis. Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you eat. In short, when you eat food, you use energy. Energy burns calories, and when we burn more calories than we eat, were on the path to weight loss. Gosh, that was way simpler than the whole thermogenesis explanation.

When you eat breakfast, your body activates the energy-spending process, thermogenesis. This gets your metabolism going. Studies show that eating a meal in the morning boosts your metabolism more than it would if you had the same meal in the evening. That’s probably where the whole “eat as a beggar” thing comes from. Its looking good for grandma’s saying so far.

Although this king, prince, beggar, thing has scientific backing, it’s power is way overestimated. The boost you get from eating only accounts for 15% of the calories you eat during the day. Way to exaggerate granny….

Do You Consume More Calories If You Skip Breakfast?

When you don’t eat breakfast, your body will crave a higher amount of calorie-filled foods during the day. It makes total sense; if you don’t start your day off with a full stomach, you’ll be hungrier during lunch and eat way more of it than you would on a day you ate breakfast.

So here’s what we know so far; eating boosts metabolism, eating in the morning boosts metabolism more than later in the day, burning more calories than we eat causes weight loss, and we eat more lunch if we did not eat breakfast. All the facts seem to fall in line with the whole eating breakfast makes you lose weight thing, but science says nay! Researchers from New York discovered that it doesn’t make a difference if you eat breakfast or not. Their study observed people who ate breakfast and people who didn’t. They found no difference in their calorie intake.

If You Skip Breakfast Are You Less Hungry Throughout the Day?

Ever decide to be rebellious and skip breakfast then find yourself not feeling hungry around lunchtime? Well, you’re not alone.The fact is that your body is excellent at adapting. The stomach is a lot like a rubber band in the way that its elastic. If your eating large portions on the regular, your stomach gets used to a large amount of food. This means you will get hungry faster once your stomach is running on empty.

So if you eat your last meal of the day in the evening then skip breakfast your stomach shrinks in size, and, as a result, you feel less hungry. So your metabolism is not stimulated if you skip your morning meal, but you feel less hungry. Contrary to what our grandparents think, this doesn’t mean you automatically gain weight once you do feel hungry and eat half the refrigerator, but it’s not ideal to keep up this kind of habit. For those who are repulsed by breakfast, just snack on a handful of nuts to prevent the massive hunger attack that’s waiting around the corner.

So, Do You Need to Eat Breakfast to Lose Weight?

The answer is both yes and no. There are tons of reasons that back up either side of the debate. The best advice out there is to listen to your body; eat mindfully. If you’re hungry, eat, but stop once you’re full. It’s as simple as that. Definitely don’t beat yourself up about not being a breakfast person, just make sure you don’t reach the point where you’re so hungry that you overeat.