Is breakfast really that important? It depends who you talk to…
Mainstream media and big cereal companies (e.g., Kellogg) have always stressed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I would beg to differ.
Breakfast is the most marketed meal of the day. Why?
Because any company that convinces you to eat their cereal, bagel, or Pop Tart owns your breakfast, as most people eat the same breakfast daily.
Studies show that due to our stringent breakfast routines, consumers have strong brand loyalty to certain cereals.
How about those Tony the Tiger ads that got tens of thousands of children to eat Frosted Flakes every morning for years?!
(I actually was one of those kids! Before I got into health. )
Most breakfast cereals rank just behind cookies, candy, ice cream, and sugary drinks as a source of dietary sugar.
Also, instant oatmeal and/or instant cream of wheat is highly processed as well.
So two questions:
1. Should we eat breakfast at all?
That is up to you… If you are eating something processed (bagel, muffin, pancakes, donuts, or pastries) or with large amounts of sugar (most yogurts or anything with “instant” in front of it) – I would avoid breakfast, and have black coffee or green tea or what I have.
You can break your fast with a healthy lunch and save time in the morning.
Also, by skipping breakfast, you balance out your fasting and feeding times.
The human body is designed to go periods without food.
Most people think that eating first thing in the A.M. will give you the fuel to start the day, but your body has plenty of left over fuel and glycogen (when that runs out – fat) stored inside of you.
Glycogen is your most easily accessible energy source and can last for days.
If we start eating the minute we roll out of bed and do not stop until we go to sleep, we spend almost all of our time in a fed state.
2. What do we eat for breakfast if you are going to have it?
Eggs are a good choice, and you can get creative with how you make them (scrambled, omelette, sunny side up, etc.) and what you put in them (veggies, cheese, avocado, etc.).
Most importantly, avoid anything processed or that you would throw in your microwave. So no bagel, muffin, or pastry with the eggs.
So the bottom line is that marketers and big corps want you to think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, when it actually is just another meal.
For a while, I was convinced as well, but after researching and skipping breakfast myself, I realized it wasn’t a big deal.
I had even more energy to work out and/or go to work all in a fasted state.
Also, short-term fasting leads to several changes in the body that make fat burning easier. This includes reduced insulin, increased growth hormone, enhanced epinephrine signaling (adrenaline), and a small boost in metabolism.
So figure out if breakfast is that important for you, and you will see that it’s not all it’s hyped up to be.
Have a great day!