I know that the title of this article may make some dietitians and nutritionist cringe at the very thought of their clients skipping out on the most universal and trusted “theory” in nutrition for the last century. I can hear you saying, “With all of the debate and confusion in nutrition please can’t we just agree on breakfast being important?” Short answer: No, sorry, we can’t.
A Few Key Notes Off The Bat
One, everyone is different. Some people don’t think about food until noon and others wake up like they slept-walked through the Mojave. Clearly these are two different people and I wouldn’t put a “universal theory” on them both because they are two radically different experiences.
Next, most “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” studies are/were funded by the cereal industry. ‘Nuff said.
Also, if you ask me if eating sugary cereal, a bagel or pancakes was a better option for breakfast than nothing, I would suggest nothing. It’s not the act of eating breakfast that can be critical but what you eat for breakfast that is actually important.
Skipping breakfast does not necessarily lead to over eating calories throughout the day, it actually can do the opposite.
So let’s look at eating breakfast foods such as cereal, bagels, pancakes, breakfast bars, etc. Notice, most marketed breakfast foods are carbohydrates. These foods are predominately just sugar! Although they may make you feel full, really all they are doing is spiking blood sugar quickly, creating crashes, cravings and low energy and mood throughout the day.
Carb heavy breakfast and lunch eaters are the people I see crashing under their desks at 3pm because they can’t keep their eyes open like Costanza working for Steinbrenner.
So if you’re going to eat a simple carb loaded breakfast, I’d suggest going without. You’re better off doing something like Intermittent style fasting until lunch time (fasting blog coming soon).
If You're Going To Do It Make It Count
Oppositely, when we start the day off with protein and fat, our energy burns far differently due to no early day blood sugar spikes. Foods like organic eggs (including the yolks), avocados, nuts, seeds, protein smoothies, that are rich in protein and dietary fat will keep you sustained without dips and hunger pangs. Fat makes you feel full, without it, you will crave more carbohydrates.
After a nice protein and healthy fat breakfast, steer clear of refined carbs! No sense in creating blood sugar spikes and crashes later in the day. Eat big salads, soups, leftovers from dinner, and color, color, color!
So there you have it, breakfast simplified.
You can a) make better choices and upgrade your breakfast options, or b) learn about fasting and consider skipping it all together, and see how that works for you.
Remember to stay tuned for the fasting blog coming next week. In the meantime, play around with switching up your breakfast routine and comment below to let us know what’s working for you.
If you need guidance and support about what to eat and when to eat it, we’d be happy to help you figure out what could work best for you.
Yours in health,