Since I was a child I believed in importance of eating a big breakfast first thing in the morning. It helps keep weight off, gave you energy and keeps you focused mentally. But is there any truth to eating in first thing in the morning or is it a myth to get us to keep eating?
The New York Time’s Well health blog recently tackled the question of whether skipping breakfast leads to weight gain. Now lots of studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner than folks who skipped the “most important meal of the day.”
But, as Well points out, the problem is that these were observational studies. Meaning none demonstrated a clear-cut cause and effect. Observational studies by definition cannot state a “finding” as an actual fact.
As with most nutritional observational studies, there are hundreds of other factors that contribute to what makes people thin or fat. You know, like what someone actually eats during the day rather than when they eat.
It turns out that clinical trials show no link between skipping breakfast and packing on the pounds.
Once again, the health community asserted something was proven when observation studies don’t prove anything other than more rigorous studies (in the form of clinical trials) are needed.
Of course the food companies helped turn this myth into reality. I mean, how does it help them if you eat less?
Remember: Breakfast Means Breaking the Fast
For nearly a year I stopped eat first thing in the morning. Why? Not hungry. I’m fine with a glass of cool water and a cup of coffee with a little heavy cream. My stomach doesn’t rumble until well after noon. I can think clearly. Have plenty of energy (thanks to my fat stores) for my morning walks. I’ve even started running again.
Basically my last meal of the day is at 6:00 p.m. and I break my fast shortly after noon the next day. That’s 18 hours without food.
It amazes me that food companies and those health experts haven’t tried to get us to eat in the middle of the night. After all we’re told to eat 5-6 times a day. That means eating every 3 hours.
My god! How can we sleep for 8 hours straight without food?
Since I’m not stuffing my face all the time, my body does what it is designed to do. When I sleep my body keeps me alive by burning my fat stores for energy. Our bodies can do the same thing when we’re awake (nutritional ketosis), but not if you are constantly stuffing it with the traditional high-carb diet featuring over-processed crap loaded with added sugar.
Truth is most adults don’t need to eat 5-6 times a day, especially if you are overweight or obese. Heck, I now only eat twice a day and sometimes 1 meal is more than enough. The secret? If you are eating the right foods (more healthy fats, moderate protein, leafy greens) you won’t feel hungry every 3 hours.
Do that and breakfast simply becomes the first meal you eat…not because you woke up, but because you’re actually hungry.