Breakfast. Whether the idea was sold to us by cereal companies, or it’s just part of an old tradition we haven’t yet kicked, it’s always been ambiguous what Mom and Dad meant by “most important meal.”
“Well, it’s so you can focus, of course,” said Grandma, serving up another stack of jacks. “You’ve gotta eat, so you can be the best you can be today.”
But, let’s be honest, that food coma that pancakes and waffles put you in was not helping you concentrate.
Think about it. The foods that are marketed to us as “most important” are things like cereal, milk, eggs, bacon, juice, sausage, etc… Are Eggo Waffles actually part of a balanced breakfast? Hmm…maybe if they were marketing apples, I’d be more convinced.
But what about those people who tell you that if you start of your morning with wholesome foods, you’ll eat better later in the day?
To that, I might suggest lunch: a healthy way to start off your day right.
But wait, what about… weight loss?
If you’ve struggled with your weight at all, you’ve probably been warned about the dangers of breakfast. After all, if you skip that morning meal, you are without a doubt going to turn into a ravenous beast come afternoon–overindulging for the rest of the day. Cue Snicker’s commercial, starring you.
But, skipping breakfast, surprisingly, will not necessarily make you hungry by noon. In a study conducted to compare the hunger levels between breakfast eaters and morning fasters at lunchtime, scientists found that hunger levels were similar, if not equal, in both groups. In fact, those who skip breakfast typically consume less calories throughout the day.
Similarly, in a 2014 study, scientists observed 300 participants by splitting them into two groups: those who were told to eat breakfast, and those who were told to avoid it. At the end of their study, they found that those who ate breakfast lost weight at a nearly identical rate as those who waited to eat later in the day.
Now, is breakfast bad? Of course not. If you feel that breakfast is an important part of your morning, by all means, keep it in your routine. However, putting breakfast on a meal hierarchy is unnecessary. Perhaps even dangerous.
Forcing yourself to eat breakfast when it is not natural to you, puts unnecessary strain on your eating habits. If you are trying to lose weight, I’d assume it’s because you would also like to keep the weight off. How do you do that?
Create a new lifestyle. If you are a person who hates mornings, is sickened by routine, or you simply aren’t hungry in the morning, myths about breakfast could be just another thing that makes getting healthy seem impossible. But, good news! It isn’t.
It is most crucial to note, for breakfast eaters and non, that all meals are important. If you make sure the food you put in your body is good fuel, you should be able to run off of it at any time of day.
So, what should you include in these meals?
The bottom line is, it’s not about when you eat, it’s what you eat.
The nutrients you consume should come primarily, if not exclusively, from plant foods. Wondering how to get proper nutrients with just plants? Check out some of my other blogs:
Where the Heck Do Vegans Find Protein?
Where the Heck Do Vegans Find Calcium?