Do I have to eat breakfast?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s what we’ve always heard. Breakfast was always a must for any effective weight loss or weight maintenance plan. And numerous studies do show that people who do eat breakfast tend to weigh less than people who skip it.
But a recent study turned that conclusion on its head. Published in June 2014, this study demonstrated no considerable difference in weight loss between people who eat breakfast and those who don’t. Instead, it suggested that meal timing – including breakfast - has no real impact on metabolism and weight loss.
Why did the “breakfast is critical” myth persist for so long? As it turns out, there is some truth to the breakfast – weight loss connection. Insulin – the hormone that helps us convert sugar into energy – is highest after a fast of at least 8 hours. This is because our energy stores are lowest.
For most of us, a minimum 8 hour fast coincides with sleeping and waking. After – known as break fast regardless of time of day – we are able to consume more food and carbohydrates, because it is more efficiently converted to energy and used.
Moreover, the study that showed that breakfast is unimportant didn’t control for nutrition, portions or other variables across breakfast eaters. Is a donut the same as hard boiled eggs and whole grain toast for breakfast? Of course not. One is a source of sugar and unhealthy fats, while the other is a source of protein, nutrients and fiber. The latter will better fuel your body.
So, what should you do? In the end, it’s a matter of bio-individuality. Does skipping breakfast make you feel sluggish, noshy and more inclined to dump extra sugar and cream in your coffee all day? Give breakfast a try. A protein rich breakfast might help you get through your day making better choices. But, if eating breakfast make you feel nauseous and overly full, feel free to skip it, and plan on a more substantial mid-morning snack.
In the end, we all have different bio-nutritional needs. The how and when of eating is far less important than the what.
Do you eat breakfast? What do you have?
If you want help figuring out the best meal plans for your own bio-needs, feel free to reach out!