To breakfast, or not to breakfast? A lot of people ask me if breakfast is the most important meal of the day and what to do if they skip it.
While all meals are equally important for a balanced diet, breakfast is the first one and it usually sets the course of your entire day. For example, if you have a sugary meal, you might find yourself craving sugar or more satisfying foods the entire day.
Let’s talk a bit about the research studies on the influence of breakfast in people’s lives. There has been no evidence to show that not eating breakfast promotes obesity, while there’s some evidence that people having regular breakfast tend to have a normal weight. Breakfast is highly recommended when having a stressful, brainy job since it’s been proven to improve cognition. It’s also a good idea to have it when you’re working out in the morning because after you sleep your glycogen levels are low and you might tire more easily.
When to eat breakfast?
Some say you should have breakfast within one hour after waking up, or 1-2 hours before working out. I say eat whenever YOU are hungry. There’s also the intermittent fasting-breakfast dilemma. Recent studies have shown some massive health benefits of intermittent fasting. One of the methods consists in depriving your body of food for 14-16 hours (14 hours for women, 16 hours for men). In this particular case skipping breakfast is the best option. For example, if you eat dinner at 8 pm you can easily have breakfast at 10 or 12 without feeling extremely hungry because you hopefully sleep 8 hours out of these 14 or 16.
Having a late breakfast might not be such a bad idea, after all, considering the effects of intermittent fasting on your insulin levels, human growth hormone (which in higher concentration promotes fat loss and muscle gain) and cellular repair.
What to eat?
We should stop calling it breakfast and call it our first meal of the day. A lot of people love cereal and I come with already known bad news: It’s bad for you! Eating a lot of carbs in the morning usually leads to cravings and weight gain. If you can’t say no to them at least try and have the whole-grain cereal which has more fiber. It will slow down the absorption of sugar and manage those cravings a little bit. Your best pick, however, is lean protein. It is the most satiating of the macronutrients, which means you won’t feel hungry until lunch time, and it promotes weight-loss because you’ll skip the cravings and all the sugary foods you would probably eat.
I recommend lean protein(eggs, meat, beans, nuts, seeds), veggies, whole grains, and fruit (in this exact order). For some inspiration check out the Breakfast section on this website.
But all of this is science. How do YOU feel about breakfast? Do you eat it regularly? Have you noticed any effects? Let me know in a comment below.