Welcome to Breakfast Mythbusters and today’s topic is about the importance, or rather, the irrelevance of breakfast. You’ve probably stumbled on some articles stating that breakfast is not that necessary in the first place. On the other hand, there’re tons of famous quotes, one of them – “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
It’s difficult to imagine our mornings without a glass of fresh orange juice, hot black coffee, and some scrambled eggs with a toast and crispy bacon on the side. For others, it could be a croissant, blueberry pancakes, or a bowl of oatmeal and cereal. Those images instantly pop in our heads, when we think of an average person’s life, when he/she wakes up at 8 am, prepares for work, and starts the day with a boosty breakfast. We don’t realize it, but over time our organism got domesticated by this idea and concept.
So, what’s the buzz with breakfast?
You could blame cereal makers who sold us a breakfast myth. More precisely, Dr. James Kellog (any bells ringing yet?) invented the first tasteless corn-flakes that somehow got spread massively throughout America in the 19th century. And it worked. People were drawn to the fact that they were healthy and fast to prepare.
They were tired of leftovers, meats, and cakes that would cause digestion problems. And these two pain points – lack of time in the morning and lack of nutrition – shapeshifted breakfast into a current form: eggs, toast, processed, and prep-meals.
Research shows that there are a couple of strong arguments on why breakfast is important. By eating in the morning, you’re less likely to binge-eat later in the afternoon. Surely, breakfast pumps up you with energy to survive throughout the first part of the day – which, in most common cases, is loaded with mental work.
Unfortunately, people often choose sweetened cereals or plates of meats and high-fat foods that fall on your stomach and laden the whole digestion process. Breakfast should consist of lean protein, fiber, and healthy fats, i.e. eggs, fruits, veggies, low-fat yogurt, avocado (healthy fat!), and whole grains.
Breakfast & Intermittent Fasting
But are there benefits of skipping breakfast? Newest research says that people who follow an intermittent fasting pattern and intentionally miss out on eating their morning buffet, are more likely to lose weight, stay focused, and reduce blood pressure. Let’s dive into each of the aspects in more detail.
Most “fasters” choose to start with and stick to the 16:8 method, which, in short, means that you only eat during your 8-hour-window. To put those hours logically in a 24-hour-circle, the best option is to stop eating from 8 pm and break your fast at 12 pm. Where does the breakfast go? When you restrict yourself from eating in the morning, you save your body from refined carbohydrates and highly processed breakfast foods – all the sugary fruit juices, cereals, bacon, bagels, and toasts.
Your body is constantly releasing insulin and by skipping breakfast you trigger your body into burning fat for energy-fuel. That way, you can notice some weight-loss results in the long-term. Following that, by burning fat for energy, your whole body is in a tense-adrenaline mode. It’s aroused, it’s aware, it’s cautious. And those hormones evoke sharpness, attention to details and concentration. For some folks, it’s a key to productivity, when “hunger makes you smarter”. I guess, you could say, that intermittent fasting kills two birds in one stone.
DoFasting’s duty is to mention that we’re not recruiting you to throw out your toaster and cornflakes through the window ASAP after reading this article. We are against starvation, famish, and hunger and seek for a smooth bodily transition into intermittent fasting. If you feel fatigue, dizziness, or other uncomfortable symptoms that may occur after you skip breakfast – either start eating again or consult with your doctor or dietitian. Especially, if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or have diabetes – take into consideration if you decide to go on full-mode fasting.
The Bottom Line
While breakfast is still a debatable and an unexplored field, it’s important to note that it’s… polarizing and very individual at the same time. We have friends that just don’t eat breakfast and feel perfectly fine and active – a cup of coffee and good to go. Others are sharp early roosters who need to have their morning rituals and first bites of toast. Our digestive systems might work differently depending on when we wake up. Our sleeping habits might be different depending on what lifestyle we’re approaching. This whole cycle is connected, so it’s a principal key to understand what works best for you.