Friday, May 20, 2011

Skip Our Breakfast: The Routine vs The Science

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

Conventional Wisdom (CV) will tell you the importance of breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. If you skip breakfast, your metabolism will be slowed, you will have low energy, you won’t think clearly, you will be starving and wind up bingeing later. All these beliefs have been proven to not be true except for bingeing. You can always binge if you want to even if you’re not hungry.

There were so many mornings when I woke up and was not at all hungry but felt like I had to eat a big breakfast because CV told me to. Skipping breakfast or any meal, for that matter, is a smart way to reduce your calories for the day without any negative health repercussions.

If I had to choose between starting the day with two pieces of roti canai and a glass of teh tarik or not eating until lunch, I would choose not eating. You would be way ahead by not eating all that unhealthy sugar found in your "Malaysian's Favourite Breakfast Meal at All Time".

The good idea to skip breakfast if your goal is weight loss. Not eating until lunch is a great way to reduce the amount of calories you eat in a day without compromising your health. Not eating for 14 or 15 hours by skipping your first meal of the day is a method of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been shown to have numerous health benefits such as: increased energy, clearer thinking, greater fat burning, better tissue repair and possibly longer life.

It’s perfectly ok to eat breakfast if you like to but don’t think that skipping breakfast is unhealthy. In fact eliminating any meal in your day is a healthy option for weight loss.

Don’t let Conventional Wisdom tell you the importance of breakfast. It’s not the most important meal of the day.

Could we have been wrong all along?

That’s what recent studies are saying.

Eat breakfast to lose weight: it’s what we’ve always heard. The theory went that breakfast would jump start the metabolism for a steady burn of calories throughout the day. Skip it, and your body adapts to the longer between-meals gap by burning nutrients more slowly to make them last longer. We were also taught that we would be hungrier during the day if we skipped the morning meal, that the big blood sugar swings from empty to full would have us gorging when we did finally eat.

Now we are hearing a different message. There is a new weight-loss theory that involves ‘intermittent fasting,’ which basically means skipping meals. Intermittent fasting puts the old ‘breakfast like a king’ adage on its head telling us to eat like a king at night after a pauperish day. It claims that the episodic deprivation of missed meals takes your body off its usual track, allowing it to reinvigorate and recalibrate, and in doing so, you end up burning more fat. [Intermittent Fasting 101 – How to Start Burning Fat]

There is plenty of evidence that exercise and other activity performed on an empty stomach coaxes the body to burn a greater percentage of fat for fuel instead of relying on carbohydrates from food. Athletes and bodybuilders have known this for years.
[The Journal of Physiology - Training in the Fasted State]

And the notion that skipping breakfast leads to less controlled eating throughout the day—you can scratch that one off your list of diet do’s as well. A new study published in the Nutrition Journal suggests that all a big breakfast leads to is a bigger calorie count for the day. In itself, breakfast doesn’t curb appetite later in the day.

What researchers now believe is that regular breakfasts occur along with a constellation of other healthy habits. Individuals with a breakfast routine are more likely to exercise, abstain from smoking, and generally maintain a healthy diet. The reverse holds true as well: individuals who don’t have regular breakfasts are more likely to have a cluster of unhealthy behaviors; in fact fewer than 5 percent of smokers eat a daily breakfast.

"If breakfast is already in your routine good for you; if not, you’re probably better off not adding it."


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