Breakfast is important: what time you eat it is not

As an American child, I grew up eating cereal, Eggo waffles, and Pop-Tarts for breakfast every morning … and I loved it. All those foods are delicious, but I ate those things for breakfast because the world was under the assumption that (1) they provide the energy you need for the day, and (2) the morning is the best time to eat carbohydrates.  Granted, I got most of my nutrition information from Wheaties commercials and Tony the Tiger, but this is still a common way of thinking.

It took me a long time to realize that Tony lied to me. Not only are Frosted Flakes not grrrreat, they also shouldn’t count as breakfast food. Corn flakes covered in sugar fall into the dessert category.

From a fat-loss perspective, the typical breakfast is quite counterproductive for two main reasons. The first is that eating breakfast has no effect on weight loss or weight gain. Seriously, it doesn’t influence either at all, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.[1] Since eating breakfast or skipping breakfast doesn’t really matter (provided you are not diabetic), do what feels best for you.

I’ve had an online client tell me: “I hated the last person I worked with because they made me eat breakfast and foods I don’t like.” From that sentence alone, I can deduce that there were a lot of things wrong with the last person she worked with, but the takeaway is this: if you don’t like eating breakfast, don’t do it, but if you feel cranky without it, eat it.

I’m not your mother, do you.

The second main reason that most breakfasts are counterproductive is that breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. I’ll explain.

Just because you don’t eat breakfast at 7 a.m. anymore doesn’t mean that it has no importance. Far from it. Breakfast is still breaking the fast, and it is better to do that with good food than dessert. Studies have shown that eating a high-protein breakfast (i.e., 30 grams or more) helps people lose weight.[2] The main reason for that is because a high-protein breakfast suppresses feelings of hunger. Additionally, because of the thermogenic effect of protein, you will burn more calories digesting it than carbohydrates.

Therefore it’s time to change breakfast from cereal and milk. To eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, and fish!

Eat up! Or Don’t!

The choice is yours.



Jake Dermerbreakfast, nutrition