I don't remember ever being big on breakfast. Simply put, I wake up with zero appetite and usually don't register the need to eat until late morning. Over the years I have had countless people tell me how incredibly unhealthy it is for me to function this way. Because of course, Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day. But is it really?
It could be that skipping breakfast may do you some good.As Americans with food available in excess (and some extremely bad food at that), most of us have been afforded the luxury of being raised on three meals a day. It's what we did as kids. It's what we now preach to our own brood. It's how our day is equally divided. That often means we make our best effort to resemble the ABC sitcom family who manages time for a four course breakfast, adds the final touches to a large-scale science experiment and initiates moving moral compass conversations before Matt Lauer even gets out of hair and makeup. How successful we are at that attempt is another story. Even our own governing body makes recommendations on the meals we eat. Cereal alone is a $10 billion dollar industry. Restaurants add eggs to their dinner options and open at sunrise to take advantage of all of us doing what our mother, our trainer, our nutritionist told us to do. But what if the concept of breakfast is more individualized than we've been allowed to believe? That some don't need breakfast and can live to tell about it? And what if skipping breakfast can actually be good for you? It's true what they say, that many people who skip breakfast are unhealthy and overweight. But these are the people who use skipping meals as a means to utilize all of their morning willpower, guilt and best-of-intentions into severely restricting food only to find themselves bingeing through the night to make up for it. But I'm not talking about restricting yourself in any way. Instead, consider this an open invitation to explore the idea of eating when you are hungry and not because the clock says to. To tune into your body in a way that our auto-pilot way of bumping along life's path has long forgotten. To take the pressure off yourself in your attempt to force your body to follow a regimen that just might not be supporting you and your goals. Translation? If you wake up insatiable, by all means, belly up to the breakfast bar. If you normally function robotically through your porridge and could easily do without, then don't force it. Perhaps you will eat your lunch a little earlier. Or combine your breakfast with lunch and increase your afternoon fill power. But listening to your body instead of the almighty rule book may afford you a lot of unnecessary calories and could efficiently boost your resting metabolism. What we forget in our world of aplenty, is that our predecessors never knew from one day to the next if there would be food to hunt, pick or gather. Their bodies were efficient machines, using stored energy when food was scarce, and storing energy (fat) when their bounty was great and things had to get eaten (the stainless steel fridge was in the next field over). Today, our food intake is so high on a daily basis, our bodies must be forced to store a lot of excess. And it begins as early as breakfast. Now here's the part I'm sure you have been waiting for. Yes, the premise that skipping meals slows your metabolism, or that the best way to blast fat is by eating six meals a day to constantly stoke that metabolic furnace. Well guess what? That logic is just plain wrong . Dietary induced thermogenesis relates to the calories burned in the process of eating, converting, absorbing and digesting food. This process doesn't change if you split your daily intake into three meals or six, given the food you eat is all the same. It all comes down to your preference, not a gold standard for best practice in the eating category. Everyone is different. Every day is different. In fact, today I found myself extremely interested in breakfast. I listened to my hunger and enjoyed every bite of my apple and almond butter duo. And while I usually celebrate merely shuffling in and out of the kitchen to refill my coffee cup in the morning and keeping a wide berth from the stove, I recognize there are plenty of you who delight in the concept of eating breakfast and have no reason to change. It should also be noted that there are absolutely categories of people like diabetics who should never skips meals. And those who are overweight may have a tough time forgoing a meal when their satiety hormones are wreaking havoc on their intake. What I ask you to take away from all this is simply to tune in and take control in a way that you may have never considered. Being empowered through being informed and having the ability to make choices where you didn't have them before is a good place to be. And at the very least food for thought. Stay tuned for Part II: Love breakfast? 10 simple tips to start your day off right and stay in control all day long. Eat with purpose. xx, Lonni