Today we are talking about breakfast and common myths. Now you’ve heard them all before. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It will jump start your metabolism. You should eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper. You’ve heard all of those things before. You may have heard about the Iowa breakfast study where students who eat a morning meal do better in class than those who don’t. Well, there are a lot of myths about breakfast and I want to talk about a few of them with you.
The first myth – breakfast is the most important meal of day. It is not the most important meal of the day. There is nothing about breakfast creating an insane requirement for you to have it. Second (contrary to popular belief), the calories you eat in the morning are still calories you have to burn. If you don’t burn breakfast calories, you will retain body fat just as you do if you eat too much lunch or dinner. You have to burn those calories just as you do for lunch or dinner. There were some good studies showing that people who ate more for breakfast have to work harder to burn those calories than those who don’t. Finally, when talking about the Iowa breakfast study you have to understand that these were farm kids who woke up at 4 AM – worked in the fields to 7 or 8 AM – then ate their morning meal (and went to school). After so many hours, I would not consider that meal breakfast – but they did.
Does breakfast jumpstart your metabolism? No. Do people who have a morning meal feel more full during the day? Some people do and some don’t. The bottom line is that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day for weight loss. It’s a meal in a day. If you eat a healthy breakfast, that’s fine. But a healthy morning meal is different for some people than for others. Let me give you a few simple guidelines. Eggs are fine, but please use eggs that are enriched with omega 3 fatty acids from chickens who are fed flax seeds or something like that. If you feel like just drinking coffee in the morning, that’s fine. But if you drink it, don’t drink it with stuff in it (sugar and cream). Coffee is not an excuse for having dessert in a glass. Don’t have anything for breakfast that contains high fructose corn syrup or even excess sugar. I like sausages. But I like sausages that are less fatty – like reindeer sausage. I particularly like the reindeer sausage that has a little extra red in them because it reminds me of some reindeer I’ve heard about before. There are a lot of myths out there about food.
Breakfast in the morning being more important than any other meal for weight loss may be the biggest myth. If you feel like having something simple like a smoothie – have it. We have some great smoothie recipes on this site. If you don’t feel like eating until later – it’s okay. You’ll be fine. Don’t get caught up in thinking that a morning meal is the most important or that it will jumpstart your metabolism for weight loss or that it is good for you and force yourself to consume those calories.
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Eating a large breakfast does not reduce calorie consumption throughout the day
Dr. Volker Schusdziarra, a researcher from the Else-Kröner-Fresenius Center of Nutritional Medicine at the Technical University of Munich, did extensive research indicating that a large morning meal is just more calories. Dr. Schusdziarra’s study included 380 participants – 280 subjects were obese. 100 were not. One group was fed a large breakfast, one a small meal and one had no food. Regardless of what they ate for breakfast, study participants ate the same amount of food for lunch and dinner. Their desire for food and their portion sizes remained unchanged. The amount consumed for breakfast had no affect on the amount of food consumed in subsequent meals, and so did not support weight loss. They also found that all calories consumed in the morning contributed to the total of calories consumed for the day.
The idea is that a large breakfast will cause your metabolism to jumpstart…
…and then supply enough food energy to cause your system to need less calories throughout the day. It’s a beautiful concept that just does not work. A large breakfast is just more calories and has no effect on how much a person will eat subsequently throughout the day or how calories metabolize. Quoting Dr. Terry Simpson, “Your body is a perfect calorie counter.” That means every calorie you eat counts no matter when it is eaten. Dr. Simpson will tell you that eating less food and eliminating high glycemic carbs is the only way you will lose weight using diet – period. Dr. Simpson shows you how to eat low calorie, low glycemic carbs (and protein) the most delicious and satisfying ways. So don’t let non-credentialed, so called diet gurus fool you into a diet that can only fail. Follow the leader.
Catharine Paddock, PhD. “Big Breakfast Not Tied To Fewer Daily Calories.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 18 Jan. 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.