I woke up this morning and wanted to write about something else when my phone beeped and it was a request from a reader who asked me what I thought about breakfast and its effect on our day, she said a friend told her that if she does not eat breakfast she will not be healthy, that people who miss breakfast add weight, so she wanted to know my opinion, after we had a little chat, I went further to ask her if I could share it on my blog she said of course.
Is breakfast really the most important meal in the day?
I know we all hear it everywhere that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some people say if we don’t eat breakfast we will be slow throughout the day, some day we will add weight, some even go as far as to say we will be unhealthy. We hear it from people who we believe to be more knowledgeable than us so we tend to believe it and soon we are living our lives on a maxim that has no scientific proof. Yes you heard me, based on the available knowledge in papers and research, there is no empirical evidence to prove that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. All the research that suggest that breakfast is the most important meal of the day are all observation based experiment. Observation based experiments are the kind of a experiments that depend more on correlation than causative facts in determining the result of the experiment.
Before I continue I am not a nutritionist neither am I an authority in this, but nowadays every information you need is on the internet, so you can read them up for yourself. On the other hand. you have bloggers like me, who go the extra length to sieve the facts from the myriad of information out there and present you the options so you can choose for yourself.
Why they say breakfast is the most important mean of the day
1. Breakfast kick starts metabolism - It is a believe that because you have fasted over the night between 8pm and 6am that your metabolism has slowed down, so by eating breakfast you kick start your metabolism. In simple words eating in the morning wakes your digestive system up, and when you don’t eat breakfast your body thinks it needs to conserve energy since it is not getting any nutrition. But do you really need food to wake your digestive system up, there are many other activities that can do that e.g. mild exercise ( as simple as clapping in morning devotion), meditation, drink water, all these rave up your metabolism so it’s not a must to use food to kick start your metabolism. Drinking tea or a quick snack could also kick start your metabolism. Our fathers did not eat breakfast as the first thing in the morning, in fact the sons fetched fire wood, the daughters went to the stream, before they were giving breakfast and that did not make them obese either.
2. Breakfast is the most satiating meal of the day, thereby preventing you from binging – it is believed that people who eat breakfast tend to control themselves better as regards food intake throughout the day therefore prevent Binging (binge eating is a pattern of disordered eating which consist of episodes of uncontrolled eating.). Although there are multiple research both for and against this theory, it is something I will leave for you to decide on. This act of over eating after missing the breakfast is called binging. I personally agree that sometimes when I miss breakfast I binge but then I realized that this is more of a mind problem than that of blaming your lack of no breakfast. Self-control is therefore needed.
3. Breakfast helps keep you in a good mood – A hungry man is an angry man we say, eating as soon as you wake up helps your body reverse from fasting mood thereby releasing adrenaline and dopamine the two enzymes that affect mood. But then this is the reason most people over eat, when you always depend on food to help lift your mood you are giving up control of your life. Why will you depend on food or any substance to lift your mood? take control of your mood and in turn take control of your life.
4. Breakfast must be taken within 2 hours from when you woke up – this particular reason like all the other reasons are based on observational research. The major reason while you feel hungry after you wake up is because of a hormone called ghrelin, this hormone makes you adjust to eating at a particular time every day. Imagine the first 16 years of your life you have been conditioned to eat within the first 2 hours of waking up, your body has adjusted to that routine that’s why you get hungry, so it is not really a body signal, its more of a conditioned signal.
As you can see all the above listed benefits of breakfast are not backed up by hard scientific fact (i.e. it kick starts your metabolism, it prevents you from binging , it helps keep you in a good mood and it should be taken 2 hours from waking up) but my advice is this, experiment with your body find out what works for you. I know a friend who has not taken breakfast in over 3 years and he is in top shape. The issue of nutrition is experiment in KNOWELEDGE not in ignorance and then device what works for you. You don’t shove it down everybody’s throat as the hard and fast rule. The human body is a mystery that we will never fully understand. It can work for you and not work for me.