Do we have to Break the Fast at Breakfast?
Hard to write about breakfast without bringing up the most overused, recited, and cringe-worthy phrase in the world, often pushed through the grin of a sweet old grandma or comical dad on a Sunday breakfast cookout. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
Let me just rearrange some letters here.
Is* Breakfast the most important meal of the day?
Do you remember the Nutri Grain slogan: “You only get out what you put in”. I always found it quite inspiring. Naturally, I thought eating truckloads of this brick grain would make me all the better at school and particularly at footy during lunch.
So you can imagine my feeling of betrayal when Nutri Grain, the country ’s second favourite cereal, as voted by Aussie tykes, had the highest sugar content of all competitors.
I was sold rubbish. You were sold rubbish. And we ate it every morning with the milk dripping off our chins. Just like that, my tin hat relationship with breakfast was born. Some wounds just take time.
I’ll come out of the gate by saying that evidence indicates that breakfast consumption is more beneficial than skipping breakfast, but, and this is a big but, This effect is more apparent in children. Evidence goes on to say that children who eat breakfast typically have healthier eating habits. And this is a critical point: eating habits.
As a child, your demand for fuel is very high; it aids your development as a person, and it gives you energy. Being well stocked on nutrient rich foods before school results in a better response to educational stimulus and gives us the energy to focus. Maybe it’s the meals coincidental proximity to education that makes it so important, rather than its nutritional benefits.
However, as we grow older, our eating habits become less focused on “I must use this food to produce the best version of myself” and shift toward “I must use this food to maintain myself”.
Suddenly stacking the body full of food first thing in the morning doesn’t really do that much good. Well it does, to a certain extent, but It doesn’t carry the same emphasis. The principle here, as proven by Health Line, is that breakfast eaters tend to be healthier than breakfast skippers and this is due to good lifestyle habits.
Technically speaking, you can skip breakfast. In fact, if you can afford to, skipping breakfast results in better heart and brain health, increased metabolism to help with weight loss, and has proved to be anti aging. That is IF you can afford to; that is if your diet and lifestyle are already relatively healthy. No point on skipping out on nutrients at breakfast if you’re just going to smash a 20 pack of nugs for lunch, you need all the good foods you can get.
Intermittent fasting is a technique where you only eat for 8 hours of the day. The remaining 16 you go about your business as per usual, just stay away from the cupboard. Typically the practice of intermittent fasting is to eat between midday and 8:00 PM. So, if this is the case, then the first meal to go is going to be ‘The most important meal of the day’.
Here’s the bottom line; there’s no doubt that “skipping meals due to a lack of time will keep you feeling exhausted, may prevent healthy and sustainable weight loss, and may directly affect your mood and hence interactions with others.” stresses Katherine Baqleh, founder of Health Victoria Nutrition Experts.
But, If you have a balanced diet, stay ‘healthy’ (in all aspects of the word), walking out the door in the morning with only a coffee in your hand and getting on with your day shouldn’t make you feel ugly: a feeling we can’t help considering the consistent bombardment by breakfast companies spruiking the importance of their cereals.