Breakfast: To Have Or Not To Have
Simple question. Should you eat breakfast in the morning?
For some reason we decided to invent words that associate the eating of certain types of foods with certain times of the day. Words like "breakfast", "lunch" and "dinner". These associations, that come with their predetermined rules and guidelines on what and how to eat, have I think, created more harm than good.
When I say the word "breakfast" what do you think of?
You think of eggs, waffles, toast, bacon, cereal, orange juice, smoothies and so on. The problem isn't necessarily these foods (although some I would not recommend), the problem is that you have been conditioned to think of these foods when I say the word breakfast. Why?
The short answer is that our customs, beliefs and traditions and yes even the food industry have molded us into thinking that there are correct foods that should be eaten in the morning when you first wake up.
But is the body really designed to operate better on certain foods in the morning? Not only that, but is the body really designed to operate optimally when it has food in the morning?
The answer is no and maybe.
The body doesn't have a predetermined list of foods that you should feed it specifically from 6 am to 11 am. There is no science saying that it is better to have eggs and toast in the morning than it is to have a steak.
The other myth is that your body operates optimally on having breakfast when you wake up. Please understand what I am saying here. I am not saying that breakfast is inherently good or bad, I am saying that from birth, your body didn't care what times you ate. It sent you hunger cues based on what it gathered from how you took care of it.
The body does not lead, it simply follows.
The idea that the body has a pre-determined instruction manual saying that there are optimal times to eat optimal foods is completely false. The body is extremely smart at responding, but please understand that the body could care less about how you treat it. It will let you know if you are doing something sub optimal, but it doesn't care if you are doing something sub optimal.
Like eating cheesecake every single meal, every single day. You will gain weight, but the body doesn't stop you from eating the cheesecake it simply responds to the stimulus that you gave it by adding fat on to your body.
Back to breakfast.
If you are hungry I would suggest eating high quality food... when you are hungry. That may be at 8 am after you wake up at 730 am or it may mean not eating until noon.
This is especially important if you are trying to lose body fat. If you have body fat that you would like to lose and you are eating when you are not physically hungry, you are denying your body's ability to utilize the body fat on your own body, that you want to get rid of, as an energy source.
Even by not eating when you are hungry (periodically) you are allowing your body to use your own body fat as an energy source. Your body takes the fat on your body for energy rather than the banana you would have fed it as energy.
Will these changes be consistent.
Because the body is constantly adapting. If you always ate breakfast in the morning and then stop, you're body will send out hunger cues at the exact same time that you have conditioned to eat for years. But over time those hunger cues will get pushed back an hour or 2 or 3 if you prolong your hunger for a bit. The body is simply responding to the stimulus that you put on it.
In short, eat when you are hungry and don't when you are not, especially if you are trying to lose body fat.