Dispelling dogma – Myth #10: Never skip breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day
You’ve heard this one a million times from doctors, nutritionists, ‘experts’ wearing white lab coats and glasses on infomercials, and even physical trainers. “Skipping breakfast is the reason you are overweight.” “You should never skip breakfast because you’re going to overeat later in the day.” “Without a healthy breakfast, you’ll DIE!!!!!1!”
Newsflash folks, there is no magic bullet for building a lean, muscular physique, and eating breakfast falls into that category of not-a-magic-bullet. How awesome would it be to enjoy a stack of pancakes, a couple scrambled eggs, some fruit and yogurt, a tall glass of OJ, coffee, and then watch the pounds magically melt away like the cheese on your piping hot eggs? That sounds magnificent and I swear I can smell that buttery syrup coming from some far off place. While this is possible…it requires a caloric deficit over the entire day and week, not ADDING calories to your daily routine.
In the above breakfast day-dream, you would have a small amount of room for food the rest of the day. Would you prefer to follow your doctor’s orders and have breakfast every day but then eat like a bird and go to bed hungry every night? I realize I’m being overly hyperbolic in my example of pancakes, eggs, etc, but the point is a lot of people don’t eat breakfast and have gained weight, so it makes no sense to add another meal to their day. Another meal is added calories. The message you need to drill into your head is the overall daily and weekly calories will matter, end of story. It’s science…
Eating early in the day isn’t going to “jump-start your metabolism” or “make you feel more alert” or “give you an edge on the competition” any more than a steamy cup of coffee. Your body is too smart to let you shrivel and die without any food in your stomach…energy sources come from stored fat or even the meal from the day before!
Food will lead to a temporary spike in your blood sugar but you’ll also have to digest a big breakfast which can make you feel sluggish. If you’re like me and prefer to get every second of sleep in the morning before you head out on your AM commute, don’t be afraid to wait until brunch or lunch to have your first meal. I’m the most productive early in the day while the office is quiet. I practice something called Intermittent Fasting, an art perfected by Martin Berkhan (the guy is RIPPED) and adopted by many people in the fitness and nutrition industry.
The other side of the coin for you early birds is to enjoy your breakfast, but keep in mind your overall daily calorie intake. If you like eating more early and light late, then that’s totally fine. You’ve found your sustainable sweet spot!