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Is breakfast 'the most important meal of the day' or is this another myth?

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  • Is breakfast 'the most important meal of the day' or is this another myth?

    Breakfast and its importance. I've had it drummed into me all my life. Apparently it speeds up your metabolism, whatever that means. 'It's the most important meal of the day'. It helps you to stay slim. It gives you the energy you need to think before lunch.

    All the above is quoted blindly by virtually everybody without referencing any facts or actual science. It might be true, I really don't know and I wondered if anybody has knowledge on the subject?

    I'm also curious about what 'speeding up' or 'kick starting' your metabolism' actually means. Is your metabolism like a big machine that has an on switch and a speed control? It just doesn’t make sense to me. To me, metabolism is to do with your bodies work rate. It speeds up when I run down the road, slows down when I go to bed. It goes at a rate that’s matched by physical activity. If we’re talking about digestion, then that just depends on the food I’ve put in it and the type, surely? Fats, protein or carbs. If it is to do with these things, then needing to have it working doesn’t make any sense. Why is it better to be digesting food, than not? Or having an elevated heart rate, than not? Or, if it’s none of those, what’s the benefit of having a metabolism that’s been kick started or speeded up?

    Personally, I eat when I'm hungry and that's never first thing in a morning. That's probably because I generally go to bed on some kind of coconut milk smoothie, with about 20 - 30 gram of fat in it. I do this because it's nice and it prevents me from bingeing on carbs in the hours of darkness. It also means I wake up without hunger.

    Maybe I should force down that breakfast, instead of the coffee because it is ‘the most important meal of the day’. But that just sounds like marketing to me. I have Googled this to some extent and I’m just seeing the usual rhetoric with absolutely zero science.
    Last edited by jonnyhollis; 11-15-2012, 02:10 AM.

  • #2
    I also have had it drummed into me that breakfast is the most important meal.

    In practice, I have found it to be mainly true in that if I eat a good, hearty but low-carb breakfast (omelette, bacon, veges...) not only does it keep me going till lunch with no need to snack but also I find it easier to eat well (ie primal) the rest of the day.

    Usually I do actually feel hungry for breakfast about an hour or so after I wake up and have had a couple of cups of tea. Very occasionally I don't feel hungry and just forget to have it.

    On the other hand if I were to start the day with toast and jam or cereal and fruit, I would be hungry again and grabbing yet more carbs within a couple of hours at most. So from that point of view I think yes what you have for breakfast is very important, when you have it possibly less so.
    Annie Ups the Ante
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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    • #3
      No, it's stupid. If you aren't hungry, don't eat. Many of us around here only eat once a day, and it's usually not breakfast.
      Crohn's, doing SCD

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      • #4
        but whenever you have that meal it is your breakfast because you are breaking your fast. It would still be important that it be a healthy primal meal.
        Annie Ups the Ante
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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        • #5
          Yeah, I'm of the opinion that your body speaks true words and people say what they like. So I'm currently listening to my body. I get hungry, usually about 2 or 3 hours after I've got up and then I eat a mssive omellette that takes care of business.

          But I would like to know what people mean when they constantly refer to 'metabolism', especially in the context of breakfast.

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          • #6
            Let's break up the word.

            "Break" and "fast."

            Looking at it from that perspective, I'd say breaking the fast is the most important meal, yes. But nobody said you had to do that in the morning.
            "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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            • #7
              Looking at it from that perspective, I'd say breaking the fast is the most important meal, yes. But nobody said you had to do that in the morning.
              That's the thing, most people do say that breakfast should be eaten first thing in the morning and they're quite militant about it. I don't agree. Eat when you're hungry. Simple but I am curious to know whether 'most people' are wrong or not and why, and 'most people' includes health professionals and doctors.

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              • #8
                Hell, yesterday I didn't eat until 11:30 PM. I'm pretty much a one meal a day folk who tries to get in his calories in one meal slowly eaten over two to three hours.
                "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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                • #9
                  Eat WHEN When Hunger Ensues Naturally. If that's first thing fine, if not, fine. Personally I like a coffee or two then I'm good for at leat 3 more hours, and I find it easier to get on whith stuff without the hassel of making a meal.
                  You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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                  • #10
                    CW myth. Eat when you're hungry. Hell, don't eat when you're hungry and fast for a bit. It's good for what ails ye. I can't remember the last time I ate breakfast. Probably 6-7 years ago. I'm not kidding
                    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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                    • #11
                      Tim Ferris of the 4 hour body claims a person should consume 30 gr of protein within 30 minutes of waking. Not sure if he cites any studies for it but he does nothing but cite them thru out the book. He claimed his father lost 15 lbs in a month and the only change he made was the eating the protein first thing.

                      ??????
                      55 yr old male


                      07/01/2013

                      Weight; 199
                      Chest; 41.5
                      Waist; 42
                      Hips; 40
                      Thigh; 22.5
                      Calf; 15
                      Bicep: 13
                      Forearm; 11.5
                      Neck; 17

                      07/20/2013

                      Weight; 200
                      Chest; 42
                      Waist; 42.5
                      Hips; 39
                      Thigh; 23
                      Calf; 15
                      Bicep: 13
                      Forearm; 11.5
                      Neck; 16

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                      • #12
                        I get up around 7 am most days, but my 'break-fast' meal is around 2:30pm or even later if I'm only eating once that day. Years ago, when I was at my lightest and leanest and ate whatever, I now (didn't at the time) realize that was a result of IF. I was never a morning meal person, and I believe it's perfectly fine to skip it.

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                        • #13
                          BBC News - Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Have we always eaten them?

                          an interesting article about the origins of different eating periods.

                          Breakfast = "Break The Fast"
                          2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

                          2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

                          Train hard, eat well and love life

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                          • #14
                            If you're running on sugars, then yes, breakfast in the morning, is important. You've got nothing in your tank. If you're fat-adapted, then eating first thing in the morning only makes sense if you wake up ravenous. You've always got storage to draw from, and you CAN.

                            So, this CW is only true if you're living a SAD/CW life.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                              If you're running on sugars, then yes, breakfast in the morning, is important. You've got nothing in your tank. If you're fat-adapted, then eating first thing in the morning only makes sense if you wake up ravenous. You've always got storage to draw from, and you CAN.

                              So, this CW is only true if you're living a SAD/CW life.
                              This

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