A few weeks ago, one of my friends sent me the link to an article titled, “6 Fitness Tips Everyone’s Heard (That Don’t Work at All).” Most of this article was not backed by reliable science, but I couldn’t help but want to discuss some of the cracked out comments the author made about breakfast. One, why are you picking on breakfast? And two, eating breakfast is a healthy eating habit…not a fitness tip.
The author said in the article that,
breakfast supposedly will ‘jump-start your metabolism’ and make you burn calories at a faster rate throughout the day. This is silly and jump starting your metabolism by eating is not a real thing. The other reason given for the supreme importance of breakfast is that if you wait until lunch, you’ll be so hungry you’ll eat the entire buffet, heat lamps and all, and end up taking in more total calories over the course of the day than if you’d just eaten your crappy toast and fruit at breakfast. Unfortunately, studies show that’s not the case.”
If you eat frequent small meals throughout the day you will be in an energy burning mode (increased metabolism state). When you skip a meal, like breakfast your brain tells your belly, “don’t growl or moan I don’t want to hear it.” But when you go to eat a meal after several hours have passed your brain tells your belly, “eat everything you want,” because it thinks you are starving.
There have been numerous studies showing that skipping breakfast can lead to overeating, weight gain and obesity. One study conducted by Liedy from the University of Kansas Medical Center, showed that adolescents who consumed breakfast felt fuller throughout the day and those that consumed a breakfast high in protein had an even higher reduction in appetite and energy intake (food/beverages consumed). Another study conducted by Castro looked at the proportion of macronutrients (i.e. fat, carbohydrates, and protein) consumed during breakfast and how those proportions affected total daily intake. This study also discussed how one of the benefits of eating breakfast in the morning can lead to a reduction in total daily energy intake. His study, also demonstrated that when a larger proportion was consumed of any of the macronutrients, less of that macronutrient was ingested throughout the entire day.
The author went on to end this section stating, “Science has proven breakfast will not solve all or any of your major life problems.” I love this line. It is just so funny to me! How does that summarize what she was talking about in her article? Breakfast probably won’t solve every major life crisis, but it may help you think up solutions and make it through most of them.
It is important to remember that it is not just missing breakfast that can slow down your metabolism or lead to a higher energy intake during the day, because this can apply to any meal. Consuming small frequent meals and snacks throughout the day will help keep your energy up, while helping you to keep your portion sizes in check. I also think this leads to happiness, because who doesn’t like eating every few hours…I do :).
MMMM…..THE POWER OF BREAKFAST. A small balanced breakfast that is 😉
Photo Courtesty of GillyFace.