Breakfast – do you really need to break that fast?


What could be more basic than breakfast? One would think that there is not much to be discussed about breakfast, as everyone already knows everything about it. You would think that people do not need any education on such a mundane subject, and you couldn’t be more wrong.

The other day I decided to check what first lines of google search can tell me about the importance of breakfast. Or may be it’s not important at all? Let’s take a closer look.

Apparently, a  recent study by Bath University found that eating breakfast does very little to your snacking or portion sizes throughout the day. So the idea behind eating breakfast just because it will stop you from over-eating throughout the day is flawed. Moreover, the study found that the major difference was that those who abstained from breakfast ate fewer calories over the whole day. So far so good. So may be those insane people that skip breakfast for the sake of cutting their food intake know better?

Suddenly, there is this tiny note in the middle of the articles, that says directly this: “However, breakfast eaters were likely to expend more energy – around 442 calories – by being active, mainly in the morning after eating.” Ouch, so the study suggests that you do eat less throughout the day if you don’t eat breakfast, but forgot to emphasise that this happens at the cost of becoming a couch potato, as due to lack of energy, you just enter the hibernation mood. Likewise, it turns out that breakfast eaters had more stable blood sugar readings, especially by the end of the trial. 

I have a big problem with this article. For a start, the headings states that breakfast might not be the the most important meal of the day after all. That statement is clearly purely based only on the fact that skipping breakfast in this particular study did not have much effect on the metabolism. So the statement is misleading, because the majority of people who are going to read it, will just start thinking that there has been new scientific evidence that it doesn’t do anything to your metabolism, hence it’s not important. Besides, it has no link to the actual study and then it was mentioned that there is a common belief that breakfast is important,  yet there is not a lot of scientific evidence that proves this dogma. 

I understand that expecting DailyMail to produce any decent piece of information is highly optimistic. But I also understand that Daily Mail is popular and average Joe reads it. Average Joe could be tempted to believe it, because regardless of how clever you think you are, the ordinary people of planet Earth are still quite naive and gullible. (If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself why all the marketing works so well). 

Why breakfast is important?

Science tells us that every single one of us has got the hunger hormone. It has a rather intimidating name of ghrelin. Gherlin conveys the signal for hunger into your brain. Reducing ghrelin will diminish the food intake at any given meal. But the easiest way to do it is at breakfast. Why? Well, if you don’t eat breakfast, the ghrelin level keep rising as the morning drags on, which will make you eat more throughout the day.

However, Bath University tells us, that it might not be the truth. Ignoring the serious questions about the credibility of such a study, I should point out that the traditional idea of breakfast being just part of the equation (skipping one meals means you will make up for it at some point during the day), is just one aspect of it. What is missing, is the emphasise that what you eat makes all the difference in the world. A high-protein meal ((The headline picture of this post is examples of our breakfasts. All of them have decent amount of protein, if it’s not from animal product, then it’s plant based, or both! First one, is quark with chia seeds (11.6g of protein per 100g + 17g of protein per 100g) on the bed of some fresh fruit. The rest I will post later in details. )) has been shown to reduce gherlin more than a meal high in fat or cabohydrates, so you will burn more just sitting.((Dr Lusting:”Fat Chance”, Fourth Estate, 2014)) Protein has a higher thermic effect, meaning it costs double the energy to metabolise protein vs carbohydrates. Most importantly, protein doesn’t generate nearly as high insulin response as do carbs, and doesn’t lead to your blood glucose crashing down, which makes you hungry sooner and decreases the risk of cravings, i.e. eat all the rubbish around you. Which is, ultimately, exactly what you want to achieve in your daily life.

Breakfast full of protein will make you feel good for the entire morning, make you more focused as you won’t be distracted by the lack of good, and most importantly, it will not play up with your blood sugar level. So yes, if you want to stay one healthy, happy person, who does not attack people in the morning, you need to break your night fast and fuel yourself up.

If you are one of those people, who says they cannot force themselves to eat in the morning, then there is only one solution: you need to change your habits. The only, I highlight, the only reason why you do not want to eat in the morning or cannot, is because you ate too much in the evening. Cut your food intake in the evening, make yourself hungry. After several days or maximum weeks of changing your eating habits, you will be on the road to a Happy Land when you will feel hungry when you should be, i.e. in the morning and not at midnight.

Moral of the story: do not believe everything that is written in the newspapers!

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