Wellness Myths

MYTH: Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of The Day

January 05, 2022 Season 2 Episode 35
Wellness Myths
MYTH: Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of The Day
Show Notes Transcript
Why does society place sooo much emphasis on breakfast? Is it truly that important- moreso than lunch or dinner? The girls of Wellness Myths are here today to decode this old saying and give you the truth about your morning meal.

Expect to leave armed with new scientific facts and tips for forming sustainable habits around all of your daily meals!

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So today we're talking all about breakfast and it's kind of funny because I know we're going to talk a lot about skipping meals and everything. And I have a confession because today I made this like amazing breakfast. It was like a vegan sunny side, up egg and toast with vegan bores and pesto on it. Through, and then I completely skipped lunch and it's 1 55 and I ate like a Justin's mini peanut butter cups. So I could be not late for our meeting. And, you know, I actually I'm kinda guilty today as well. I literally had, like, I did not work today. I had today off and I woke up and I was just not hungry. Like I was not hungry until like 11 o'clock and eating. I feel like something I wanted to do even remotely. And so I didn't, so I'm, I'm guilty of not eating breakfast today. I mean, 11 o'clock is still kind of breakfast, like brunchy but Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I feel like we just need to get right into it because we're going to have so much information on this topic to share. yeah, let's do it. Welcome to this week's episode of wellness mess. We've been on a little bit of a hiatus over the winter break, but we are getting right back into it. And we are tackling probably one of the biggest myths that everyone has heard since they were a little kid, which is breakfast is the most important meal of the day now. I dunno, we're going to have a lot to say about this, but I know that Emily and I have both had our own journeys with breakfast as well, sort of us have. So I'm, what's your journey with breakfast? So something that I think is really important to talk about when we talk about the first meal of the day. Yeah. It doesn't have to look any particular way. Like for a while it was really difficult for me because I didn't really like a lot of breakfast foods. Like I don't really like cereal. I'm not a huge oatmeal person. Like I do kind of like force it on myself sometimes because it makes me feel good. But it's just, it can be difficult when you don't like those particular. Are those traditional breakfast foods. So for me changing that up and allowing myself to eat like dinner leftovers for breakfast, if I want, or like soup or really any other type of food for breakfast has really freed up a lot of my options. And I find myself eating a lot more often in the morning now that I took the pressure off. Exactly what type of. Yeah, I think that's really important. And I feel like that's a really huge thing that people struggle with with eating breakfast is they just don't like eating breakfast foods. So you are more than welcome. As gender is, breakfast is just a social construct. Absolutely. real. You don't have to eat eggs in the morning because it's the morning time. I mean, there's nothing really to that. You can eat whatever you want. I similarly have had kind of a journey with breakfast partially because. I feel like I like breakfast foods more now, but I didn't so much in the past. And I was like the typical I was eating e-mails and coffee for breakfast and that was it. And Just kind of like the, oh, I don't have time for breakfast. I don't feel hungry. And not really feeling like it was worth it. And then kinda got to a place where I was like, I actually don't feel very good. Like I'm, caffeinating like crazy. It's making me feel super anxious. I'm like sweating while I'm eating these emails in the morning. Sweating the like low blood sugar sweating is the absolute worst part of Yeah. Not eating breakfast. Right. And then I'm like devouring lunch, and I want like anything and everything. I can get my hands on. I just feel like super hungry. And then even I find when I don't eat breakfast, I feel so much more ravenous even at the end of the day, like towards dinner. I'm. Clawing at anything I can get my hands on. Versus if I had two meals before that, I feel a lot more stable and like, I don't have to like eat every chip in my cupboard while I'm making. Yeah, that's something that I relate to hugely and it kind of goes back to the intuitive eating principle of primal hunger. Where, if we go through most of our waking hours without eating, we can really send ourselves down a pathway where we're not really able to tune into any cues like hunger and fullness. And we're just looking for that satiated feeling of, because we really been restricting all day long, even if it was an unintentional, you know, I think a lot of people are like, oh, intermittent fasting. I think that's something that. And we're like, okay, obviously that's in direct contrast with breakfast being the most important meal of the day because those folks are usually skipping breakfast all the time. So I think that that hasn't really helped in recent years, like that trend in general. But what really happens when we skip breakfast is that we have that blood sugar tank that Vanessa was just talking about and we can have a really hard time regulating and that can lead to overeating in the evenings. And even like, if your calorie amounts the same throughout the day, it's still better to stretch it out. It's like, With water, like you can't just slam five glasses of water at the end of your day and be like, well, you know, I drank like 60 ounces of water today. It's like, well, that's good. It's not like the worst thing. I mean, I'm not recommending you slam 60 ounces of water, but like spreading it out throughout your day is what's important to keep your brain functioning and your other bodily functions. Yeah. And I mean, I think we've laid out some, you know, reasons why breakfast is really important. And so you might be thinking, you guys are saying it's a myth. That breakfast is the most. The day yet, you're saying how important it is and really why we're saying it as a myth is because I don't really think there's any particular meal. That's the most important meal of the day. The most important thing is your supporting your body with nutrients throughout the day. And I don't think that one meal, depending on whatever time of the day it is, is more important than the next, just because of what time you eat. Yeah. And honestly, the more I think about it, you know, the saying of like breakfast is the most important meal. It makes me feel. Oh, you better pick something that's super health promoting every single time. And I think sometimes when we're in this box, similar to like breakfast foods, but like when you're in this box of being like, well, you've got to have like fruit, a big fruit smoothie, or you can only have oatmeal or something like that because it's breakfast. Like you can't just wake up and eat like, you know, pizza or something like that. So I think it's almost like a weird way that diet culture kind of sneaks in the. In the saying where we're thinking, oh, okay. I've got to like force myself to eat something healthy upon waking, which it's important to eat a balanced meal upon waking. I'm not trying to say that at all. But I think it's just one of those insidious aspects of diet culture, where we're feeling a little bit of pressure. Yeah. And it's really interesting too, because when we think of breakfast, a lot of times. Conventional breakfast foods tend to be more carb heavy. And so there's been a lot of studies on that. Like whether the body processes carbs better in the morning, then in the evening Emily, have you looked at any of that research at all? No, I can't wait for you to tell me. Yeah. so I was looking into that a little bit and. You know, studies have been pretty inconclusive and finding what's actually going on here. But some were saying that the body is better at burning carbs in the morning and fat in the evening. And I think That's, mostly just because people tend to be more active in the morning. Versus, you know, they're starting their day. They're going off to work. They're doing whatever they're going to do versus, you know, especially if you eat a later dinner some people might just be going to the couch or going to bed or kind of going into their wind down time. So that certainly builds a little bit of an argument of why, you know, eating carbs in the morning could be more beneficial than at night, perhaps. But not necessarily because of different body functions, but in more because of just what you as a human are doing. Yeah. that's that's really interesting. I've never even really thought about that. I think because like, I always think schedules are so different for everyone. Right. But I mean, that doesn't make sense. Yeah, for sure. And you know, more things to do. The importance of breakfast, I guess. I mean, a lot of studies studies have shown really great health benefits improving energy levels and improving the ability to concentrate in the short term. Better weight management or reduced risk of type two diabetes and heart disease while I'm having a really hard time, none feeding. But so there's definitely, you know, some studies that have shown a lot of good things for breakfast, but we're just saying that like, You know, it's just breakfast. We don't have to like, make it something that it's not. Yeah. I was kind of thinking like, you know, yeah, I guess not really anyone meals the most important, but I do feel like personally for me, lunch may be arguably the most important meal, just because it's like that middle point of your day where like you've had food, but it's definitely worn off. Or at least most of us weren't off your carb, heavy breakfast by the time lunch comes around. And if I don't have lunch, then like I'm still in that. Space for dinner, no matter what, but even more amplified than if I were to say, like skip breakfast instead. And then the focus kind of goes down in the middle of the day. You have that mid day slump. If you're not consuming energy. So I think to your point too, with the schedules, it really depends. Like what's your specific situation, you know, like, do you work midnights? Like things will look a lot different for you. And as we said, it's such a social construct. You don't even have to call the meal what it is. And I think also it's really important to you, whether you're skipping breakfast or skipping lunch, it's like, look at where you're at. You know, if you're skipping breakfast every day, Or skipping lunch. You're not going to all of a sudden go to packing, like big grain bowls with chickpeas and a homemade dressing and fresh chopped vegetables, you know, or if you're like drinking coffee for breakfast in the morning, you're not going to all of a sudden create like this huge, like tray of breakfast for yourself. So I think like avoiding the pressure of like, oh, it's gotta look like this and just think, okay, what does it look like for me now? And what would be like one. Above that, right? Like if you're eating just a piece of fruit for breakfast, could you like have your banana with nut butter or something like really simple like that could be Right. Yeah. And that's something to think about too, if you? are a coffee drinker or a caffeine consumer in the morning that makes breakfast even more important. Because if you're consuming that caffeine without anything in your stomach, it really hits. That usually comes with a crash afterwards, if you're not eating anything beforehand. So a lot of people, you know, they're thinking, oh, you know, I have my coffee in the morning. I feel great. I feel, you know, it helps me wake up, but then by 2:00 PM they're like, can barely keep their eyes open. So that's when they start to get into that rhythm of drinking more caffeine and then not being able to sleep at night. And it just all becomes kind of vicious. And then how about the fact that when you're consuming so much caffeine, your appetite just tanks. I mean, that happens to me so often if I have like a mid morning coffee and then. Four o'clock and I'm like, shit, I didn't eat lunch because I'm not even accessing any of those cues. It's like, I mean, caffeine is a type of drug regardless of how accepted it is. And, you know, it's the same, like if you're drinking or you've been smoking, it's like, you're not really able to activate those internal cues of hunger and fullness to the degree that you are when you're not altered by a substance. And I feel like caffeine should be included in. Yeah, definitely. And I also think it's important to talk about. So we already kind of touched on, You know, breakfast tends to be a carb heavy meal. And I think it's a time where a lot of people you know, they kind of think like, oh, I'm just gonna like grab something quick. Like I'm going to grab a banana or something, which is fine, but like, you really need protein at breakfast. That is what's going to help. You know, get through to lunch And actually create good energy. You know, a banana is great, but you need to pair it with something else. yeah. And by pairing it with something else, you're going to stabilize that blood sugar. And so you won't have that big spike and lower. It's not like you're like preparing for a workout where you just want like crazy energy right away, where you would get something super carb, heavy. You know, you want something that's going to be able to carry you through. Right. And of course, if you're someone to who's. You don't love eating something in the morning. Smoothies are always a great option to kind of throw everything in there and get some protein fats carbs all in something that you can just drink rather than chewing. Yeah, and really to. Like we said, it's really all about meeting yourself where you're at, you know, so if you don't like something, it's not like we're saying, oh, well, guess what? Now you have to start eating this big meal for breakfast. It's really just about getting curious and kind of challenging yourself with that. I mean, I know that like, if I portion out food for breakfast that I would eat for lunch, I eat like half of what I eat for lunch in the morning, just because my hunger cues aren't fully there yet. And so I have that conversation with myself, like, you know, okay. Yes. I'm not super hungry right now, but regardless I need to eat something because of practicality. Like my life, I have to go teach a class or have a client or something and I have to eat something that's going to you know, stabilize my blood sugar. And so I don't feel ill later in the morning. And so it's a mixture, right? Of like, okay, I'm not super hungry, but I have to take care of myself in this way. And also I'm not going to force myself to have the biggest meal of the day in the morning, just because that's what. You know, culture tells me to. Right. You know, like the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast thing. Somewhere where that comes into is like, you know, if the option, your only option, at least for me personally, I don't know how you feel. Emily. If my only option for breakfast is something. Like a donut or like a pastry. I would rather just not eat breakfast because it makes me feel so horrible. I'm like I get a headache. The blood sugar spike is just like too much. know, if that's you know, of course you can have a donut or a pastry in the morning, I would just encourage you to eat something else too. Because that kind of just sends you out a whole nother spiked. Yeah, absolutely. I've also find myself being super sensitive to that and I have to eat something as well alongside it. And I think like this is another. Aspect where like restriction rears its head. Because I think people think, oh, I'm going to have a doughnut for breakfast. Like, it's this huge, like special tree, whatever. And you know, I shouldn't dare eat more calories along with this like high calorie. If it even is donut, when really in reality, you should be adding in those foods because then you're going to have a better outcome than if you were to just eat a doughnut. And so I think being really clear about that is really important. Right. And I know there's been things circulating too. I was just telling Emily, I was reading a book recently. It was something that I got from the library and it was about like, And sometimes I'll check out books like that. Just kind of see what they have to say and see if it's like a healthy thing that people should be reading or not so much. And this book in particular has a lot of different things in it. It talks about meditation a lot. It talks about, you know, saunas and all kinds of different therapies. And there's a little chapter on food and I'm always kind of scared to read those, but Terrified. I'm terrified I don't read it. to open that up. Yep. I don't breed in. And there was a whole section about, you need to eat less and I'm like, Okay. okay. Like, you know, let's see what they have to say about this. And it was, it was just saying, just throw breakfast away. You don't need it. Breakfast is you should only be eating two meals. Breakfast is not important and don't do it. Eat less, just eat into. And I just want to tell you, just because you split your meal meals into two, instead of three does not mean you're going to consume less calories. I would argue, oftentimes you're going to consume more. Because like what we stated earlier, you know, you get to the point where you come to lunch and you're completely ravenous and you're eating, you know, all of these snacks and things that you probably wouldn't have eaten if you weren't so hungry, even before you have your meal. And you end up kind of over consuming And the worst part about all of this to me is like less there. We're just under this assumption that less equals better, like less food. Of course, it's going to be better for you. Like, and that's, it goes back to the doughnut thing. Like, of course it's better to just have a donut rather than a donut and like Greek yogurt and banana, like, of course that's how it's going to be, because we're so. To view it that way because everything's so weight centric and it's like, well, it's calories in calories out. Like that's all that we really care about. And so it can be really difficult to switch that off. And it's sad that, you know, even a book that has the simple little excerpt is fully under the spell of less is better when that's rarely the case. I mean, of course there's definitely times when we're overeating and that's not like a great thing and it's not like. Hmm. I'm trying to think of how I want to say that. Hold on. It's not like I'm supporting overeating on a daily basis and saying, oh, that's going to be awesome for you. Like keep doing that. Keep binging all your food. No, that's, that's not really like where we want to head either, but we're so focused on doing less that a lot of the times it seems like all we ever do is add food because the advice is so far, the other way as indicated by what's in this. Yeah, exactly. And you know, it's like you should be looking at these meals, like, like when you come down to sit to breakfast or most people probably aren't even sitting for breakfast, however you're consuming breakfast. You know, what do you want? How do you want to feel after you have that meal? And what are you doing during the day? I mean, it's not just, I feel like people think, like, for example, Emily is an expert in intuitive eating. So people think, oh, well she means I should just have a donut. And cause that's what I feel like. And there's more things that are coming into what you're deciding to eat for that morning. Other than just what you feel like. Yeah. Some days I might wake up and think, oh, a donut sounds great. But then I'm also like, oh yeah. If I eat that, I'm going to feel like shit. And I value not feeling like shit more than, you know, only having a doughnut for breakfast. So I might have the donut or I would probably have something first and then the donut maybe eat less of what I was going to eat. So I have room for some extra donut. If that's what I feel. And there are moments too. It's like it's the most apps. Rudimentary version of intuitively and to be like, I want a donut and I'm going to eat it, you know? And so having room for all that nuance is really important and also having a room for the fact that sometimes that is what we're presented with and that option is what's happening. You know, like if you're on vacation and you're eating a ton of like fun play foods like that and you are going to feel not the greatest afterwards, and sometimes that's a choice that you make and that's okay too. It's not like, you know, all the time we have to be just fueling this machine of productivity. It's like, there's other things that are going on in our lives that are helping adjust your, that are helping other things going on in your lives that all play a role in the choices that you make regarding your food. And so, you know, like, I mean, Vanessa, the days of her wheat allergy, Perhaps it would be eating wheat sometimes because it would just be worth it. And it would be like, okay, if I feel a little ill after then, whatever, like I know what I did to myself. Like, you know, so there's all those types of there's those types of situations where that happens. And I think taking the morality out of that is really helpful. And taking the morality out of breakfast in general, like, just because you don't eat breakfast doesn't mean you're like a bad person or just because you do doesn't mean that like, oh, you fully have your shit together. So taking kind of like the power away like that and knowing that everybody's going to have a different individual circumstance. And if you're someone who's listening to this right now and thinking, wow, I, you know, I can see how there is benefits to eating breakfast, but I don't like it. I don't like eating breakfast. I'm not hungry in the morning. I would just encourage you to, you know, start small. You don't have. Put something in your mouth, as soon as you wake up you know, maybe you're eating breakfast at 10 o'clock instead. Maybe that's a time where you're kind of warming up to the idea of eating and again, start small. I would discourage you from, from drinking caffeine before you eat breakfast. Cause like Emily mentioned before, that is going to suppress your appetite. So you probably won't feel hunger. So a lot of people that say they don't feel hungry in the morning. That's probably why they're like Downing a gallon of coffee, which I understand I've totally been there. And like, I, it nobody's perfect either. I mean, I try to have breakfast cause it makes me feel good, but there are days where I'm also Like on the pot of coffee training because that's life and we're human and that's what happens sometimes. So yes, breakfast is important. It's. The most important thing ever, and you're not going to die if you don't eat breakfast. But we would definitely encourage you. Yeah, totally. I think also too. You know, it might not work for you having a big meal in the morning and you might be more of a snacker and that's totally fine. I think it's really important in, in the intuitive eating journey in general. It's like, we're really encouraged. We'll just get curious about it. Like what would it be like if you. Had a snack in the morning, what would they be like if you did it at this time or this time, you know, and just kind of playing around with it and seeing what works for you rather than just kind of accepting our own narrative to be the complete truth without taking any of that exploration, to see what it is. And just noticing little things too. If you are someone who doesn't eat breakfast now and you start eating breakfast, I know for Emily and myself, we have both noticed in our breakfast journeys that, you know, if we don't eat breakfast, we might feel like a little bit more snacky after dinner. And I, I think that illustrates again how you can't just eliminate a meal and think like, well, I'm just not going to be hungry. I'm not going to eat more. You might just be hungrier at a different time of the day. And you know, that could potentially, you know, if you're snacking later at night that may, you know, affect your sleep depending on, you know, how late you're snacking and things like that. So, you know, kind of weighing all of those things. And making your breakfast. Yeah, totally. I think my last point on breakfast is something that really resonates for me personally, where if you skip breakfast or even if you have like an unconventional food for breakfast, Keeping in mind, like. Okay. If you didn't have any fruit at breakfast, right. It can be difficult to get the remainder of your servings of fruit in for the rest of the day. So just kind of keeping that on your mind. Like if you're having something that's a little more unconventional, like leftover pizza and a salad for breakfast, thinking like, oh, maybe later I could have fruit as a snack or something like that, because sometimes when we miss out on. Food groups in the beginning of the day, it can be a little harder to get them later. That's just kind of something that I find. So if you're able to kind of have that extra space and breathing room in your day to plan that can be really helpful too, to make sure that you're still getting everything that you need, but maintaining a sense of flexibility. Yeah, I think that's super important. So in summary and what Emily named this recording is breakfast. Ain't everything, but also it's kind of important. I didn't really quite roll off the tongue to title the episode officially, but that's really our stance. Yep. Alrighty see you next time.