How many times have you heard the old adage, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? It seems the phrase has been ingrained in today’s health conscious individual enough to no longer be questioned. Why is it the most important meal? What makes lunch and dinner so secondary? Intermittent fasting, a popular weight loss technique, challenges this old idea and encourages skipping breakfast.
Though fitness gurus, blogs, weight-loss coaches and personal trainers will still fight in the honor of breakfast helping to lose weight fast, here are a few myths that need to be addressed.
Your metabolism is controlled by many complicated and interworking factors. To say that one meal may have such a significant impact on your metabolism is an insult to the human body! Hormones are chiefly in charge of your metabolism, as well as your lean mass, activity levels and stress levels.
Focus on the types of food you’re eating throughout the day and make sure you’re nourishing yourself. That means no “crash diets” and severe caloric restrictions. For example, low-fat diets are known to cause hormonal imbalances and do damage to your metabolism.
Think skipping breakfast will make you eat more throughout the day? Skipping breakfast — essentially, fasting — is actually shown to curb your appetite by allowing your body to regulate its hormones without the constant influence of high-glycemic breakfast foods such as bagels, cereals and juices. High glycemic foods will cause your blood sugar to spike and, inevitably, drop – causing you to feel hungry again! Eating low glycemic foods that are full of fat, fiber and protein can aid in weight loss and reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Not to mention, people who skip breakfast tend to cut out a large portion of their daily calories by simply not eating them. Eating a good lunch, dinner and snacks throughout the day still ensures a safe caloric range with plenty of macro/micronutrients.
It’s important to point out that we are all breakfast eaters, whether we skip breakfast or not. Breakfast is simply the first meal of your day. There are observational studies that show that a healthy breakfast will lead to healthier eating habits throughout the day. Whether that breakfast is at 7:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m., it’s still your first meal. If it’s full of fiber, fat and protein, then you’ve had a healthy meal and are more likely to follow through with a healthy lunch and dinner.
Healthy eating is more important than the time of day the food is eaten.
Many experts will agree that your body needs time to adapt. That’s why if you’re going to try skipping breakfast for its many benefits, give it a week to see results. One size does not fit all and you may function better with breakfast first thing in the morning.
People do see amazing results with intermittent fasting however. It’s also known as the 16:8 method of fasting and involves eating all your meals within a window of time, followed by a period of fasting. This usually means sleeping, skipping breakfast and eating your calories in an 8-hour window. The remainder of the time, your body digests the food it’s been given and fasts, all while tapping into stored body fat for energy. Some people fast for 20 hours instead of 16, some only 12. Intermittent fasting is known for a variety of different health benefits beyond weight loss — it can help increase metabolic rate, regulate blood sugar and more.
The takeaway from these myths seems to be a resounding nod towards maintaining healthy eating habits throughout the entire day. No one meal is more important than another, but rather the collective effort on your part. Base your meals around fats, protein, fiber and few carbs for sustainably healthy eating all year long!
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