Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
The Breakfast Myth (Part 1)
sp_BlogLink Read the original blog post
May 26, 2011
9:04 am
Lee
Guest

I typically exercise early, and eat after that. I find that breakfast is my most calorie rich meal and my later meals are small. That being said I my breakfast is extremely low in carbohydrates, its just basically eggs and natural chicken based sausage. Maybe a little bit of fruit.

I agree though, it might be worth skipping breakfast or moving it later in the day on an off day. I've done this on weekends, been awake for hours before the first meal. I'll try that at some point and see how it goes. I just find it important to get some food in me post workout.

May 26, 2011
11:38 am
Melly Sue
Guest

I am always very hungry in the mornings, so I'm a big fan of eating breakfast. Of course, what I eat provides real nutrition--a far cry from the refined carbohydrate examples that you've given.

May 26, 2011
12:45 pm
Mike
Guest

I usually eat a breakfast of mostly scrambled eggs and chicken - around 500 calories with tons of protein. I cook a few days in advance so I don't have to worry about it in the morning. I avoid any desire for dessert-like breakfasts, and it leaves me full a good portion of the day, sometimes straight through lunch.

I wouldn't knock breakfast completely. Eating a good breakfast in the morning (i.e., made with real food. and meat.) reduces food cravings overall throughout the day and gives you more energy in the morning. Most important meal of the day? Maybe not. But it has it's uses.

Anyway, great post. Really enjoyed it.

May 26, 2011
4:50 pm
Timothy
Guest

Outstanding post as always.

I blame the breakfast phenomenon on inadequate dinner.

A good whole food protein like animal meat and eggs will keep on releasing amino acids for 10 hours, often more. Combined with a reasonable amount of fat, there's plenty of fuel for the body to do whatever it needs to do all day long (or certainly at least until early afternoon), as long as its ability to burn fat has not been compromised with a high-carb diet.

And there lies the rub. A body accustomed to carbs will be out of fuel upon waking and craving candy most severely. And if dinner's protein was incomplete or insufficient, proteolysis will be in full swing as well, producing a craving for protein (which is often mistaken as a need for yet more candy).

The evolutionary argument is most compelling. Getting a proper meal takes some doing and simply wasn't available to our ancestors when they rolled out of their beds (nests?). So it makes sense for our bodies to be in catabolic mode on waking. That happy jolt of morning cortisol puts us on our way to planning, hunting, and preparing the day's food, a process which would typically take at least a few hours.

I notice that even when I fast for an entire day, I am never hungry when I wake up, however hungry I might have been the previous evening. Midday, of course, is another matter entirely.

May 26, 2011
7:17 pm
Avatar
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2045
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sean:

I understand why they did it: if you read the original study, they wanted to test regular breakfast foods vs. a higher-protein version of the same thing.  But "protein waffles"...what's next, protein candy?  

Oh, wait...that's called an "energy bar".

balabushka:

Make sure you have that same meal available for later in the day, once you do get hungry.  You don't want to be stuck eating out of a vending machine. Let us know what happens!

Asclepius:

That sounds right.  Pretty much anything carb-heavy goes well with sugar, as "carbs" are just sugars stuck together.  The only exception I can think of is potatoes...everything else (including rice) is fair game for dessert.

It's funny how people think of oatmeal-raisin cookies as "dessert" -- but will happily eat six cookies' worth of sugared oatmeal with raisins for breakfast.

Emily:

Caffeine is an appetite suppressant, as are most stimulants...but it tends to wear off around the same time as sugar/"carbs".  I'm convinced this is the modern "double whammy" that leads to mid-morning snacking.  Let me know what you think!

Nax: 

Habits are powerful and difficult to break.  Fortunately bacon is about the tastiest thing ever.  It'll be interesting to see how long it takes for you to genuinely get hungry: make sure you have some real food available for when hunger finally strikes.

Theresa:

Hotels and motels are just as bad as office breakfasts.  When you see the words "continental breakfast", you know you're not going to find anything to eat.  Danishes, bagels, cold cereal, orange and apple "juice", and the big thing for motels now is a waffle maker.  

Jan:

I agree: I can't face real food for at least a few hours after I roll out of bed.  Sometimes I know I'm going to have a very, very strenuous day ahead, and I have to force myself to eat.

Bill:

"Granola" is such a fake health food: oats stuck together by sugar and seed oils?  No wonder so many people can't stop eating it: like I mention here, the "health food" label short-circuits our rational mind that would otherwise be looking at the ingredients.

Congratulations on beating your addiction!  Isn't it great to not have to shovel carbs into your mouth every three hours?

JS

(More later...splitting the reply because I've got so many!) 

May 26, 2011
8:39 pm
Avatar
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2045
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Peggy:

It's so liberating to break our carbohydrate addiction, isn't it?  I used to be on the same "must eat every 3 hours or I get snippy" plan.

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the issue for children, as I don't know enough about the subject to make any recommendations.

Lee:

You're not doing it wrong, and I'm not making any blanket recommendations just yet: this post is intended to get people thinking about and discussing alternatives to the traditional "breakfast snack".  

My followup post will go into these issues (and more) in greater detail.

Katie:

Your plan is another popular one: big, slightly late complete meal for breakfast, and nothing else until dinner.  And isn't it strange how eating cereal or other sugary desserts for breakfast just makes us hungry?

gallier2:

Caffeine and nicotine are both appetite suppressants.  And as we (re)discover healthy eating, we're finding that the French "paradox" isn't a paradox at all.

Thanks for the information on the Comoros Islanders!

Bill:

That's a great anecdote! Sadly, it's very true: Snickers is more nutritionally complete than most breakfast "foods".  Like I said to Asclepius, people will happily eat the equivalent of six oatmeal cookies for breakfast in the form of oatmeal slurry.

Fmgd:

I agree with you that eating in the morning is often a habit, not a response to hunger.  We're bombarded continually with advertisements for breakfast foods and admonished that it's the most important meal of the day.  If it's so important, shouldn't we be eating food, not snacks? 

Thank you for the kind words!  I'm glad you find my articles useful.  Like you, I backed into paleo eating over a long period of dietary research -- and though I've been cooking with tallow for years, I only recently went fully paleo.

Andrea:

You're quite correct: I'll get into that subject in the next article.

JS

(to be continued)

May 26, 2011
9:33 pm
Avatar
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2045
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Kat:

If "intermittent fasting" is stressful for your clients, or for anyone, then they shouldn't do it.

I do it because it's not stressful for me at all -- I have no desire to eat early in the morning, and I enjoy the mental clarity.  And I doubt that anyone who isn't already fat-adapted by eating high-fat paleo will find it quite so easy...

...but it's simple to try.  Many people find that they're not really hungry when they wake up: they're just in the habit of eating.

I see no reason for any of us to eat when we're not hungry.  It's like the advice to "drink 8 glasses of water a day": just drink water when you're thirsty and you'll be fine.  Same with breakfast: if you're not hungry, bring some real food to work and eat it later.  Whether "later" is 10 AM or lunchtime doesn't matter: either way it's several more hours that you're burning fat for energy.

To me, "fasting" is something you do on purpose.  Not eating because you're not hungry isn't a fast.  I'm not "intermittent fasting", I'm eating when I'm hungry.  If I eat a big dinner, that's often not until noon or later.

Josh:

Fasting absolutely sharpens us mentally, and ease of fasting is a major benefit of paleo eating.  

I'm glad your experiment worked: keep us posted on your progress!

Walter:

Eggs and bacon are great any time of day!  I'll occasionally cook bacon for dinner.  Why?  Because I can.

Lee:

I agree with eating post-workout...fasted cardio is good, but if you're doing strength work you should be giving your body something to repair and grow itself with.

Melly Sue:

As I said above, there seem to be two popular eating patterns: skip breakfast, or eat a big, late breakfast meal of real food and little or nothing until dinner.  I'll talk about this in the next post.

Mike:

What I said to Melly, above.  And the good thing about cooking in advance is you can bring it to work if you're not hungry in the morning.

Thanks for the encouragement!  Do stick around: there's plenty more to cover.

Timothy:

That's a solid point about digestion time: a fat and protein-rich meal won't even make it out of your stomach for several hours, let alone be completely digested and bioavailable.  And I agree with you that junk food cravings are often nutritional cravings short-circuited by the availability of hyperpalatable snack foods.

Great post!  Please stick around.  And I appreciate the positive feedback.

JS

 

Finally I'm caught up!  The next article will be much better for your questions and ideas, and I thank all of you for your thoughtful replies.

May 27, 2011
2:22 am
Emma
Guest

A few years ago, my mother starting dating and then living with a man who had been single for a while and had never felt hungry in the morning so always skipped breakfast and eaten whatever and whenever he felt like. He was lean when they met, then she started nagging him into 'healthy' behaviours such as eating "the most important meal of the day" and "low-fat" foods such as margerine and skim milk.
When I saw them recently, I noticed that he is getting a significant spare tyre around the middle. I dread to think what she's doing to his health, he was doing fine when he was a completely instinctive eater!

May 27, 2011
1:22 pm
Avatar
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2045
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Emma:

That's terrible.  Like I said to Kat, why should we force ourselves to eat when we're not hungry?  It makes no sense...and I've found over and over again that eating cereal, danishes, or fruit juice in the morning just makes me hungry when it wears off. 

It sounds like that's what's happening to your mother's SO.

The worst thing is she'll probably push him to go on some sort of "diet" now that'll make it even harder to get the weight off.  Sigh.

JS

May 29, 2011
2:29 am
Tomasz
Guest

Ori Holfmakler, the writer of "Warriors diet" book claims that in ancient times it was slaves who were fed breakfasts, while warriors ate most of their calories at night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBrwRiSjd3I

May 29, 2011
10:05 pm
Peggy The Primal Par
Guest

J.S.

Indeed, it is difficult for anyone to make recommendations on fasting children as there isn't a whole lot of reference material on the subject. I had to pull from many angles to get a grasp on the subject. The article is published now if you'd like to check it out.
http://theprimalparent.com/2011/05/27/intermittent-fasting-safe-children/

May 30, 2011
10:49 pm
Franco
Guest

Nice!

@Kat,
fasting is much less stressful then snacking through the whole day while beeing nailed to the office chair for sure. I always wonder what garbage my staff (especially the female ones) eat at ~every hour for 8 hours: cookies, chocolate, candy, etc. (and of course the delusive "healthy" apple here and there), and all this in addition to a cheap business lunch at noon and god knows what they had already for breakfast at home! Don't you think that is the very definition of stress to your digestive tract?
Btw, grazing "prey" is also ill more often.

@Peggy,
I think "formal" IF for children is not neccessary and may be even counter-productive. As long as they eat real food, they can and should eat 3 or even 4/5 times per day, basically how often they(!) want.

As a child(in the 70ies/beginning 80ies in Germany) I was eating 4-5 times per day food(!) and was lean.
As a teenager/young adult I was working as a carpenter, eating 3 times per day and was lean.
Now, many years later and with a more management related job (surely no physical labour) I eat 1, at most 2 times per day and are lean. 🙂

@Tomasz,
that actually makes sense. I think it's even reflected in my short personal nutrition history above. When I was a slave...ahem! I mean carpenter, I needed(!) 3 meals per day and sometimes it was still difficult to pack in enough calories not to starve.

May 31, 2011
10:32 am
Guy
Guest

Hey,
I really enjoyed reading through your site, but I must ask something.
Whether I try to tell my friends breakfast isn't all that important, they keep saying it's the most important meal of the day.. it's the thing that fuels you up for the rest of the day.. etc.

Now, I can give only 2 answers for this:
1. The paleolithic answer, "We weren't made to eat breakfast"
2. The other answer, which explains why eating sugar in the morning is problematic because it will conclude in a sharp decline regarding energy levels about 2 hours after eating the "most important meal of the day".

Is there anything else I can explain to people? except showing them this site?
And what about bodybuilders etc.., they always claim their muscle tissue will dissolve if they won't eat breakfast. But that isn't true, as far as i know muscle tissue isn't used for energy unless you are fasting for over 24-48 hours. Unless I'm mistaking.

I would like to have this things clarified.

Thanks!

May 31, 2011
2:53 pm
Peggy The Primal Par
Guest

Franco,

Intermittent fasting isn't just about staying lean, especially not for kids. Kids aren't ever going to gain weight if they're active and don't severely overeat grains and sugar. Even unhealthy kids don't have to gain weight.

I address the issue because as parents we can relax about meal times and frequency. We don't have to worry about stuffing foods down their throats at each hour. This is a real concern for a lot of parents. They worry that if their kids don't eat dinner that something is wrong with them. Yes, kids will often eat a whole lot and at other times they won't want food at all. That's ok and perfectly normal and even beneficial in some ways!

May 31, 2011
5:35 pm
Fmgd
Guest

Guy,

I would think that as far as breakfast fueling you for the rest of the day, that's rather arbitrary. I use to doubt any advice that seems too arbitrary when it comes to complex things.

But think about it, what does hunger mean? That you should start looking for fuel (or maybe are lacking nutrients I don't know, but it doesn't really matter here). Now, if you're not hungry, it means you're still stocked up. If you then get hungry a few hours later and eat, there you'll have your fuel.

It simply makes no sense to believe that a healthy human should be eating when he's not hungry. We'd be the dumbest animals alive.

May 31, 2011
9:02 pm
Franco
Guest

Peggy,

looks like we agree! That's why I wrote "formal IF" and "eat how often they want". That's basically what my childhood was about. There still was an emphasis on emptying your plate not to waste food on the family meals. After WWII-generation mindset of my parents I guess.
I didn't push it with my son. (not that it was needed - he got my genes for eating large portions).

May 31, 2011
9:04 pm
Franco
Guest

Guy,

with regards to BB check leangains.com
It should answer all of your questions.

June 1, 2011
9:26 am
Guy
Guest

Thanks for your answers!
I must ask though.
Let's say I'm training, and I'm not hungry all that often.
And even when I am hungry, I can't eat all that much, and I get full pretty fast.
So.. how can I make gains in muscle if I won't eat when I'm not hungry, it's a little problematic.

June 1, 2011
5:46 pm
Wati
Guest

I usually eat breakfast, but taking it easy and wait till I feel hungry, not when I get straight out of bed and think I SHOUD eat breakfast right away.

But the breaskfast we eat here in Asia is different, at least traditionally. Here in Tokyo where I live, it's usually rice, grilled fish, veggies and miso soup. I love it and it keeps me going that I usually don't need lunch because I am not hungry. In Singapore where my family is, eating fried rice with meat and veggies is normal. Granted it's more carb, but rice is a staple for us. I am relieve that Paul Jaminet endorses rice as a safe starch.

Sadly, people are buying into the commercialisation/marketing of eating "healthy" Western breakfast, so breakfast now is bread with margarine or cereal with skimmed milk. Supermarket shelves are increasingly loaded with sweetened cereal and breakfast bars. If you eat out for breakfast, it's Starbucks coffee with scone or donut, or McDonalds brekkie with the whole family.

June 1, 2011
9:11 pm
Franco
Guest

Guy,

in your situation I would cut out all bulky carbs (potatoes, wheat/grain-products anyway). Rice (not paleo but a safe starch) isn't as filling and easy to digest.
For proteins and fat: beef, liver and eggs, go light on the veggies (a green salad isn't very filling). Use pastured butter freely.
If this doesn't help, add a big quality whey protein shake.
And if you train with the right (read: high) intensity and pay attention to recovery as well (read: NOT everyday) your appetite should increase automatically.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 46

Currently Online:
10 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1583

Members: 4508

Moderators: 0

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 2

Topics: 247

Posts: 6893

Administrators: J. Stanton: 2045