Here’s Why Breakfast is Overrated
The New York Daily News
The most important meal of the day is overrated.
I skip breakfast almost every morning and I don’t notice a difference in my energy level or production at work compared to those rare instances when I do spring for a bagel or egg sandwich.
When I wake up at 6:30 a.m., I’m not hungry whatsoever. And I rarely have any trouble waiting till lunch for my first meal of the day. Besides, I’d rather enjoy an extra 20 minutes of sleep, or even take a longer shower, than frantically try to scrape together a quick meal when a quick cup of coffee is infinitely better at waking me up anyway.
This might be hard to digest for some. Society — and your mother — have been shoving the narrative about the importance of breakfast down your throat since you were old enough to chew. Sure, there may be some truth to it. The American Heart Association recently stated that eating breakfast every day might help reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
But nutrition experts say my breakfast-free lifestyle is perfectly healthy for a guy like me, since I’m generally careful with what I eat later in the day, and am in good physical shape.
Breakfast often isn’t necessary for adults based on a number of factors. (
“If you’re just getting up and getting ready to go to work and you’re not hungry, then no, breakfast is not necessarily something that is required,” says Abbie Gellman, a New York City-based registered dietitian and chef.
“Your body is like a machine, and that includes your brain, so you do need to eat to fuel it,” she adds. “But it’s not like you need it now in order for it to work right away. Otherwise people would be eating all the time. It partially depends on your lifestyle. Someone who is more sedentary doesn’t need as much food as someone who is exercising more.”
Gellman adds that people who eat a late dinner may not be done digesting that meal by the time they wake up, making it completely possible to make it to the late morning or early afternoon before they get hungry.
Ultimately, it matters more what you eat than when you eat it.
Sugary cereals can be worse than not eating at all.
Consuming food in the morning can be a downright disadvantage sometimes. Popular breakfast items like bagels, toast and pancakes are all carb-heavy options that only make you hungrier after you eat them.
“If you eat a refined carbohydrate, or really highly processed food, it’ll spike your blood sugar and your insulin and you’ll be hungry quicker,” Gellman says.
Sweeter options like cereal or muffins are a double whammy — in addition to making your stomach growl way before lunch, they’re also often loaded with sugar.
Not exactly a key component of a balanced diet.
Carb-heavy breakfasts just make you hungry faster.
The rules are different for kids, Gellman adds, because they need three nutritious meals a day while they’re growing.
This isn’t an indictment on breakfast foods. I eat omelets for lunch at least once a week, and there are few things I enjoy more than a Belgian waffle. I just don’t need to eat them at the crack of dawn when my brain is barely functioning yet, let alone my stomach.