Hope you are having a good week, behold, spring is coming!
I am pretty excited today because I am writing the first ever blog on Nutrition!
And it is about one of my favourite subjects: breakfast.
One of the Mac-Nutrition Uni* (MNU) homework tasks was to pick a myth that I believed in for a long time and find evidences that debunk the myth.
I admit, I was a “breakfast worshiper”. I blindly followed all the anecdotes that glorify breakfast, making it sound like the most important meal of the day.
Did I ever question those anecdotal advices? NO. I just believed that it was healthy to eat breakfast no matter what. I would even compromise my sleep hours to eat breakfast, so I can be a healthy person(?!).
Some of you may be confused right now, as I am talking like breakfast isn’t important.
“What? Isn’t it healthy to eat breakfast?” “Doesn’t it help weight loss?”
Let me tell you, NO. NOT NECESSARILY.
Breakfast doesn’t make you healthy?!
“But, lots of breakfast eaters are healthier than non-breakfast eaters!”
Hence, eating breakfast makes you healthy…?
There’s something called “correlation”. This means there’s a link between A & B, which is different from “causation”. Causation means A causes B to happen.
In case of Breakfast, I have to say it’s a correlation.
Imagine a person who eats breakfast everyday, 6AM in the morning before work. They have to be pretty determined to get up half an hour earlier to have breakfast at 6am… or however early that is. Why are they so determined? Perhaps, they are health seekers.
Health seekers tend to eat breakfast because of the anecdotal advice in media that “eating breakfast makes you healthy”. What else do they do? They tend to eat less junk food, do regular exercises and to be “conscious” about their diet and lifestyle.
Do you see some co-relational link here between breakfast and health?
How about non-breakfast eaters? Apart from those who may seek health whilst skipping breakfast, most breakfast skippers may not be so keen to become healthy. Or they perhaps are shift workers who usually have a worse lifestyle! (not enough sleep, irregular routine etc)
So it seems more of the lifestyle that has stronger link to health, instead of just breakfast(1).
It maybe healthier than snacking on chocolate bars and crisps… if you eat fish, meat, loads of veg etc for breakfast. Some Asian countries like Korea and Japan traditionally have breakfast including veg, rice and fish/meat for breakfast so perhaps you can find positive association between breakfast and health.
However, eating bowl of sugary cereals along with fruit juice and jammy toast doesn’t seem to create that positive association to me.
Should I eat breakfast or not?
It’s totally up to you, if you like eating breakfast, go ahead!
BUT if you don’t have a habit of eating breakfast in the morning, you don’t have to make an effort to wake up earlier than the usual hour to give yourself a bowl of cereal(2).
What I am trying to tell you, is that eating sugary cereals for breakfast doesn’t make you healthy nor lose weight(3). As long as you have a relatively healthy snack ready instead of chocolate bars or biscuits, you are OK not to have breakfast!
How about eating a big lunch after skipping breakfast? As long as you choose a healthy option, that’s fine too.
In terms of weight loss, it is all about energy balance. If you eat more than what you burn, whether you have breakfast or not, you will gain weight. I will write another blog on this sometime soon. 😃
Let me be clear here, I am not an anti-breakfast person.
I personally love it. It fuels me to get things done in the morning. However, I am planning to try Intermittent Fasting(IF)** over this Lent to see if I can cope without breakfast, and it suits me rather better. I will post a blog about IF for those who don’t know about it, including my IF journey here. 🙂
Thanks for reading,
and I will see you in my next blog.
(3) The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in lean adults