Is skipping breakfast unhealthy for us? Experts are always saying that a good breakfast is essential for kick-starting our metabolism, for keeping our eating schedule regular, and for making sure we don’t get too hungry and start bingeing. But is that true?
Not long ago I woke up raring to go and couldn’t wait to get to my writing. So I skipped breakfast. When I got hungry at mid-morning, I had a cup of hot tea with milk and sugar, and it hit the spot. In fact, it held me until after 1 p.m. when I finally needed a real meal.
On another morning, I woke up feeling full from a late supper. Obviously, my nightly “fast” hadn’t been long enough to make me want to “break” it.
Today, I stumbled upon a New York Times article that recapped two studies on skipping breakfast, and the results went against what we’ve always heard. Turns out there wasn’t any difference in weight change or cholesterol between those who ate breakfast and those who didn’t. Those who went without had a little less energy during the morning and ate 500 fewer calories during the day instead of ingesting additional food to make up for what they’d missed.
During decades of dieting, I never skipped breakfast, even if all I was allowed was bacon and eggs but no toast (Atkins), or light yoghurt with 6 almonds (1500-calorie diet), or a small piece of fruit and mini-pancakes with sugar-free syrup (Nutri-System).
As a recovering dieter, I try to listen to my body’s signals, but I admit that I usually eat breakfast without pausing to ask myself if I’m hungry because I take it for granted that I will be. Sometimes I’m not. And I find it a little strange because I have a great appetite. What’s going on?
Here’s a radical theory: If breakfast doesn’t appeal yet we’re not sick or too full, could skipping it sometimes be our body’s natural way of using up some of our reserves?
What do you think?
Posted on April 28, 2015