Do I HAVE to eat breakfast?
I used to spend a great deal of time trying to convince my patients how important it is to eat breakfast. The studies point to many reasons why this is the case. I even have a litany of those reasons listed in my breakfast recipe eBook.
The not-breakfast people would fight me tooth and nail. I fought myself tooth and nail.
I abhor breakfast.
Not simply ‘I’d prefer not to eat it’ but when I do make myself eat it I have to choke down every single bite. And then I feel sick for hours. One of my patients recently referred to my distaste of breakfast as my “dirty little secret.” I’d hardly call it that, but I’ll give her that it’s not my thing.
In my practice I espouse day in and day out that there is no one answer for everyone. That what is important for one person may not be for another. That said, there are some universal truths about nutrition.
- It’s best to eat real food.
- Sugar is addictive and causes inflammation, too much is bad for you.
- Drinking water isn’t something you can skip because you don’t feel thirsty.
- Don’t stuff yourself until you feel so full you can’t fit another bite in.
And there may be some things that apply to most people.
- Vegetables and protein should be the foundation of your diet.
- Rarely eat anything that is processed.
- Eat a wide variety of foods.
Many of the things we read that we should do may not be as important as Facebook or popular blogs and magazines tell us. Each person has individual needs for her health. Don’t fall into a trap of judging yourself because you don’t follow the ‘rules’ you see.
- You probably don’t need to do a detox (taking a break from crappy food and being attentive to what you put into your body is another story altogether.)
- Not everyone needs to avoid gluten.
- Coffee not only won’t kill you, but it appears it is actually good for your cardiovascular health.
So, who should eat breakfast?
The simple answer is some of you.
It’s best to eat breakfast if you:
- have high or low blood sugar.
- tend to get hungry and then make poor food choices.
- have a hard time hitting your calorie goal for the day.
- need to take a medication or supplement that should be taken with food.
- get hangry, sad, irritable, anxious, or otherwise emotionally out of balance when you don’t eat.
- actually want to eat but “don’t have time.”
- feel better when you eat breakfast (duh, right?)
So, if you fall into one of those categories, please do eat breakfast. Plan ahead. Make it mostly protein and veggies. And try to sit and eat rather than grabbing and eating on the go if you possibly can.
For the rest of you, the rest of us. A green tea with milk (hemp milk for me, please,) a cup of coffee with cream, hot water with lemon, some protein powder in water or unsweetened faux milk. Any of these things, are all good.
My single caveat is If you’re at risk for getting a late lunch or you get hungry mid-morning, make sure to have a snack on hand.
The most important things?
Eat when you’re hungry. Eat enough food. Make it real food. And enjoy it.
Yours in Health,
PS you can still download my breakfast recipe eBook even if you don’t eat breakfast, because breakfast for dinner is the best.