“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve heard that phrase, and I’ve spent most of my life waking up with that thought in my mind as I try to psyche myself up to eat something at that hour of the day. The problem for me, and probably many other people, is that I want to live forever. In aid of that goal, I devour articles about the latest trends in the business of health. I follow fitness bloggers, and I learn about all the new diets–even though I never really try any of them. The point is, I do my best to keep myself healthy, and for many years that meant forcing myself to eat breakfast.
But here’s the thing.
I hate eating breakfast.
I don’t really like breakfast foods, but that’s a small problem, the bigger problem is that I am not hungry in the morning. After doing nothing but sleeping for 7-8 hours, I have no appetite, because I haven’t been moving at all. When I get out of bed, all I want is a cup of coffee, and the last thing I want is solid food in my stomach.
According to Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, these are the reasons why a person should eat breakfast:
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration in the classroom.
- Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Hunger sets in long before it’s time for lunch, but because it’s not convenient to eat properly, many people who have not eaten breakfast snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
- People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast would have provided.
- Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.
Point one: Breakfast is supposed to provide you with energy to start the day, but when I eat breakfast it makes me sluggish and distracted.
Point two: Since I started forcing myself to eat breakfast, I’ve gained about ten pounds.
Point three: I don’t get genuinely hungry until at least noon, unless I’ve gone for a run before work.
Point four: I take a multivitamin.
Point five: Breakfast makes me sluggish and creates a mid-morning slump–actually a whole morning slump.
Other reasons I hate breakfast:
- When I eat breakfast, it just makes me hungrier. I’m often not hungry until noon, but if I have breakfast I’m hungry an hour later, and then just feel like I’m starving all day.
- When I eat breakfast, that means I consume an extra 200-300 calories per day that I don’t need, hence the weight gain.
- I don’t like eating when I’m not hungry, and that’s not something you’re supposed to do, but no one ever acknowledges that for breakfast since it’s “so important.”
- When I eat breakfast, my stomach is literally growling an hour later and it hurts. It feels like my stomach is digesting itself, and is far more uncomfortable than being just a little bit hungry like I am when I don’t eat breakfast.
I went to the doctor yesterday and she praised me effusively for losing about seven pounds and then asked how I did it. I told her that I stopped forcing myself to eat breakfast, and her face just fell. Then she went into lecture mode, and told me that maybe I’m just meant to weigh what I weigh. Is the entire medical profession in bed with General Mills? What the hell?
So I’m done. I’ve tried eating breakfast, and it does not work for me. It makes me unhappy, it makes me fatter and people are not one size fits all. In my mind, the most important meal of the day is one you want to eat. If I’m hungry in the morning, I’ll eat, but I’m not going to guilt myself into forcing some food down my throat at 7am just because people like to say its important.