Breakfast Like a Champion - Food for Thought?

Shanu Shashank
Shanu Shashank

 | 1 minute to read
Fitness Myths

Waking up each morning for my early workout sessions wouldn’t have been so easy if I were to continue believing the myth that you must eat breakfast like a king.

The last thing I would want to do is to lose all that food during one of those heavy compound movements. Many of us start our days with a perfect meal, usually a big plate rich in nutrients which set us up for the rest of the day. When I think about how I was conditioned to never miss my breakfast, I could say my entire childhood nutrition plan was based on a lie. - So, before we simplify this entire breakfast theory, let me put it this way - Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. It neither promotes or hinders the fat loss/gain process. As long as you are mindful of your overall nutrition and track the calories as per your goals, you will understand that breakfast, lunch or dinner are merely words. They don’t make or break your fitness goals and how you break down your meals is up to you. Stick to something which you can adhere to for the long term. - Every myth comes with a story, and may be with some self interest, too. When you dig into the history of Homo Sapiens, you get to know that the concept of breakfast never quite existed. Man would wake up early, walk miles for work, come back home only during mid day and towards the end of the day, he would have a heavy supper. But, how did the breakfast theory become so important? - It all started in the 1890s with the invention of Grape Nuts, created accidentally while developing a batter. Initially marketed as a food for the brain and nerves that could help enhance health and fitness, grape nuts was just another cereal packed with some whole grains, fibers, proteins and minerals. Their popularity grew so much that it was also consumed by soldiers during World War II, since it comes under dry rations and had a long shelf life. - Connecting breakfast cereals with health has prevailed ever since and perhaps they have been sold to us (yes, you read it right - you will come to know slowly), with celebrities and fitness models vouching for them. With taglines such as “power protein”, they promised good health but often delivered nothing. Breakfast for weight loss and the studies? - When you do a simple web search, you will come across a number of articles with claims of how breakfast promotes weight loss. However, the problem with such claims is the sample size. While some studies taken into account have a different set of individuals among the categories - Breakfast eaters and Breakfast Skippers, where chances of Breakfast eaters being more active and into exercise routine could be high than the sample type taken for Breakfast skippers and it’s a simple math of energy balance when it comes to weight loss or gain. So, it's not breakfast that helped them lose weight, but the energy deficit created due to higher activity levels. - People who skip breakfast may tend to consume huge amounts of calories, especially junk food, later in the day. Coupled with lack of activity, the chances that they would gain weight are higher. - Socio-economic status and how aware individuals are about fitness also influence how mindful they are of their eating habits leading to weight loss or gain. But, why did people start believing in this theory? ✓ Recalling the story of grape nuts, it was in 1898 that the Kellogg brothers (John Harvey & Will Keith) invented and started the business of cornflakes. With a background in running a wellness center (called Biologic Living), and with John Harvey being a religious doctor who believed masturbation was a crime and sin against nature, they prescribed a bran diet including cornflakes as a cure which was further mass marketed by his brother in the later years. ✓ This further went to another level when the magazine - Good Health mentioned how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which was edited by John Harvey again. ✓ This claim started being capitalised by other cereal making companies. The rest is history. So, now if you connect these dots from “self interest” to “how they have been sold” to the “advertisements that lead us to buying cereals”, you should be able to understand this chronology of making a product look good just for the sake of selling it. Final take: • Well, as mentioned earlier, it’s subjective from one person to another, whether you want to continue with your healthy and wealthy breakfast or just skip it. Whatever be the choice, do it for the right reasons. Personally, I prefer to let my target calories, hunger and my daily routine guide me. References: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30700403/ https://www.jpsr.pharmainfo.in/Documents/Volumes/vol8Issue06/jpsr08061639.pdf https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16129078/

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