Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
The answer depends on who you ask. Some health professionals consider missing breakfast a nutritional sin that will send you to disease hell.The lack of fuel is said to wreck havoc on your body and mind for the entire day.
My health science teachers and textbooks taught me to be adamant about this rule. My doctor and the athletes on the boxes of cereals I stared at every morning did too, as did the scriptures of the Canadian Food Guide. I never missed breakfast and required any student I worked with early in my career to follow suit. I even wrote articles to emphasize its necessity.
Things were smooth until someone knocked me off my feet with evidence proving me wrong. I was shocked; a few Facebook comments turned my whole world upside down. I tried to save face in vain and looked stupid doing so. It turns out there were people who skipped breakfast and reported feeling better, leaner, and stronger during the day, and there was valid science to support it.
The pill was hard to swallow. I was wrong practically, and scientifically. I felt ashamed, mostly because of my cocky attitude on the matter. The evidence had been in front of me the whole time, and I just chose to ignore it.
Some of my students had shown poor results after following my morning regimen religiously. Others were not experiencing the breakfast boost and even felt worse afterward. I had looked at the world through a straw by blaming them for the failures, instead.
One morning I sucked up my pride and skipped breakfast intentionally. And again, the day after. I had two great workouts and felt less brain fog than usual. I could tell because my energy levels were soaring rather than crashing at 10 am.
Then I asked students to try, and they felt great too. There are many variables to consider such as the content and timing of your last meal the day prior, your fluid consumption, and your schedule for your day. Everybody is different.
The best advice I can give my students on breakfast is to experiment. Do not be afraid to ignore the dogmas change your habits. Many other strategies can impact your body positively. You just have to be curious and open-minded. Start on weekends or days where you have more control to play around with the variables. You never know what you are going to find.