Q&A #5 - Do We Really Need To Eat Breakfast?

** NOTE: The tips and advice in this video is recommended for adults only. 

We have all been taught that eating breakfast in the morning is the most important meal of the day, but is this really the case?

There is no black and white answer to this question because everyone is so different so it is a very personalised thing whether you have breakfast or not.

It also very much depends on your goals and lifestyle. If your goal is athletic performance and you train in the mornings, then yes I think breakfast is an important meal.

If your goal is just to have a healthy body or maybe even lose body fat then I do not believe you have to eat as soon as you wake up.

However, the problem is if you skip breakfast and by 10am you are starving so you end up buying a coffee and muffin to keep you going and to give you energy. So in this case I would definitely recommend you eat some breakfast before leaving for work in the morning.

So what is important with this whole breakfast thing is not so much the time of your breakfast but more what you eat that is important.

Breakfast simply means the meal the breaks your overnight fast. You can break your fast at 6am, 9am even 12pm as long as your meal is a healthy balanced meal and not processed cereal.

In NZ the food industry and government has lead us to believe that we must all eat those processed cereals for breakfast like Weetbix and Special K which I certainly do not believe we should be eating.

You need to make sure your breakfast (or first meal of the day we should call it) contains, healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds), vegetables (tomato, spinach), healthy carbs (oats, kumara, maybe fruit) and protein (eggs, protein from seeds, nuts, greek yoghurt, legumes etc).

I have a smoothie at around 8.30-9am after my workout and Ill have banana, spinach, beetroot, protein, chia, flax and water. This honestly keeps me feeling great until lunch time. I remember when I used to eat special k for breakfast everyday at 7am before Uni and by 10am I would be hungry and craving something sweet to snack on.  

Listen to your body eat when hungry, don’t eat when you are not hungry.

If you wake up with a big appetite then eat. If you are not hungry in the morning then I do not think you should force yourself to eat.

I personally wake up around 5-5.30am and not at all hungry. I’ll do a bit work in the morning, train at from 7-8am then I’ll have my smoothie just before 9am. This is just what suits me.

If you are not hungry first thing in the morning, then maybe pack a your first meal and take that to work with you. It could smoothie, you could make that in the morning as soon as you wake up, pop it in the freezer while you get ready then drink it at work. You can take a couple of boiled eggs to eat at work, or another great idea that I tell all of my clients is bircher muesli. Because its super easy, you make the night before work so in morning you can just grab it and head out the door.

To summarise, breakfast is simply the first meal you have in your day which breaks your overnight fast. It doesn’t matter what time you eat it, the timing won’t affect your goals or your health in fact there are loads of studies now that suggest having a longer overnight fast (so delaying your first meal) increases the body’s ability to burn fat and increase longevity. But what is important is listening to your body and breaking your fast with a meal that is loaded full of nutrients and well balanced.

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