Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Your Breakfast Has Been Lying to You

A study has found that previous studies were full of shit:

Skipping breakfast, the thinking goes, increases hunger throughout the day, making people overeat and seek out snacks to compensate for missing that first – and some would say most important – meal of the day.

“Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day,” according to the Web site of the United States surgeon general, “and may be important in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

But new research shows that despite the conventional weight-loss wisdom, the idea that eating breakfast helps you lose weight stems largely from misconstrued studies.

Photo via kuppkake/flickr.


72 Comments / Post A Comment


Whatever, I know that if I personally skip breakfast, I basically turn into a frothed-at-the-mouth, buggy-eyed, hollow-stomached wraith of terror, so I think Imma stick with it.


@martinipie Seconded. Those who wish to see me un-Balroggy should not get in the way of me having my breakfast.


@Scandyhoovian On brunchy weekends I have to pre-brunch. I'm not the only one, right?


@Amphora You are not! I tend to be a pretty early riser, so I'm usually up by 8 on the weekends. Brunching at 10 or 11 (or, god forbid, later) means I have GOT to get a cup of tea and some toast in me first thing or there's no way I can wait on the inevitable brunch line.

Lily Rowan

@Amphora Not at all! I will pre-breakfast, even. I am not fit for the public before food and coffee.


@martinipie Weekend mornings I wake up my bf by yelling "breakfast monster!" and then rattling off a number of options that I am way too excited to prepare. When left to his own devices he sometimes won't eat until dinnertime, and I do not understand this. I wake up starving and bribe myself out of bed with promises of foods.


@Amphora I am not even an early riser, but if I don't put some yogurt or a piece of toast in me immediately upon waking, I am pretty much nonfunctional.


@martinipie Yes! I definitely pre-eat before meeting anyone for a morning meal. Even if I'm on a trip! I've packed waffles in my carry on to have for pre-breakfast before we leave the hotel (usually in search of actual breakfast).


I love this! xD @l


THANK YOU! I thought it was just my personal body make-up, but not only does breakfast not help with slimming down, for me I'm pretty sure it helps keep weight on. Calories in / calories out and everything.

barefoot cuntessa

I eat breakfast so that my hanger doesn't turn me into a homicidal maniac.

A. Louise

@barefoot cuntessa seconded. Actually, I eat (meal/snack/beer/bowl of ice cream at 9 PM) so that my hunger doesn't turn me into a homicidal maniac.


Recently a doctor told me that the reason eating breakfast can actually be less than helpful is that we tend to eat carbohydrate-heavy breakfasts rather than protein loaded ones. Obviously kickstarting your metabolism is a good thing, and part of the thought behind it. But, if you start off processing relatively fast-metabolizing foods the point is kinda moot... of course, this was just a dude I met, so grain of salt or whatever.


@moreadventurous My problem is, maybe since I am vegetarian, even if I eat a super proteiny breakfast--egg or tofu scramble with loads of veggies, say--without toast or something I just get hungry as fuck again in two hours. At least with toast the hunger gap takes around three/three and a half, which is more normal for me.


@martinipie I find eating eggs without toast SUPER strange, haha. Which is why I stored away his comments and continue eating breakfast as I have before: eggs with veggies, an whole wheat english muffin with a nut butter, or splurging on a almond butter / almond milk / kale smoothie (I'm vegetarian-ish myself). I think, at the end of the day, you just gotta do what works for you.

one cow.

@martinipie Yeah, I generally like breakfast, but if I eat before I head out for my commute, I am ready to eat again by the time I arrive at work 1.5 hours later. I think my favorite way of eating is to hold off as long as I can (usually until early afternoon) and eat something not too big, then feel free to eat a big dinner. If I hold off past breakfast, my initial hunger pangs generally wane. Otherwise, if I eat regular meals, I am constantly hungry. But my friends know that I love eating, so they get concerned if I'm not constantly putting food in my face.


I eat breakfast (fruit & yogurt) and 2nd breakfast (fruit and nuts) so that I may avoid the 11-AM-I'm-so-fucking-hungry-early-lunch followed by the 2-PM-I-need-a-pastry-or-I'm-going-to-die.


@cuminafterall I, too, attempt to structure my meal plan as hobbits do.


@cuminafterall I've been eating the exact same breakfast for years because it's the only one that will keep me full from 8am-noon (half full-fat plain yogurt, half crunchy-hippie-health-granola and fruit).

But that said I did not say no to the cupcakes at my staff meeting this morning.


@Amphora One weird thing that happens is that after my 8:30 breakfast and 10:30 2nd breakfast, I have a brief pang of hunger at 11:45 that goes away by noon, and then I don't get hungry for lunch until 2. So, now it's lunchtime!

PS I wish my staff meetings had cupcakes.

Story #2

@cuminafterall Me too. People often exclaim over how lucky I am to have a fast metabolism, and I'm like, "No, you have no idea how much food I eat; you could probably feed yourself and a small child on my food budget." When I was on food stamps I couldn't think because I was so, so hungry all the time, even though it was the maximum allowance of benefits and I am good with cheap staples.


@cuminafterall I'm kind of on that too, except my breakfast during the week is a fruit omelet instead of fruit and yogurt. Yogurt and fruit is for the weekend.


Fruit omelette? I am intrigued, please tell me more.


@mabellegueule it's basically a quick/flourless crepe the way I do it, I guess. I take one egg, beat it with cinnamon, a little vanilla, and a little of whatever milk I have lying around (cow, coconut, cream, half-and-half), and pour it in the pan. When the bottom is nicely browned, I put in chopped fruit/berries, flip over the other side of the omelet, and let it hang out until the fruit warms up.

The only thing I sometimes do differently is that when it's apple season, I chop the apples and fry them in the pan before using them as filling. Otherwise they never really reach their full deliciousness potential.


@stonefruit oh and I cook it all in coconut oil.


Oh great now it's fun "assume we all want to lose weight" time on the hairpin.


@tales Oh, I just figured it was "let's talk about breakfast!" time.

Story #2

@Jinxie Regardless of what was assumed in the post, we are now all talking about breakfast. There is a diner in Boston that gave me pancakes AND an omelet. For like $8. Which is not cheap, but it was a lot of pancakes.


@Story #2 Was it the Town Diner in Watertown, because next time you should get the grapenut pudding.


There is an amazing Portuguese breakfast place that has all sorts of yummy pastries and fruit cup or rice pudding alongside their awesome breakfast plates. Oh to be able to eat gluten again...

Story #2

@stonefruit I feel like it was... northwest of Porter Square? But I'm not sure; my friends took me. They said the place had a bitter rivalry with the diner next door?

Faintly Macabre

@Story #2 In Ball Square, near Davis Square, there's Kelly's Diner, Soundbites, and Ball Square Cafe. Ball Square Cafe and Soundbites mostly do brunch, are right next door to each other, and are pretty similar. Maybe it was one of them?

Kelly's is my favorite, though--it's a metal-walled traditional dinner and it costs around $5 for a GIANT plate of eggs, toast, and homefries. And there's bottomless coffee!

Story #2

@Faintly Macabre I don't remember being in any kind of square at all, but I'm afraid I really only remember how happy I was to get that much food. I think there was something about coffee, but I don't drink it so I don't know what was notable about it there.

Faintly Macabre

@Story #2 Every intersection in the Boston area is a "square"!


@Faintly Macabre I went to Ball Square Cafe for the first time the weekend before last! It was GREAT. It also struck me as really cheap, but on top of that my boyfriend had a gift card so it was really cheap (aka, free). But they give you a ton of food. We didn't finish it all even.


This is obviously anecdotal, but the only time I ever lost weight was when I was on the "no breakfast, light fruity lunch and big carb/veggie/meat dinner" plan (that I made up - this is not a real plan that I know of). It basically goes against everything I've been taught about losing weight besides restricting calories, but it's the only thing that's worked for me.

Lumpy Space Princess

@Blondsak It sounds a bit like the slimfast plan! (big carb/veg/meat dinner = sensible meal, right?)

Whitmans Sampler



But breakfast is how I talk myself into getting out of bed.


My doctor, a dietician friend, and a personal trainer friend have all recently informed me with some variation of "Look, dude. You're not trying to be a professional athlete. Just eat healthy naturey food that makes you feel good, everything else is inconsequential for normal people."


@leonstj i feel like that is a variation of "eat food. not too much. mostly plants." (michael pollan) which is my mantra.

apples and oranges

Most mornings I hate eating breakfast (aka DON'T eat breakfast) because my stomach takes like 2-3 hours longer to wake up than the rest of me. Food makes me feel sick if I haven't been up for a while. And Science can do what it wants, I'm not eating until I feel hungry.


@kangerine - Same! If I try to force breakfast (like if I have a morning meeting I know will run way past my normal 11AM snack time) I feel ill.


I enjoy not being jailed for assault, so I too will stick with breakfast. And second breakfast. Sometimes elevensies as well. Followed by lunch and then tea time. Depending on how that's all gone, I might or might not actually be interested in dinner though.


@lemonadefish You and I have the same appetite patterns. My BF on the other hand can't eat in the morning and is a great cook who makes beautiful dinners. It's a pickle. A delicious pickle, but a pickle none the less.


hobbit gif! hobbit gif! hobbit gif!


@avocadosandwich What is on that avocado sandwich-- is it cream cheese?? Now THAT sounds like a breakfast.


@cuminafterall It is whatever you want it to be, as it comes stolen from the internet. Cream cheese and avocado sounds like the richest, creamiest possible combo (I approve!)

Laughable Walrus

@avocadosandwich When I'm feeling REALLY fancy, I put an avocado on my morning bagel and cream cheese, so I can vouch that it is indeed the most delicious of combos.


@Laughable Walrus my hero


@cuminafterall I choose to believe that it is goat cheese, and then there is fresh pepper over the whole thing.


@meowmischen Update: I am either a goat cheese whisperer, or I read this post and forgot about it. http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/09/21/day-265-open-faced-avocado-and-goat-cheese-sandwiches/


@avocadosandwich This one?


I don't need a study to tell me to eat breakfast.

Related: if I never see another nutrition study reported in the mainstream media it will be too soon.


@RNL WORD. They're all terrible for a number of reasons, but can pretty much be summed up with: "WHAT WE TOLD YOU LAST TIME HAS TURNED OUT TO BE WRONG, SO DO THIS INSTEAD."


@Jinxie Because all of our bodies operate the same, OBVS.

Queen Elisatits

I have already been thinking about what my new morning routine will be once I start student teaching a few weeks from now. It is generally frowned upon to delay class for bagels. I don't normally eat before I leave the house and no food makes me unfocused and generally useless.


@Queen Elisatits The day I discovered that the kiosk in the subway station near my work sells greasy, wonderful samosas, my breakfasts were forever changed. Good luck!


@Queen Elisatits I do occasionally go on a homesteading kick where I put steel-cut oats in the slow cooker before bed every night, and bring them with me in a little thermos.


@Queen Elisatits heat something up at home and consume it on the way to school? Hunger + kids to corrall seems like one of the rings of hell.


@Queen Elisatits I'd go for something portable that doesn't need to be refrigerated, and that you can wolf down between periods if needed. The Larabar people have a new bar with protein that's pretty good and natural and stuff (I think it's called the Alt bar?). Or you could do a banana and some nuts. Or pack a PB&J if that's your bag.


@Queen Elisatits I just recently had to tackle this problem, except for me it needs to be something I can eat while I walk, since my schedule is that bonkers this semester. So I started with a Cliff Bar, but that just tasted like sugar, SO I now do a string cheese (or the round kind in red wax) and a smoothie. Totally does it for me until I can eat non-portable food.


@avocadosandwich Breakfast samosas??????????????


@Jinxie Breakfast samosas are amazing! I had an international flight with Air Canada and they mistakenly put me down as a strict vegan instead of a vegetarian. They served me vegan samosas at breakfast and my mouth still waters when I think about them. Actually, everything they served me was great, especially considering their regular omnivore meals didn't look or smell very good.

So, yes, breakfast samosas = tasty!


Whatever. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. I like it carb laden, I like it eggy weggy, and I like it fruity. I like it with some bitter coffee. I like it so much, sometimes I eat it for dinner. Breakfast is awesome.





@Statham Breakfast!! I love it, but am never hungry first thing in the morning, which is why I LOVE brunch. All my favorite foods at a reasonable hour.


It was totally a 'pin post forever ago, but for your next birthday, throw a "breakfast for dinner" party. Make a big batch of waffle batter (or two batches, with different flavors) and set it next to the waffle maker and let your friends make their own as they go. Also, a sheet pan or two in the oven lets you cook bacon a pound at a time.

I did this last year, it was amazing. Extra-bonus: I have a winter birthday, so the oven being on wasn't a problem, and I told everyone to wear their fuzziest, comfiest pajama pants.


@ThatWench This is an amazing idea and I'm totally co-opting it.

hipnoterapi jogja

I usually eat when im hungry, and skip my breakfast


Oh great now it's fun "assume we all want to lose weight" time on the hairpin.

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