By Adam Lonergan, CPT | AdLoFitness.com
Breakfast is not “the most important meal of the day.” It never has been. That old saying came from Kellogg’s cereal in 1917 as part of a marketing campaign to sell corn flakes. With its success, other food companies followed suit and here we are today.
(The Kellogg brothers were also religious nuts who got people to believe their cereal would stop masturbation and bring you closer to god… It was a weird time back then.)
What exactly is breakfast? Literally speaking, it means break the fast, the first thing you eat after fasting. But due to century-old marketing and “sponsored research” 💰 from a multibillion-dollar industry, people often associate Breakfast™ with a list of prescribed foods you’re “supposed” to eat first thing every morning — or else!
Think about it. For most of human history, grocery stores did not exist. We had to hunt and gather our own food. We evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. If we had to eat every morning or “three square a day,” we would have gone extinct a long time ago. This modern eating pattern came from advertising and the industrial revolution — not necessity.
The healthiest people I know — athletes, trainers, fitness models — eat only one meal per day (and it’s never in the morning), or a few meals within an 8-hour window. This is called intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, and it’s how things were done for millions of years before corn flakes.
When in a fasted state, great things happen to the body and brain — hormone levels adjust, cells repair themselves, and stored fat is used for energy. This way of eating is for more than just toned muscles and ripped abs (although that’s fun too), it’s for better health and living longer. In addition to a fit physique, studies show improved cognitive function and reduced risk of diseases; including cancers, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.
(Note: Skipping “breakfast” is only one way you can incorporate intermittent fasting into your routine. Explore the links below to find a method that works for you.)
Like many people, I’m just not hungry in the morning, but I used to make myself eat something (or at least drink a protein shake) because I thought I was supposed to. But when I stopped believing the BS and looked into the facts, I found this natural eating pattern was better and easier for me. Like my professionally-fit friends, I soon had more energy throughout the day, my workouts, physique, and overall health improved, and I haven’t bought protein powder or any other supplements in years.
Bottom line, if your health matters to you, work out and eat healthy. Listen to your body. And don’t believe everything you hear in advertising (or what your parents tell you) without first looking into things yourself.
— Adam Lonergan, CPT
• How Lobbyists Made Breakfast “The Most Important Meal Of The Day” (TheGuardian.com)
• Kellogg’s “Good Health” Magazine, Jan. 1917
• …page 389, where the old saying first appears.
• Cereal Masturbation (National Geographic)
• How Food Companies Pay To Shape Nutrition Research (Associated Press)
• Nutrition Research Is Deeply Biased By Food Companies. A New Book Explains Why. (Vox.com)
• Top 22 Intermittent Fasting Benefits (Dr. Joseph Mercola)
• Intermittent Fasting 101 — The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide (Healthline.com)
The FastDiet by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer
Originally published on AdLoFitness.com, April 2019.