Hate breakfast!
September 6, 2010 10:42 AM   Subscribe

I'm never hungry in the morning. I can get down liquids, but the idea of swallowing food makes me queasy until afternoon. I'm finding a bunch of articles telling me why I should eat breakfast if I want to be healthy and lose weight. I want to be healthy and gain weight. I'm 6'2 and 155lbs, I really want to put on some pounds!

Even if heavy people are being told that skipping breakfast is causing them to lose weight, I kind of find it hard to believe that it'd apply to me.

So, how important should breakfast be to me? How do I learn to be hungry in the morning?
posted by floam to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Blah, should have said "causing them to gain weight".
posted by floam at 10:44 AM on September 6, 2010

Get some whey/protein powder, something specific towards weight gain, from GNC and make yourself a smoothie in the morning. If you can pop some frozen fruit in it and milled flaxseed or whole yogurt, great. If not, you can make it with whole milk or water.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2010

I am underweight and also stuggle having breakfast but I've tried porridge with honey which is quite light, healthy and has got calories. Eggs and Milkshakes are also easy to have in the morning.
posted by zulo at 10:52 AM on September 6, 2010

I've always been the same way. If I can choke down a glass of milk, though, and throw something small in my bag (piece of chicken, power bar, etc.) I'll be hungry enough to eat it by the time I get to work. If I don't drink the milk, food sounds terrible for hours. I don't know why this is, or if it's just self-fulfilling superstition, but that works for me.
posted by ctmf at 10:54 AM on September 6, 2010

Yes, jerseygirl is correct. You don't have to eat solid food for breakfast if you don't want to; liquid food can be just as nutritious. For a more decadent recipe, use ice cream instead of yoghurt. These things can be severely delicious. You could become addicted. Your next question, 3 years from now, will be about how you can cut down your food consumption and lose weight.
posted by grizzled at 10:54 AM on September 6, 2010

Seconding a drink of milk first thing in the morning. You can mix stuff into it like chocolate syrup or various powders. Caffeine supresses the appetite, so don't drink any first thing. If you're terribly groggy, try a small cup of milky tea. Then enjoy your coffee or whatever (if any) later, after your breakfast.

Also, when do you get up? The only way I've found to reliably accomplish a healthy appetite in the morning is to get up earlier. Like you, my digestive system doesn't ramp up until I've been awake for several hours. If you get up at 7, for example, try getting up at 6 instead. Then you might start getting hungry around 8 or 9.

You might also experiment with "non-standard" breakfast foods, such as cold pizza, noodles, or Indian stuff like idli. This has worked for me.

Once you get in the habit of eating a decent-sized breakfast, it will become easier. After a week or so of regular breakfast, your appetite will likely improve a great deal.
posted by Maximian at 11:04 AM on September 6, 2010

I'm 6'2 and 155lbs, I really want to put on some pounds

Yeah you do. Make yourself a protein shake and consume it within 30 minutes or so of waking. Whey powder + oats + whole milk + peanut butter + fruit. You've got some leeway with the latter three ingredients, but the above is how I like to do it.

I am assuming that you intend to gain muscle, are following an effective strength training program, and are consuming lots of high-protein foods throughout the day.
posted by JohnMarston at 11:05 AM on September 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have a similar problem. I'm not hungry when I first get up, and get queasy if I eat right away or eat anything too bulky or greasy. My solution is to eat "breakfast" about 3 hours after I get up. I get up about 6 AM generally, and I eat a small breakfast (often just a toasted whole wheat English muffin and some hot tea) around 8:30 or 9:00 AM. Note that I also skip acids like orange juice and only have those later in the day, since they upset my stomach as well if I have them on an empty stomach or first thing in the day.

My father swears by oatmeal for breakfast. Other people like fruit or a bit of protein like cheese or peanut butter with their bread and the like. Some people like smoothies or yogurt or milk, but dairy does not agree with me first thing in the morning (I am not lactose intolerant and can eat it later in the day.)

I would say try delaying your breakfast eating, try eating a small amount of something you know you like, even if it is not a "traditional" breakfast food, and experiment till you find something that works for you.
posted by gudrun at 11:08 AM on September 6, 2010

Whole milk is a miracle for gaining mass, and it's liquid, maybe that'll help the mornings. Try knocking back a couple pints for breakfast and see how that goes.

You don't need to eat breakfast to gain weight, but it helps. Plenty of very strong sizable people put on weight while only eating in a narrow window. The main thing you want to do is eat a lot, eat often, eat quality, and try to move some heavy objects to stimulate muscle growth.
posted by Shutter at 11:12 AM on September 6, 2010

You can also throw in a blob of peanut butter into those hypothetical shakes.

Peanut butter is almost pure calories and helps me keep my weight stable. I put it in oatmeal because I don't have a blender and I don't keep bread in the house.

Also, I get a lot of mileage out of the midnight snack. A huge bowl of ice cream or pasta before I sleep seems to help me keep weight on.
posted by bilabial at 11:36 AM on September 6, 2010

If you don't like thicker drinks in the morning (sometimes people with eating issues in the morning just don't like milk or shakes), I'd recommend Isopure Zero Carb Protein Drink. It's honestly like a fruit punch or Gatorade, only it has a decent amount of calories and protein in it, which soda and sports drinks do not.
posted by xingcat at 11:37 AM on September 6, 2010

I find that having a routine helps in the early-morning-dont-want-to-eat thing. I'm a teacher so the first couple of weeks at the start of a term (after late mornings during break) I cant stomach anything, but after a while, I get used to it and can start to include more solids in my early morning breakfast. So start with milk, yoghurt or shakes, but then try to trasition into heavier options.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:56 AM on September 6, 2010

One scoop of this in 8oz of 2% milk. 735 calories. You're welcome.
posted by thesmophoron at 11:59 AM on September 6, 2010

Nothing fattens you up like eating before bed.

But, this isn't all that great for long term health. And not eating in the morning can lead to blood sugar disregulation issues.
posted by gjc at 12:22 PM on September 6, 2010

I see a lot of telling you to down protein but i would be careful with that. Only start downing protein if you plan to actually work out and use the protein up. Its very unhealthy, you will gain weight...true...but it will be bad fat and can lead to a lot of uric acid in the joints. Dont get me wrong, on a workout routine its possibly the best option. But at the same time i have seen people bulk up on powders without lifting and they turned into the stay pufft marshmallow.

My suggestion for the morning:

1) smoothies (made night before?)

2) fruit or fresh juice (carrot, ginger, orange is awesome), the sugars will get you going and hungry in an hour or so

3) Naked / odwalla juice/smoothie things...little pricey but super easy to buy at the store

4) i have not done it since high school but carnation instant breakfast?

5)Bring food with out where ever you go

I leave my apt at 515 am and dont eat until around 730, before that my stomach hurts or is queasy. I have bagels, granola and yogurt at work to have at that time. Maybe you should just wake up earlier or shift your eating schedule?
posted by Black_Umbrella at 12:28 PM on September 6, 2010

"Eat breakfast to lose weight" isn't about the magical powers of breakfast. It's because people who eat a hearty breakfast will be less likely to hit up the candy machines at 10:00 or wolf down five slices of pizza at lunch.

For a weight-gainer, eating breakfast is usually a good idea because it gives you an extra chance to pack in beau-coup calories before loading up on them at lunch. If you're trying to get in 1600 calories between breakfast and lunch, and you can stuff them all in at lunch without any adverse effects, then go ahead and skip breakfast, it's all good. But if you're not going to get those calories in, then use the suggestions above, peanut butter, smoothies, or even packing a late breakfast/brunch you can have when you are feeling a bit hungrier once you've been up a few hours.
posted by schroedinger at 12:35 PM on September 6, 2010

At times in the past, Carnation Instant Breakfast made with whole milk has been all that's kept me from drying up like a leaf and blowing away. I prefer it over smoothies or anything that's the least bit labor-intensive, because you're more likely to actually eat it if it's fast and easy.
posted by frobozz at 12:39 PM on September 6, 2010

As someone who is 6'1" and (currently) 155lbs, I know how you feel. I made it from 145 up to 165 without changing anything except...

1. Exercising regularly (roller skating, in my case); and
2. Taking a daily supplement along with eating as much more as my body wanted once I started exercising regularly.

Now that I've stopped roller skating, my appetite has dropped and my weight has dropped with it. It started dropping before I started eating a good breakfast every day, and now that I eat that breakfast, it hasn't changed anything -- the slide continues.

Why don't you kill two birds with one stone (as I plan to do; maybe we need to egg each other on?) and start getting up an hour earlier for the sole purpose of exercising? Even if it's just something around the house, by the time you stop you'll likely need fluids, and then the protein-rich smoothie recommendations will go down more easily.

I'm 6'2 and 155lbs, I really want to put on some pounds...

Yeah you do.

If this were a thread about losing weight, your response would have been considered unsupportive. Something to think about.

posted by davejay at 1:39 PM on September 6, 2010

I used to be like this. Could never eat breakfast.

I have reflux and lying down at night makes it worse, so I feel full and sometimes a little queasy when I wake up. I propped one end of the bed up & I sleep on a wedge. There's also prilosec or other over-the-counter acid reducers.

It doesn't hurt/burn that much (like typical "heartburn") but I have other symptoms, like it feels like I need to clear my throat, sore/raspy throat in the morning, feel full really easily, lots of sinus pain/discomfort.

You can talk to a doctor if you think it might be a problem for you, too.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:24 PM on September 6, 2010

So...this is really gross, but I drink Costco-brand (Kirkland) "weight loss" shakes in the morning. To gain weight you might want to consider something like ensure or a pre-made protein shake. I am SUPER LAZY (and not hungry at all) in the morning, and I would eat/drink nothing if I was faced with making a smoothie.
posted by shrabster at 2:48 PM on September 6, 2010

If this were a strength training forum, no one would blink at someone agreeing with a 6'2" 155 pound guy that he needs to gain weight. I post on strength training forums, so you'll have to forgive me for not adjusting my sensitivity barometer. I used to be really skinny and weak, too. I meant to say, "Yeah, you do -- good on you for recognizing that, in spite of an exercise culture that largely functions in terms of weight less, and taking steps toward making a change," but I was being brief.

Anyway. I'll just add that you don't need weight gainer products or sports drinks. You can make your own in minutes with less expense and have control over the ingredients. You don't need any supplements, but you should probably use whey protein. Adding protein to your diet is not going to make you fat, although like I said, you should be training and eating, not just one of the two. And I recommend finding a more suitable forum than this one for getting nutrition advice. Here's one.
posted by JohnMarston at 3:12 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm overweight and have the same problem. I also have the young rope-rider's problem of acid reflux. So, I tried a few things and this is what worked for me.

I don't eat anything after 6pm. I mean anything. I drink a cup of coffee and some water to take my night meds, but other than that - nada. Trust me, I'm hungry in the morning. And, I don't eat anything *before* 8am, because if I do (for some strange reason) I'm hungry all day. I don't know why.

I think the theory is that people don't know what hungry feels like - and people like me tend to eat either when they think they should or when they're bored or sad or for gratification, etc... people who undereat probably don't eat when they're hungry either? I dunno. Not eating after six definitely lets me know what hungry feels like, and I'm more likely to eat when hungry and only when I'm hungry.

Anyway, it worked for me and I figured I'd throw it out there.
posted by patheral at 5:09 PM on September 6, 2010

How old are you? I was very anti-breakfast until I hit about thirty and my metabolism started to change. Now I'm quite hungry in the morning and need to eat a decent breakfast or else I'll bonk out at work around 10 or 11. If you want to gain weight, then eat a lot before going to bed, but that's not a very healthy way to do it.
posted by zardoz at 5:22 PM on September 6, 2010

Thanks for the responses, lot to think about!

I normally wake up about 9ish. I'll consider waking up earlier, at least as an experiment. I'm not sure if I could commit to such a thing. I'm not a morning person.

I'm 23. I am pretty damn sure I know what hungry feels like. In fact I'm experiencing it right now and that's why I'm cooking dinner. The way I've always gone about eating is to eat when I'm hungry until I'm not hungry any more, and don't when I'm not, but I guess that's not good enough.
posted by floam at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2010

If you want to take the guess work out of it you probably should buy at least a protein supplement and pound down around three shakes a day between your meals. Add some fish capsules to the mix and you have a good weight gain solution.
The problem with buying any random protein or weight gain supplement is you usually end up with low quality stuff that will cause GI distress. Shop around and you should be able to find good stuff.
I gotta ask, are you actually instituting a workout plan? If so do you have actual goals for where you want to be?
posted by P.o.B. at 6:22 PM on September 6, 2010

I sure am, P.o.B. I don't have actual goals, though. It's not that important to me. Gaining a little weight and a little upper body strength would be nice, is all. My question was really more about learning to be hungry in the morning like everyone else I know.
posted by floam at 6:27 PM on September 6, 2010

I've been there (disliking breakfast and wanting to gain weight). I understand that this may not sound super helpful, but I learned to be hungry in the morning by forcing myself to eat in the morning. I started with whatever food I wanted -- a chocolate cupcake, an ice cream sandwich, a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter, nachos... anything that sounded yummy on any given day, without self-judgment, so long as I put something in my mouth in the morning. I would often buy it on my way out the door so that making breakfast wasn't an additional obstacle to eating breakfast.

And then, once my body got used to the idea that I was going to feed it shortly after getting up, I simply started waking up hungry. It was the darnedest thing, really noticeable and sudden, maybe two weeks or so after I started forcing myself to eat in the morning. I was actually quite surprised. At that point I transitioned to much healthier and more satisfying breakfasts (I'm now partial to bran flakes with fruit and milk). The extra calories I added to my day by eating in the morning made a big difference to my weight gain goals.

As a bonus, I've found that I now get much hungrier by lunch time, even though that seems a bit backwards given that I've eaten once already compared to previously when I wouldn't have eaten yet by lunch time. I think regularly eating breakfast improved my appetite in general.
posted by ootandaboot at 9:09 PM on September 6, 2010

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