Maybe brunch is the most important meal of the day?
October 16, 2012 11:33 AM   Subscribe

I don't like breakfast. But it's supposed to be so good for me...

I have never been big on breakfast first thing. My ideal breakfast time would be, normally, 2-3 hours after I get up. But I've heard you should eat within 45 minutes of waking. The problem is that if I eat right after I get up, I feel hungry all day long. When I don't eat right away, I eat much smaller portions all day. Even when I eat breakfast regularly -- and yes, I've gone through periods of my life where I did -- this happens, I eat more than I should, and hit the cycle of feeling bad about myself for eating too much.

I really think my body does fine not eating for a few hours after I get up. I feel like it's better for me overall and I feel like my energy level is not affected. So why don't I feel like I fit in to this truism that I NEED to eat breakfast?
posted by DoubleLune to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There is no reason why you should eat breakfast first thing. It sounds like you're better off waiting a few hours; great, do that.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:34 AM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, wait. I used to be this way and I weighed twenty pounds less. I'm retraining myself to wait until ten to eat and it's much better this way.
posted by dawkins_7 at 11:37 AM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Your body and energy level are the only truisms you should follow. If you feel good doing it, skip breakfast.
posted by Paris Elk at 11:38 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't eat breakfast immediately either. I check Ipad headlines and urgent email, pet my dog, and brush my teeth, then usually work out, then shower and dress, then eat breakfast. The breakfast part is usually a couple of hours after I get up.

The point is that missing breakfast isn't a great idea. I do think there is pretty clear information that you should eat within an hour of working out . . . not that you have to eat within an hour of awakening.
posted by bearwife at 11:40 AM on October 16, 2012

Last I heard, it's a do what you do thing.
If not eating breakfast is working for you, do that.
If eating breakfast works for you, awesome.
posted by atomicstone at 11:43 AM on October 16, 2012

FWIW, I used to skip breakfast a lot too.

Now I pack a breakfast and eat it at work with coffee after my commute. Wakeup + 3 hours for me there.

I feel a lot better because of it. Maybe try a totally different kind of breakfast. I'm a fan of making a crustless quiche and using that as my main breakfast for the week.
posted by PlutoniumX at 11:43 AM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm the same way. My body is actually hungry and will make those loud, irritating, dying whale noises, but mentally I can't handle a hearty breakfast unless I've been awake for at least an hour or longer. If this is the case for you, try having something small -- at least a banana or granola/NutriGrain bar just to have something in your stomach. Eating something is always better than nothing.
posted by HiphopAnonymous at 11:44 AM on October 16, 2012

Whether or not you subscribe to the idea of eating the way your ancestors ate, a la Pollan or paleo, you gotta admit most people now and in the past have 1-2 hours of work: building fires and cooking food, before actually eating. Nothing wrong with delaying it a bit.
posted by peacrow at 11:44 AM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

I eat breakfast at my desk at work, about 2 hours after I get up. If I eat right away, I'm hungry all day too.
posted by sweetkid at 11:45 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think what you're describing is pretty common! Lots of people I know wait to get to work before they have breakfast (I used to do this but don't anymore because of different schedule stuff). And when I used to eat breakfast at work I was walking two miles to work, so I was even getting a (tiny) workout in there before breakfast. I think you're fine.
posted by mskyle at 11:48 AM on October 16, 2012

Yeah, I eat about an hour and a half after I get up, at my desk at work. Bearwife has it right — the point is not to skip breakfast entirely.
posted by clone boulevard at 11:51 AM on October 16, 2012

Yes, it's common. If I eat before 2 hours after I get up, then I throw up everything, so I have to wait until I am at work to eat breakfast and it's just fine. I am completely healthy in every way.
posted by TinWhistle at 11:52 AM on October 16, 2012

I think it also depends on what you're eating for breakfast. Most standard breakfast food is super carby (cereal, oatmeal, toast, sweetened yogurt, fruit) and it's pretty understandable that a big burst of sugar right after wakeup would send you into aglycemic tailspin for the rest of the day. Does the same thing happen if you break your fast with, for instance, plain scrambled eggs or a nice chicken breast?

That said, of course, your body's unique to you, do what feels right, etc., etc.
posted by Bardolph at 11:54 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

What are you eating? Carby breakfasts leave me famished by 11:00. A high protein breakfast doesn't do that.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:55 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just go after what your body dictates. You're fine.

Pro tip: if you stuff yourself with carbs first thing of the day, you'll sure stay hungry all day long. Don't do that no matter what.
Contrasting model [low carb, yes...]: I had to get up early last Saturday and drive three hours without a break in order to get someplace in time and I ate two sausages and a bowl of yogurt with nuts, no honey. Drank water and coffee all day, but ate first again at six in the afternoon or thereabouts. No problems to report. (Or what Bardolph and Kitty S. say)

posted by Namlit at 11:56 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have GERD and irritable bowels (yeah I'm a joy to live with). I simply cannot eat first thing in the morning. Never have.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:00 PM on October 16, 2012

I always feel better when I don't eat breakfast - more focused, more productive. And I too eat less during the day. A breakfast with lots of protein helps this somewhat, but isn't as good as just skipping breakfast all together. I would rather use my food-choosing energy to concentrate on eating appropriate food than spend a lot of effort on eating breakfast when I don't want to.
posted by Frowner at 12:00 PM on October 16, 2012

I almost never eat breakfast. At most, I'll eat a granola bar or a muffin or something, but not every day.
posted by empath at 12:27 PM on October 16, 2012

Also, a lot of the eat a healthy breakfast messaging you get is from Kellogg's and General Mills. Take it with a grain of salt.
posted by empath at 12:28 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think what I heard was "eating first thing kickstarts you metabolism" which is then good for losing weight because your metab is higher all day... But if it's offset by eating more than obviously doesn't make sense! Awesome :) It's hard to sort out truth from PR sometimes.

I eat decently for breakfast. I was doing a lot of steel cut oats this year, but I've been gradually transitioning to more protein-heavy breakfasts because my body responds better to those.

But today's a great example -- I got up, went to the PT (minor workout), came home, lounged, showered, and ate (nom nom eggs and sausage) around noon. Had a Naked juice and tea for "lunch" just now and I'm feeling great (none of that mid-afternoon lag) and not the least bit hungry.
posted by DoubleLune at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2012

One more thing to consider: don't bother trying to choose "breakfast food" for breakfast, whether you eat immediately after getting up or a couple of hours later at work. Bring whatever you find tasty, healthy and portable to work: a wrap or sandwich; cold chicken and a chopped salad; soup, stew, curry or stir-fry to microwave in the break room, or anything you damn well please.
posted by maudlin at 2:44 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

I skip breakfast entirely and have an early lunch, maybe eating a handful of nuts or piece of small cheese if I get hungry early.

Eating breakfast just makes me feel sluggish. Don't listen to all those people who say it kick-starts your metabolism for the day. That makes no sense: without a little brekky your cells sit down and refuse to metabolize and perform other functions? Nonsense!

(In fact, lately I've been skipping breakfast entirely, having only a low-carb smoothy for lunch, and only eating a full solid meal at dinner. The end result is a slimmer me with more energy, because I don't have all this stuff in my gut weighing me down. You don't have to go that far, of course, but the moral of the story is do whatever works for you.)
posted by zachawry at 6:20 PM on October 16, 2012

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