The Argument Against Eating Breakfast
If you were to survey the wilds of the African savanna, you may be fortunate enough to see a majestic pride of lions. They’re beautiful. You might also notice, there are no fat lions. Even though their diet consists almost exclusively of red meat, they eat to survive, not survive to eat.
A lion will make a meal of an entire carcass, however may not eat again for two or three days. For lions, it’s not what food they eat as much as how often and how much they eat. People who have a weight problem tend to live a lifestyle that is more survive to eat, enjoying the pleasures food brings them.
Clearly, people’s metabolisms aren’t the same as a huge predator like a lion, however most people who have conquered any weight issues seem to be able to regulate their food intake in a similar fashion. For instance, they may eat a huge meal one day, then take very moderate meals over subsequent days.
There is just one key factor that facilitates our need to eat: sustenance for survival. The lion understands this intuitively, as does every living organism. People, however, eat food for a variety of reasons. It is these various other factors that start to pile on the excess weight.
Some individuals suffer from the sheer pleasure of eating. The textures and taste play a major role in their overeating. There’s also the social aspect.
A large number of social events revolve around food. Both the physiologic effects of food, coupled with the psychological pleasure derived from consuming favorite comfort foods, lead many to excesses which can cause additional weight to accumulate. Depression can also cause overeating. Yearning for the uplifting feeling food can give them, many fall into a form of addiction to the emotional help food can offer and eat beyond what they would need for sustenance.
Since most of us don’t have impending food shortages to worry about, there is no reason for carrying around a lot of stored additional fat, just in case.
Three square meals a day is the commonly accepted schedule for healthy eating; breakfast and lunch, with the largest being dinner in the evening. It fits most schedules in western culture, however, to our autonomic brain it doesn’t make much sense. In the beginning, the hunter/gatherers would start the morning finding food for the day. After enjoying their meal, time is spent building shelter for the night and resting in their shelter for the night.
Those instincts still guide us, when we’ll listen. Understanding the fundamentals of autonomic brain programming and how it responds, mainly through hormones as cortisone and adrenaline is key to successfully managing your food intake.
Adrenaline is part of a kind of internal warning system, and cortisol influences daily physiologic functions and metabolizing food. The adrenal glands release cortisol or hydrocortisone on queue from the hypothalamus. Following a circadian rhythm (occurring every 24 hours), the brain signals for a peak in the morning, to steadily tail off during the day, to reach its low point in late evening, just in time to rest. How did this schedule start?
Our primitive selves didn’t get to eat a leisurely breakfast before going out to hunt and gather for the day, and good reflexes were necessary to achieve their goal. Cortisol causes a healthy rise in glucose, a natural energy infusion modern humans enjoy even today.
Diabetics often experience a blood sugar spike in the morning, brought on by the morning cortisol peak providing the automatic sugar infusion. Most people are unaware of the morning effects of cortisol so eat a carb-loaded breakfast first thing, for energy. By completely overwhelming our systems with carbs we set ourselves up for more fat storage and will actually increase appetite later on in the day.
Becoming aware of how your body functions will help you avoid the traps that lead to obesity. As children, leaving the high sugar breakfast foods behind before addiction to early morning sugar develops is a great first step. Making the healthy adjustment later will only find you fighting an addiction, complete with the tantrums one might expect. Ultimately, understanding your body will help you develop a more efficient meal plan that will more closely suit your needs and keep your weight down.
Live like a lion and eat to live!
Eating Breakfast is Still Healthy!
If you really enjoy your breakfast fare, the answer may be to eat breakfast when you’re in the mood and your metabolism is ready. Allen Cafe offers breakfast all day, so you can feed your hunter-gatherers a healthy breakfast whenever it’s the right time. Come enjoy family style home cooking in our restaurant in Allen, TX, no matter the time of day.