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Published:March 5th, 2008 10:56 EST
Which Meal is really the most important Meal of the Day?

Which Meal is really the most important Meal of the Day?

By Rocco Loosbrock

For as long as I've been involved in the food and beverage industry, and probably much longer than that, there's always been this constantly running debate about which meal of the day is really the most valuable and important for our health and happiness. It seems like I always remember my parents and grandparents telling me that it's vital to one’s success to start the day off with a good, hearty and well-balanced breakfast. Others who I have talked to over the years have told me that their parents and grandparents all told them the exact same thing!

But, just because we all grew up being told something by our loving, well-meaning and good-intending “elders,” does it actually mean it's “TRUE?” Turns out, at least in this circumstance, yes, there actually is a lot of solid, scientifically provable validation coming from vast numbers of serious academic, nutritional and medical research programs looking into what some people had come to refer to as one of the many unproven “old wives tales” that had been in circulation, like so many other questionable “urban legends” that have filtered through our society over the decades.

However, some very significant, recent reports released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition serve to, once again, prove the position that breakfast really IS, in fact, the most important meal of the day. Now what's really interesting and significant here is the fact that these scientific studies go well beyond the scope of merely reiterating the fact that we human beings naturally need a regular, reliable source of “FUEL” to effectively get ourselves revved up and started each day.

Breakfast's “REAL” importance is more a matter of efficiently maintaining the high levels of activity that life in this modern era places now us in the middle of, throughout our long, hectic and laborious day. So it's not merely a matter of smartly “gassing up” for the daily drive through life, it's more about giving our bodies the necessary tools to maintain our momentum throughout the entire, elaborate and elongated process of doing all that it is we do these days! A healthy breakfast significantly helps you to lose weight and stay in much better shape. 

Here's a really good way to think about this in order to better understand the concept, by applying it to life as we all know it, in our very own, personal and practical little world compartments. If most people eat dinner sometime between 6 & 8 PM and then don't eat again until breakfast, which is usually served some time between 6:00 & 8:00 AM, their body is going to be completely deprived of all vital nutrients for a period of up to 12 or even 14 hours long. That's an extremely long time to starve a body and mind that is intricately and delicately made up of fragile, living cells-- not to mention our body's vital organs and complex systems.

That’s why “Breakfast” is so very important. Look at the literal etymology of the word itself: break = to stop, interrupt, put an end to / fast = to abstain from or deprive oneself of all food. Skipping breakfast forces your body to continue struggling in "starvation mode” which tells the body to do everything in its power to hold on to every bit of fat in order to survive the famine that it is experiencing. 

Eating your morning meal gives your metabolism the “wake-up” boost it so desperately needs, “turning up” your body's internal fat burning abilities. Meanwhile, not eating causes your metabolism to plummet, which is the very last thing that someone who is desperately trying to get back into shape could possibly do to themselves, sabotaging their efforts from within!

Not eating breakfast literally forces your body into a very tense and stressful, panicked state of biological “Survival Mode!” In response, your body tries to desperately hoard and hold onto as much of your stored up fat as possible, while seeking to find any way possible to add to its fat reserves. Believing that it is in danger of starving to death, your body begins a valiant but misguided effort to successfully store up more fat in order to survive what it perceives to be a serious, life-threatening situation.

Thus, you will most likely begin experiencing moderate to extensive bouts of confusion, insecurity,  lethargy, ambivalence, apathy, fear, paranoia, light-headed dizziness, nausea and, potentially, migraine headaches. In other words, you most certainly aren't going to be at your very best, physically, mentally, emotionally or behaviorally.

So remember, eating healthy doesn't mean 'Not Eating!” In order to successfully stay healthy and  full of energy while effectively accomplishing a long, complicated string of significant goals and vital objectives throughout our busy day, we need to get off to a great kick start in the morning with a good, well-balanced, “high protein, low carb” breakfast.

That's what we need to keep ourselves cool, calm, clear, confident and collected while swimming with the sharks and jumping over the numerous quicksand quagmires that we encounter throughout our busy, busy days. Not to mention the extra added benefit of quite naturally and very easily beginning to drop those extra pounds, while slimming down and achieving the attractive muscle tone we desire with the full head of steaming energy, vim and vigor we need to compete in this often cold, calculated, complex, cruel and complicated world we live in today!