41 Comments

  1. Hi Christie, We are all very individual. Your “it depends” is very important. Your post did make me reflect on where I am at with breakfast. I usually eat almost nothing for dinner, so I do need something in the morning. The “something” is a few hours after I have had my quiet writing, reading, coffee time. The “something” contains protein, often skyr lately. I came from the generation of fasting (sometimes 4 to 7 days at a time) in my late teens and early 20’s. Not healthy for me and I did weigh my heaviest. Back to the “it depends.” By the time we arrive close to our 60’s I think we know what works for us. Always good to learn new information and tweak our eating habits. Good question, Christie!

    • Hello Erica. I have to admit I’d never heard of skyr, so I just looked it up. I often have Greek yogurt and a banana or berries for breakfast. I may have to see if I can find skyr in my local grocery store. I eat frequently throughout the day and can’t imagine going four days without food. I had considered the practice of condensing all of your eating into a shorter window, so you fast for 18 hours a day, but after reading the research, I think I’ll stick with what I’m comfortable with–a light breakfast every morning. I do think it’s good to read the latest research on occasion and examine our eating habits. Thanks for stopping by Erica.

  2. Most recently, for breakfast I’ve been doing avocado toast (usually with rye bread as hubby likes that bread for his lunch sandwich). And this summer I’ve been adding in a fresh peach. I used to be a regular non-breakfast eater, then switched to this. I did not loose any weight with eating breakfast every morning. And I’m not seeing any difference in focus. But I’m feeling more positive as it gets me 2-3 fruit servings in for the day! LOL. It’s nice to know “it depends”. I will no longer feel guilty if I miss breakfast. It’s not quite planned intermittent fasting – sometimes I’m rushing out to do something, just not feeling hungry (too much wine the night before), or simply out of avocados!

    • I love avocado toast, Pat, and fresh peaches. Sounds like a delicious way to start the morning, and as you pointed out, get in some produce right out of the gate each day. Still, it’s nice to know it’s not the end of the world if we skip once in a while. Here’s to a happy, healthy week!

  3. Hi, Christie – I love this open-ended, thought-provoking post. I believe that one way of determining the (individual) answer to this question is to listen to our bodies. Are we hungry? Do we simply feel like having a glass of water, juice, tea or coffee) and waiting a bit further for our meal. This is the system that I usually follow. So far, it has worked for me! #MLSTL

    • You make a good point, Donna. If we learn to really listen to our bodies, they will usually tell us what they need. Part of the challenge of working an office job is not knowing for sure if I’ll have an opportunity for a mid-morning snack. I know myself well enough to know that if I wait until lunch to eat I will be “hangry” as they say. So I make sure to eat at least a little something in the morning. It’s also part of my morning routine, eating breakfast and drinking coffee quietly by myself while I write or read the paper. I enjoy the act itself.

  4. I love this post – it really highlights the conflicting nutritional info out there. As you say, it depends. I’m a boiled egg and a slice of sourdough rye toast girl, or greek yoghurt with berries… or sourdough with fresh goats curd or avocado & fabulous tomatoes & really enjoy sitting down each morning with my black tea and absolutely savouring it. I do, however, these days prefer to go without if it is just eating it for the sake of eating it. #MLSTL

    • Good morning Joanne! I am savoring my morning coffee as I write to you. I completely understand that ritual. There is so much conflicting nutritional research that I am happy to simply listen to my body on the point of breakfast. I work out most evenings and find that I wake up hungry, so I eat. As far as getting in the various nutrients my body needs, I rely on eating a variety of foods and hope I’m hitting the mark. I do like to read the research on occasion, reassess my eating habits, and make adjustments that make sense to me. So far, it seems to be working. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  5. Big breakfast eater over here. Always have been. But my daughter and brother both fast in the morning, which seems to work for them. Like you said, it appears there’s no definitive right or wrong. But gosh, who could refuse that delicious avocado toast!!

  6. Cindy

    I love breakfast, but I love every meal! For me breakfast is almost always healthy, so at least I start the day on the right track! (It’s later in the day I’m tempted with sugar and fat.)

    • Maybe it runs in the family, Cindy. I rarely miss a meal and often start planning the next meal as soon as I finish one. For me, breakfast is usually a healthy start–followed by the temptation foods later in the day. We’ve made it this far, so something must be working!

  7. I love that you do research for us, and we just have to read this article! I am a breakfast girl, because I’m usually really hungry in the morning. I don’t eat much but need something. I haven’t really tried the fasting as I get really hungry and I don’t like being really tummy-rumbly hungry. Mind you, what is suggested for ‘fast days’ is sometimes pretty much like my normal days.

    • I’m with you Christine. I am genuinely hungry in the morning and prefer to eat something light early on. I will often follow that with another small mid-morning snack. If, for some reason, I need to fast in the morning, I get tummy-rumbly hungry. (I love that phrase and just had to borrow it!) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Christine. Have a lovely day!

  8. I’ve been trying the 12-hour fast: no eating after 9:00 at night and no breakfast or food before 9 in the morning. If i slip on the 9 pm eating curfew, I adjust the morning “eat” time. I feel a lot healthier–and have more of an appetite in the morning (I am one of those people who have to force them to eat in the morning). Getting away from the pastry breakfast is also a plus: grains and protein fill me up–sometimes until dinner time.

    • It sounds like you’ve found a routine that works well for you. Because of my work schedule I have to eat breakfast early or not at all. I am definitely a breakfast eater. I eat light, usually a yogurt and a banana or berries, but I must eat something to feel good. I joked about wanting a yes or no answer, but I really do like the idea of listening to your own body and acting accordingly.

  9. Hi Christie,
    This is a topic I like.
    I know people who don’t have breakfast. But I need one. When I wake up I am hungry.
    Well researched and balanced post.
    Thanks.
    #MLSTL participant. I have shared the post on my social media.

    • Thank you Pradeep. Like you, I need my breakfast every morning, but like the idea that people don’t have to force themselves to eat first thing in the morning. Thank you for commenting and sharing.

  10. Hi Christie, thanks for taking the time to research this topic. I’m the type of person who needs to eat breakfast in order to feel ‘right’. I’m not sure intermittent fasting would work for me. But, I know that my tendency is to include some of the not-so-healthy foods in my first meal of the day. So that is what I always work on. Healthy…healthy…healthy for breakfast! #MLSTL

    • Hello to a fellow breakfast eater! I don’t do well without breakfast either. I do make it count with healthy choices–except sometimes when I’m on vacation or on those rare occasions I get to eat breakfast out. I do love a good bacon, eggs, and hash brown breakfast!

  11. I fall on the side of no breakfast. I actually feel better with just coffee. If I eat breakfast, it must be high in protein and few carbs. A carb laden breakfast such as pancakes or waffles or even toast sets me up for hunger pangs all day! I don’t mind eating breakfast at 10:00 or so, but that is awfully close to lunch. I did hire a nutritionist and this is the decision we came to for me. I agree that we have different bodies, different tolerances and different needs!

    • Hello Michele. I do love the idea that we can listen to our bodies and do what’s right for us individually without it being considered unhealthy. It’s great that you consulted with a nutritionist and can have that added level of confidence in your decision.

  12. Hi Christie!
    I’m not sure how to react to this post because I have been both – an eater and a non-eater! I think the thing that has prevented me from having breakfast has mostly been an eagerness to get started on the day without “wasting time” cooking. I’d never miss coffee and a cookie or cracker, though. My head knows it’s best to eat breakfast. I’m happier and have lasting energy that takes me nicely to lunch, when I (hopefully) eat less and healthier!

    • I understand the eagerness to get started with the day, Joyce. If I have to cook in the morning in order to eat breakfast, it’s probably not happening. I like to plan a few healthy breakfasts in advance, things I can either prep over the weekend (I have a yummy crustless cauliflower quiche recipe) or something I can just grab and eat (yogurt and fruit). I definitely feel better if I eat something shortly after getting up.

  13. I don’t usually have a big breakfast. Coffee is a must, then maybe toast, or oatmeal, or a poached egg, or an apple and string cheese… whatever I feel like. The meal I struggle with the most is lunch. I’m forever in search of something yummy, healthy, and easy. I’ve done intermittent fasting for six or seven years; on those days, I often don’t eat until noon or 1pm.

    • Your breakfasts sound a lot like mine, Janis–something light and easy to fix. And coffee is a MUST. I have not tried the fasting. I love food and am genuinely hungry in the morning, so it doesn’t sound appealing. On your fasting days, do you get very hungry before lunch or have you adjusted to it? Lunch can be a struggle for me too. I am still working outside the home, so unless I want to eat out everyday (which I don’t), I have to figure out something portable that can be eaten cold or microwaved. I usually food prep on Sundays, and have had some successes and fails with that.

  14. HI Christie, I’ve recently read about studies that show that eating breakfast isn’t as important as we thought. I usually need a coffee to start my day but don’t feel the need to eat immediately. I usually eat something around 10ish. I do love a brunch though and these days tend to go out for breakfast/brunch rather than dinner. As always, your posts are informative and thank you for sharing at #MLSTL.

    • Hello Sue. I love a good brunch too, but lean toward the not so healthy choices when I go to brunch. At this point in my life, that isn’t too often, so I look at it as a treat and allow myself what I really want. That said, I do love a good avocado toast and a large variety of fresh fruits, so that’s good. And, I’m with you, coffee is a must.

  15. I’m a bit of a fence sitter with this one Christie – I tend to have breakfast if I’m feeling like I need it. Some days it’s just a cup of coffee (and I can then think that I’ve done the 16/8 thing for the day) and other days I eat some Weetbix so I don’t let the hungry side of me kick in at morningtea time – those biscuits become too tempting then! It was interesting to see that it didn’t really matter either way – so thanks for the reassurance.
    And thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • It sounds like you’ve found a balance that works for you, Leanne. As much as I joked about wanting a definitive answer, I really do like the idea that we have some freedom to do what feels comfortable. I’m a grazer–eating a little something every few hours. They used to tell us that was the healthiest way to eat. Now many say fasting. It gets so confusing, as long as I’m healthy, I guess I’ll just keep eating how I like. (If only some study would come out saying pastry every evening is good for you!)

  16. I can’t eat as soon as I get up. I have to be up for 2-3 hours before eating. I do drink 32-48 ounces of water after getting out of bed. When I do finally eat it’s usually (1) a fruit smoothie via my NutriBullet blender or (2) a boiled egg, toast, and fruit or (3) cereal, milk, and juice. I have not tried intermittent fasting.

    • I read somewhere that you should drink water as soon as you get up to rehydrate after a night without liquids. That made sense to me, so I started doing it. I typically eat a light meal within an hour of waking up. I haven’t ever tried intermittent fasting either. I can’t imagine I would enjoy it. I love food too much. 🙂

  17. I’ve gone both routes — eating breakfast and not eating breakfast. I think that I get hungrier with eating breakfast. It’s almost as if fasting gets you used to not eating. I believe I’d like to try to alternate within the week – not let my body get used to any one thing. Unfortunately, Hubby is in a habit of preparing breakfast and on a schedule. Heaven forbid if I changed it. So, it’s oatmeal, cereal, and egg breakfast — not all in one day. LOL

    • Hello Marisa. I am a breakfast eater for sure. If I have to skip for some reason, I get very hungry. Changing things up might be the way to go, but sometimes you gotta compromise with the hubby. 🙂

  18. Christie, very sensible approach. I call my first meal of the day, whatever time it is and whatever it consists of, “breakfast” because it is “breaking my fast.” However, I think most people have lots of misconceptions about intermittent fasting. I’ve been doing 16:8 Intermittent Fasting for more than a year and a half now, every day, no exceptions, and I always eat three meals a day (though some eat just two, or even one): 10am Breakfast, sometime between 12 and 1ish Lunch, 6pm finish Dinner. No eating or drinking anything other than tea or water from 6pm to 10am. You can read more about it here. https://www.delightfulrepast.com/2018/04/intermittent-fasting-168-its-not-just.html I will eat this way for the rest of my life!

    • Hello Jean. I have heard that the 16:8 intermittent fasting is good for you, particularly if the fasting starts earlier in the evening–similar to what you are doing. The 10 a.m. breakfast would be a little tough for me with my work schedule, though I could squeeze in a yogurt and fruit, I’d have to eat at my desk. Mentally, the hardest change would be giving up my evening sweet. My husband and I have decaf and dessert around 7:00 each night. I know the sugar isn’t healthy. At some point, I may be ready for change, but I’m not there yet.

  19. Hi Christie,
    Thought provoking post…as you say, not all breakfasts are created equal. If it full of fat, cholesterol, salt, cured meat, and sugar, I’d say give it a pass.
    If it is plant-based and low salt, oil, sugar go for it.
    Personally, I have to eat breakfast each am or I don’t feel well late morning.
    #WFPB

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