hear “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” one more time, I’ll scream. I get it.
But here’s the thing: Knowing when to eat that all-important meal is really tricky. Is it bad if I don’t eat breakfast until I get to work, because the idea of eating right when I wake up makes me queasy? If I sleep in on Saturday, have I somehow missed out on the optimal breakfast time? And if I’m a morning workout person, when the hell do I eat? (I don’t really want to have eggs and bacon before I hit the treadmill.)
I have so many questions.
So… does it actually matter what time you eat breakfast?
Yup. “When you eat is just as important as what you are eating,” says Philadelphia-based registered dietitian Theresa Shank. She recommends eating within two hours of when you wake up.
“Eating within this window sets the pace for a healthy appetite and stabilised blood sugars throughout the day,” explains Shank. When your blood sugar gets out of whack, it often triggers hanger, cravings and over-eating – a.k.a avoid at all costs.
And breakfast does actually jump-start your metabolism. “Once we’re awake, our bodies need to speed up and break out of a fasted state,” she adds.
The two-hour breakfast window is mostly true for everyone. However, if you have a health condition like diabetes, having stable blood sugar levels is even more important. In that case, you’ll want to make the window between waking and breakfasting shorter – aim for eating within an hour of waking up to keep glucose levels in balance, says Maya Feller, of Maya Feller Nutrition in Brooklyn, New York.
Read more: Here’s why you should stop skipping breakfast every morning
What if I’m going to the gym?
The question of whether to eat before you go comes down to how your body reacts to exercising after eating. “If you plan to workout in the morning, you need to identify if you perform better fed or fasted,” says Feller.
For instance, if eating a simple pre-workout piece of toast leaves you clenching your stomach midway through Spin, then it’s probable best to wait until you’re done. If finishing your weight workout on an empty stomach makes you dizzy and distracted, then you’re going to need a bite before you go. (Some simple carbs from half a banana can help power you through without feeling super-full.)
This can take some experimentation – but don’t get too stressed about it. In general, it’s a good idea to eat within one to two hours pre- or post-workout, says Shank.
Read more: This formula will ensure your breakfast keeps you full until lunch every day
But I hate eating in the morning…
You should still eat something. (Sorry!) Skipping breakfast is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. And skipping a meal in general can cause brain fog, lower blood sugar levels and a slower metabolism.
No one’s asking you to sit down to eggs, bacon, pancakes and a pot of coffee every day. Just a little something is important. Drink a glass of water when you wake up to hydrate, says Shank, and then grab something easy to take with you (like a Greek yoghurt cup, hard-boiled egg or a piece of fruit). Eating something small will help your body adjust to the idea of eating in the morning, Shank says – helping make daily breakfast a regular routine.
By using and accessing this website, http://www.paste4btc.com (collectively referred to as the "Site" or "Paste4BTC" in these Terms of Service), you ("you", "user" or, "end user") agree to these Terms of Service (collectively, the "Terms of Service" or "Agreement").
IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, IMMEDIATELY STOP ACCESSING THIS SITE.
You acknowledge and agree that all content and information on the Site is protected by proprietary rights and laws.
You agree not to transmit, license, transfer, create derivate work from, sell or re-sell any content or information obtained from or through the Site.
You also agree not to create, upload or put any content that violates copyright or privacy of anyone or is illegal in any way.
The Site may contain links to other websites maintained by third-parties. These links are provided solely as a convenience and does not imply endorsement of, or association with, the party by Paste4BTC.
Modifications to this Agreement.
Paste4BTC reserves the right to change or modify any of the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement at any time. You acknowledge and agree that it is your responsibility to review the Site and these Terms of Service from time to time. Your continued use of the Site after such modifications to this Agreement will constitue acknowledgment of the modified Terms of Service and agreement to abide and be bound by the modified Terms of Service.
Termination of Use.
Paste4BTC shall have the right to immediately terminate or suspend, in its discretion, your access to all or part of the Site with or without notice for any reason.
Disclaimer of Warranty.
You expressly agree that use of the Site is at your sole risk and discretion. The Site and all content and other information contained on the Site is provided on an "AS IS" and "AS AVAILABLE" basis without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied. Paste4BTC makes no warranty that (I) the Site and content or information will be uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free, (II) the results that may be obtained from use of this Site will be effective, accurate or reliable. The Site may include technical mistakes, inaccuracies or typographical errors. Paste4BTC reserves the right to change the Site content and information at any time without notice.
Limitation of Liability.
In no event shall Paste4BTC or its affiliates be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, puntitive damages or consequential damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever arising out of or related to your use of the Site, the content and other information obtained therein.
Certain jurisdictions prohibit the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, thus the above limitations may not apply to you. All content on the website is generated by it's respective users and is not affiliated with Paste4BTC owners in any way.
Any disputes arising out of or related to these Terms of Service and/or any use by you of the Site shall be governed by international laws, without regard to the conflicts of laws provisions therein.
Date of Last Update.
This agreement was last updated on November 15, 2014.