Dinner is my favorite meal of the day. I love the social aspect of relaxing after a long day and enjoying a delicious meal with friends and family, or just by myself.
Although the ritual of having a big meal at that time of day may fulfill me emotionally, a recent study shows it may not be so good for me physically.
As cited in today’s New York Times article titled “The Case for a Breakfast Feast,” a seven-year study showed that “front loading calories in the day helps fight obesity,” and “those who ate their largest meal early in the day were more likely to have a lower body mass index than those who ate a large lunch or dinner.”
You’ve likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but before you roll your eyes, you may want to open them instead.
Eating on the go in the morning while downing a cup of Joe is fairly common, and it is estimated that 20-30% of people skip breakfast altogether. And don't get me started on those carb-heavy catered breakfasts (served on plastic) at business events!
Although I’m a dinner-lover, I regularly start my day with a small meal balanced with fiber, protein and fat. Some of my favorites are nut butter with fruit, a scrambled egg with a veggie and avocado, or full fat plain yogurt with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. Yum!
Many of my clients struggle with breakfast, with the biggest complaints being around (1) lack of interesting choices, (2) not feeling hungry that time of day, or (2) feeling hungry soon after.
We strategize over what to eat and for some it’s a real pain point. This is where we get creative and think outside of the box – there’s no need to get stuck in a breakfast rut! Who says you have to eat breakfast food for breakfast? YOU set the rules, not some tradition.
Soups, meats and even rice and fish (which is the standard meal in places like Japan) are all options. Are your wheels turning yet?
If you struggle with weight loss, “watching the clock, and not just the calories, may play a more important role in weight control than previously acknowledged.”
“Having the largest meal in the morning appears to have advantages for weight control compared with having a large meal in the evening, since the digestive process and the action of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that the body uses to process the sugars in carbohydrates and store glucose, appear to be at their peak performance early in the day. As a result, ‘our body can use the nutrients as a source of energy the easiest’…That’s because insulin action is more efficient in the morning, experts say.”
No one is perfect and even as I started writing this blog earlier today I realized I hadn’t eaten breakfast. That’s not like me, but it happens!
I chose this topic today to encourage some experimentation suggested in this entertaining old proverb I pulled from the article: “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” (on nice plates).
So, as you prepare for tonight’s dinner, consider whether you can eat just a bit less, especially if eating late. Perhaps wrap up half and save it for tomorrow’s lunch, or leave a few bites on your plate?
Tomorrow, make an effort to embrace your first meal of the day. Explore incorporating new foods into your breakfast routine – share some of your favorites! Try making it your biggest meal, with a smaller one at lunch and even smaller one at dinner, and note how you feel.
Wishing you a wonderful evening and a new breakfast adventure!
Marjorie Chief MOJO Maker™
P.S. Another practice I whole heartedly believe in is to give yourself a break – time off provides opportunities to recharge and return focused. Next week I will be on vacation and doing just that. Thus, next Tuesday, in place of reading your Tuesdays with MOJO, give yourself a mini break and I will look forward to reconnecting after Labor Day.