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Why Breakfast really IS the Most Important Meal of the Day..............to skip.

Abm4nAbm4n Posts: 483Member Member Posts: 483Member Member
I have been reading about the ancient civilisations who understood the importance of not over-eating, especially at breakfast.

"At the period of their greatest power, the Greeks and Romans ate only one meal a day."

For example, here are some good quotes from the book entitled “The Hygienic System: Orthotrophy” by Dr Herbert M. Shelton, originally published in 1935: Dr. Felix Oswald says that “during the zenith period of Grecian and Roman civilization monogamy was not as firmly established as the rule that a health-loving man should content himself with one meal a day, and never eat till he had leisure to digest, i.e., not till the day’s work was wholly done.

For more than a thousand years the one meal plan was the established rule among the civilized nations inhabiting the coast-lands of the Mediterranean.

The evening repast–call it supper or dinner–was a kind of domestic festival, the reward of the day’s toil, an enjoyment which rich and poor refrained from marring by premature gratifications of their appetites.”

Breakfast as we know it didn’t exist for large parts of history. The Romans didn’t really eat it, usually consuming only one meal a day around noon, says food historian Caroline Yeldham. In fact, breakfast was actively frowned upon.

The Romans believed it was healthier to eat only one meal a day,” she says. “They were obsessed with digestion and eating more than one meal was considered a form of gluttony. This thinking impacted on the way people ate for a very long time.”

In the Middle Ages monastic life largely shaped when people ate, says food historian Ivan Day. Nothing could be eaten before morning Mass and meat could only be eaten for half the days of the year. It's thought the word breakfast entered the English language during this time and literally meant "break the night's fast".

So, if breakfast literally means breaking our overnight fast. Wouldn't we want to continue fasting in order to reap the additional benefits of daily intermittent fasting? It is surely easier to continue fasting for a few extra hours - say until 10.30 am or perhaps longer until we genuinely feel hungry. The whole idea of eating breakfast is deeply entrenched but is still an invented cultural concept and is not a given. So although it is considered healthy and essential, breakfast was not always considered desirable and it is not a prima facie paradigm of healthy eating.

Skipping or delaying your breakfast until mid morning might be a useful tool to try a few times. Give it a go and see if it works for you!
edited September 2016

Replies

  • arguablysamsonarguablysamson Posts: 1,597Member Member Posts: 1,597Member Member
    Yep, and the Macedonians as well. Good post.
  • OMADing1OMADing1 Posts: 337Member Member Posts: 337Member Member
    What's so tremendous to me is finally being able to no longer follow the crowds in the "breakfast is the most important meal". Such a burden it is following what "they" say one must do in order to be healthy and happy. I never liked to eat breakfast, ever. I'd eat because "they" said I had to. I LOVE OMADing so much, it's so natural and intuitive to and for me.
  • Madpiano2Madpiano2 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    Considering fasting was important (Lent), breakfast probably was important. It was the feast after 40 days of fasting.

    Although the beer the monks brewed during Lent would knock the appetite out of anyone, if not just by having a permanent hangover from hell...
  • blambo61blambo61 Posts: 4,372Member Member Posts: 4,372Member Member
    A lot of people don't like eating breakfast but I've always loved eating breakfast. I used to eat big breakfasts but now I mostly fast. It does make sense to keep the nights' fast going. If I'm going to be doing 2 or more hours of physical activity before noon like hiking or something, then I will eat breakfast. If I'm not doing that, I will skip it. I am getting into a quandary though and that is if I fast for about 19-hrs and then try a hard anerobic exercise, I will bonk at about 40-minutes or so. If I eat something at lunch, then I don't digest fast enough and it will bother me when I workout about 4-hrs later (running will bother me but not lifting). I'm about to try twice a week eating breakfast again and then just some fruit at lunch (once I start eating, I will get hungry) and see how that goes. I can do less intense exercise and I wont bonk but that is not how I'm working out these days. I normally have one splurge day a week on sat and I think I will discontinue that if I do eat the two breakfasts on my hard workout days (mon and thurs). I'm getting a little close to goal weight so I don't mind doing this but don't think I would if I had farther to go. So I think I will be doing a 5:2 OMAD type eating style here soon.

    Very interesting history. I'm not sure how they toiled all day without eating though. They must have been very well adapted to running off of fat.
    edited September 2016
  • VeganAmandaJVeganAmandaJ Posts: 237Member Member Posts: 237Member Member
    Love this!~
    Abm4n wrote: »
    I have been reading about the ancient civilisations who understood the importance of not over-eating, especially at breakfast.

    "At the period of their greatest power, the Greeks and Romans ate only one meal a day."

    For example, here are some good quotes from the book entitled “The Hygienic System: Orthotrophy” by Dr Herbert M. Shelton, originally published in 1935: Dr. Felix Oswald says that “during the zenith period of Grecian and Roman civilization monogamy was not as firmly established as the rule that a health-loving man should content himself with one meal a day, and never eat till he had leisure to digest, i.e., not till the day’s work was wholly done.

    For more than a thousand years the one meal plan was the established rule among the civilized nations inhabiting the coast-lands of the Mediterranean.

    The evening repast–call it supper or dinner–was a kind of domestic festival, the reward of the day’s toil, an enjoyment which rich and poor refrained from marring by premature gratifications of their appetites.”

    Breakfast as we know it didn’t exist for large parts of history. The Romans didn’t really eat it, usually consuming only one meal a day around noon, says food historian Caroline Yeldham. In fact, breakfast was actively frowned upon.

    The Romans believed it was healthier to eat only one meal a day,” she says. “They were obsessed with digestion and eating more than one meal was considered a form of gluttony. This thinking impacted on the way people ate for a very long time.”

    In the Middle Ages monastic life largely shaped when people ate, says food historian Ivan Day. Nothing could be eaten before morning Mass and meat could only be eaten for half the days of the year. It's thought the word breakfast entered the English language during this time and literally meant "break the night's fast".

    So, if breakfast literally means breaking our overnight fast. Wouldn't we want to continue fasting in order to reap the additional benefits of daily intermittent fasting? It is surely easier to continue fasting for a few extra hours - say until 10.30 am or perhaps longer until we genuinely feel hungry. The whole idea of eating breakfast is deeply entrenched but is still an invented cultural concept and is not a given. So although it is considered healthy and essential, breakfast was not always considered desirable and it is not a prima facie paradigm of healthy eating.

    Skipping or delaying your breakfast until mid morning might be a useful tool to try a few times. Give it a go and see if it works for you!

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