You’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your grandmother warned you not to skip breakfast and even to eat a big meal. But for some reason, many people in the US take that to mean that they should eat typical American breakfast foods in a larger quantity. If you eat cereal, bagel, or granola, even if it is from whole grains, you are doing your body an injustice. You are cheating your body. Before I explain the logic of eating dinner for breakfast, I need readers to open their eyes to how their current concept of “breakfast food” evolved.
Typical American breakfast is not an inherently right “breakfast food.” Breakfast food around the world is very different in terms of choice of food, quantity, and amount of protein. Most countries eat the same spices at breakfast as they do at dinner. In countries whose language is not English, breakfast might include eggs, beans, lamb, or even fish. The quantity of the food and variety of ingredients and “food groups” represented is typically larger. Each culture has its own concept of typical breakfast food, and it is often very different from American food.
The concept of dinner as a big meal evolved because of the need of the family to sit around together. It also took time for the family to gather up the ingredients to make a hot meal. With the whole family finally at home around 6pm, dinner in the US became a wonderful family ritual. The same ritual exits in other countries but not necessarily at 6pm. For example, where I grew up, the whole family ate “dinner” together at 2pm, with my dad home for siesta. It made sense too because we came home starving from school. This left time for a lighter supper that looked more like “American” breakfast but included yogurt, vegetables, cheeses, and eggs.
I am guessing that the more industrialized a country, the more they skimp on a large quantity for breakfast. In the US, this results in a large dinner instead. The US work ethic should not alter the practice of eating a lot in the morning. This is a new bad habit that needs to be tweaked and recalibrated. It is not tough to do.
Few people realize that if they eat a huge meal in the morning, even as big as a Thanksgiving meal, and follow it with lunch for lunch, along with all the same snacks that I typically recommend, they will not be hungry by dinner time. They can eat a light “breakfast” for dinner. Eating such a light meal at dinner will be easy, because the body will truly not be hungry by then. The body will sleep more easily at night.
I need to emphasize this for all the non-believers. If you eat at least 30 grams of protein for breakfast, along with fiber and calcium, and if you continue to eat in this fashion every time you are hungry, you will STOP feeling hungry by about 4pm. You will have time to do a lot in the evening and you will have time to do it because you will not need to take time out to eat too much. When you will feel hungry again, you will eat. However, the quantity will be so much less than your typical dinner quantities, that you will lose weight by the next morning. Because you will have eaten an easier load to digest before bedtime, you will sleep much better. And because you will have slept for so long and after not having eaten a huge load of protein for many hours, you will wake up hungry for a lot of protein by the next morning. Following my program is a lot easier once you wake up this hungry!
This article should be read together with my other entries that include suggestions for snacks, explanations of what foods work well with others, the Daily Set Point Theory for Sugar and Water, the Substitution Theory, the Classical-Conditioning Oneself Method to Want to be Healthy, and many other original HeartMark Health insights into nutrition and fitness.
Good luck, and please email me with your questions or thoughts!
Remember—Your body is yours. Stop thinking of other people’s opinions. Think about what your stomach needs for the long and short term for your optimum health. It is not about what others are putting into their stomachs… It is about what you are putting in. And remember always—You are Not a Garbage Can!(TM) Ask yourself if you are a garbage can each time you reach for an unhealthy food choice!
The HeartMark is the heart hand gesture that I invented and began to use as my trademark so that I can express my wishes for a healthy, fit, happy, confident, and wonderful world. When it comes to your HeartMark Health, please make a HeartMark, take a deep breath in, exhale, and visualize cleansing your body from toxins, eating food that brings pure energy to every cell, and living your dreams, one HeartMark Healthy breath at a time!
I HeartMark You,
PS–Tali Lehavi has been defying societal norms since 1996 by eating dinner for breakfast and even calling it breakfast!