- We are often told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but according to recent research, this may not always be the case.
- David Higgins, whose clients include Margot Robbie and Claudia Schiffer, believes breakfast is overrated.
- He is a champion of intermittent fasting, which normally involves consuming fewer calories and reaping the benefits of fasting for 16 hours a day.
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," most of us were told as we grey up. "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper," they told us.
These sayings go along with the thought that you should consume most of your calories early in the day, so your body has the chance to use up all that energy.
But a lot of health and fitness professionals find they hit their goals by ignoring this advice.
In fact, the Hollywood personal trainer and physical therapist David Higgins believes the breakfast is overrated.
Higgins is the author of the new book The Hollywood Body Plan, and has trained many of the top names in the world of showbiz – his starry client list includes Margot Robbie, Claudia Schiffer, Samuel L Jackson, Colin Firth, Rebecca Ferguson and Naomi Campbell.
The fitness expert believes that people should not force themselves to eat breakfast if they do not really want to.
"Sometimes you do not have to have breakfast," Higgins told INSIDER. "The whole breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's a 1940s marketing campaign to sell eggs. That's what we've all been raised to believe."
Indeed, it was advertising for bacon and eggs that first started pushing the breakfast message that was so well engraved in us all, according to Guardian – it was created by a PR expert working for a food production company.
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However, various studies have also reached the conclusion that breakfast-eaters are slimmer than those who skip the morning meal.
There are plenty of health and nutrition experts who believe in a big breakfast too.
Rhiannon Lambert BSc MSc Anutr, a registered associate nutritionist and spokesperson for the Association for Nutrition, is an advocate of eating in the morning.
"Breakfast can be an excellent way to get a dose of nutrition for the day ahead, increasing intake of fiber (90% of the UK does not hitting the recommended 25g a day), protein, and vitamins and minerals such as iron , vitamin C, and in some cases vitamin D, "she told INSIDER.
"Depending on the individual, a good breakfast can increase your energy by adding fuel to the tank and helping your brain for a productive morning ahead."
If you neglecting to break your fast with a nutritious bowl of porridge or omelette, you can get into mid-morning munchies and demolish a packet of biscuits at 11 am, it's not going to be a healthy move.
However, a study by the University of Bath found that skipping breakfast did not result in people consuming larger lunches and dinners.
Higgins is in fact an advocate of intermittent fasting, an approach to eating that has gained much attention in recent years.
Intermittent fasting essentially means reducing your daily window of eating to around eight hours, which gives your body 16 hours of fasting every day. For many people, this essentially means skipping breakfast, eating lunch at noon, and then consuming your final food for the day at 8 pm
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As Higgins explains, taking intermittent fasting offers a two-pronged approach to improve your health – you consume fewer calories and reap the health benefits of giving your digestive system and rest for 16 hours a day.
"If you normally eat within a 16 hour window daily, it's very hard to get the same amount of food in if you half the time you're allowing yourself to eat," he says.
"You're not going to be consuming as much because you do not have the time to consume it, but then you also allow your body that time to recover and digest and not have to overwork with your metabolism. the body and rest is essential. "
Indeed, intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce insulin levels in the blood, help cells repair themselves, increase your metabolic rate, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Higgins accepts that some people feel they need to eat in the morning, but he believes that they should just shift their eating window and basically skip dinner.
"You have the ability to ebb and flow that eating a plan to suit your own lifestyle and personal habits," he says.
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"It's not that we should not eat breakfast, means breaking your fast, but you certainly do not have to break your fast first thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up, "he told INSIDER.
"By extending your overnight fast you are allowing your body to tap into its stored energy reserves – body fat."
Lowery said there are plenty of benefits associated with this, including weight loss, reduced overall hunger, and drastically improved energy levels.
"It basically teaches you how to understand what a hunger is, and believe it or not, just because your stomach is empty, does not necessarily mean you should eat," he said.
"For me, this is where the power of intermittent fasting lies, you learn to listen to your body again and reset your hunger, something that is incredibly empowering."