Breakfast is for Wimps - Why I Stay Hungry

22 replies
I never eat breakfast.

Yes, despite all the health magazine articles warning of the correlation between a breakfastless diet and sloth/poor health, I refuse to put calories into my body until the afternoon. Why would I do this?

When I wake up, my senses are keen: my eyes draw more light, my coffee burns hotter when I scald my hand, and the sounds of rushing cars electrify my ears. My recall is quick, and with my dreams still chasing through my memory my mind is off to a rousing start. Every old idea has turned in the soil of my mind and sprouted overnight. The new ideas, like sugar on a dormant palate, are newly falling and kindling fresh fire in my head. Every second feels vital, precious, and alive. I am hungry, yearning.

I wouldn't trade this feeling for a bowl of grits or a banana. I wouldn't crack a box of Cocoa Puffs and oversaturate my senses. The eggs can wait -- I have plans for them later.

"But doesn't your hunger distract you?"

It does more than distract me -- it's the only thing I think about. I hunger to learn new things, to build new empires, to create and love the world around me. I hunger for things that are outside of myself, beyond my reach -- not a few feet away in the fridge.

Many of us do not know real hunger, and for that we are lucky. However, in being so lucky, it is easy to become complacent, to think that all of our longings will simply fall into our lap. To know what it means to strive, we should all learn, if only a little bit, what it means to starve. In the expectant soil of an empty stomach we can cultivate our desires. When we do this, we can know true inner power and freedom.

So thanks, but no thanks on breakfast. Eat your bagel -- I'll stay hungry.
#breakfast #hungry #motivation #stay #wimps
  • Profile picture of the author ProScribe
    Cool Attitude, it's like the whole Arnold Schwarzenegger "Stay Hungry" ethos.

    I lack the idea that through denying ourselves something we build a resivior of strength.

    I can't remember who advised it, but the idea is that we should each day do something that is a little bit more difficult than it needs to be, so that when we are truely tested we have the will to push forward.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Bainbridge
    Hmm, hunger for success and hunger for food... surely these are different things?

    I eat, it is fuel, it keeps you awake (as long as you don't over-eat and get bloated), if helps you to focus, and if you don't eat then you can't exercise (effectively), and again exercise will really fuel you, energize you - imo more so than not eating...

    Also starving yourself every day isn't good for your health, isn't good for your metabolism, if you do it to excess your body will digest and waste muscle rather than fat and you will go into "starvation mode" where your metabolism locks and your digestive system doesn't run properly... I'm sure in the short term this is ok, and skipping breakfast isn't such a big deal... but not eating till the afternoon - do you skill lunch? or just eat a later lunch?
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  • Profile picture of the author koncorps
    You drink coffee, that minimizes your hunger.

    /logical explanation?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnWiz
      I actually have noticed my productivity and focus is highest before breakfast, then it goes downhill from there.

      What might help each person is to discover your "hour of power" - the time of the day when you work best, and then use it to get stuff done, before laziness and procrastination kick in.
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    • Profile picture of the author iidesu
      Originally Posted by koncorps View Post

      You drink coffee, that minimizes your hunger.

      /logical explanation?
      plausible.
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  • Profile picture of the author tarad
    Well if that works for you you shouldn't stray away from it.

    It wouldn't necessarily work - positively that is, for everyone.

    In my own case, eating breakfast makes my mind settle - I can focus better, because if I don't, Concentration would be poor, and useless thoughts would be flying around.

    We all have grown up used to different systems. But in the end your health matters the most you know.
    Also, When you pursue money wealth and work hard, you have to remember that its the Man with good health that would be better able to enjoy and maintain a Wealthy life of fulfilment. Its just like a Man that stays up throughout the day so he can be able to do more - than his mates who go to sleep at the right time. He's going to breakdown crash and deteriorate. He's meant to sleep as you're meant to eat.

    But of course if you want to 'opt in or out' of that kind of lifestyle you have to do it gradually and carefully to balance your system and get used to it.
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  • Profile picture of the author iidesu
    thanks for your poetic utterances. And I guess your next post is about "stay foolish"?
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  • Profile picture of the author kaidaiah
    Although I find your drive for success in the morning inspiring, I really have to agree with the subsequent posts about health risks that will occur. I'm all for mind over matter, but if you purposely jeopardize your own health for a prolonged period of time, you can generally expect you're body to break down quicker. Just like Tarad brought up, sure you'll have monetary gain, but can you say for sure you'll enjoy it for as long as possible.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but at that point its too late for people to change their bad habits. Just because your body isn't hurting now does not mean it will not be damaged in the future.

    My 2 cents.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aesop87
      Originally Posted by Dan Bainbridge View Post

      Also starving yourself every day isn't good for your health, isn't good for your metabolism, if you do it to excess your body will digest and waste muscle rather than fat and you will go into "starvation mode" where your metabolism locks and your digestive system doesn't run properly... I'm sure in the short term this is ok, and skipping breakfast isn't such a big deal... but not eating till the afternoon - do you skill lunch? or just eat a later lunch?
      Actually, while my post listed the very personal reasons why I skip breakfast, intermittent fasting also can confer great physiological benefits. Lots of studies have recently come out showing people actually experience improvements in physical performance indicators during a fasted state. The reason breakfast is often linked to ill health is due to the correlation between skipping breakfast and a dysregulated eating schedule. For instance, someone who skips breakfast to race off to work might grab a McDonald's meal or vending machine snack mid-morning, hence the increased rates of obesity. Google "top ten fasting myths debunked" for more information, including why "starvation mode" is a myth (see Myth #4).

      And yes, I do eat lunch. It is quite glorious.

      Originally Posted by koncorps View Post

      You drink coffee, that minimizes your hunger.

      /logical explanation?
      Good observation -- though I don't drink coffee everyday, caffeine certainly does blunt appetite. However, the hunger sensation is triggered by a hormone called "ghrelin." Once your body adapts to a new eating pattern, the regulation of ghrelin in the body adapts to that pattern. Ergo, no morning hunger. Pretty cool stuff.

      Originally Posted by iidesu View Post

      thanks for your poetic utterances. And I guess your next post is about "stay foolish"?
      I don't always post on WF, but when I do, they are poetic utterances. Stay thirsty, my friends.
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  • Profile picture of the author KingOfMusic
    Stay Foolish

    Stay Hungry

    - Steve Jobs
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  • Profile picture of the author focused
    If I skipped breakfast, I'd be too aware of the hunger and it
    would distract me from my work. Also, on a long term basis,
    skipping breakfast might well be detrimental to your health.
    There are sound reasons why health professionals consider
    breakfast the most important meal of the day.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aesop87
      Originally Posted by focused View Post

      If I skipped breakfast, I'd be too aware of the hunger and it
      would distract me from my work. Also, on a long term basis,
      skipping breakfast might well be detrimental to your health.
      There are sound reasons why health professionals consider
      breakfast the most important meal of the day.
      The hunger would be gnawing at first, yes. But over the course of the week, the body adapts to the new eating schedule and the hunger disappears. I've found not having to worry about eating frees me up to focus on more important tasks in my morning.

      As far as health professionals go, it's important to know that the field of nutrition is about as advanced as medicine was in the 17th century. We are only now starting to learn the underlying mechanisms of nutrition, and the results are often contrary to popular wisdom. Remember when saturated fat was the enemy of bad health? Now the blame has switched to carbohydrates. I can't imagine what nutrient popular culture will demonize next, but it will find something to blame.

      Most of the "experts" that recommend breakfast are quoting epidemiological studies that show correlations but do not prove causation. Carefully observing this fact (correlation != causation) can serve us well in all pursuits, especially in IM. We have much more to gain from doing our own research and testing than relying on authorities to provide us with answers. Granted, we can't test everything, but a careful analysis of available data will leave us much better informed than trusting what some pop-journalist or copywriter jots in a commercial medium.
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  • Profile picture of the author firzmotion
    i prefer a glass of milk every morning. Hungry is not a problem, but thirsthy is.
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  • Profile picture of the author STEVEN VEE
    Great post, agree 100%
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  • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
    That's very advanced thinking. I believe there is definitely a link between fasting and enlightenment. Bad foods will agitate you, saturate your mind and eventually leave you frustrated and craving for more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dyer402
    Ya man, more power to ya if that works for you, but i think i would ruin everything i did the previous day in one shot if i were to do that.. i understand the idea behind it, but i dont really think thats a necessary or healthy method to adopt. But again, to each his own..
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  • Profile picture of the author danlew
    Well, I think this is only good for those who have a "strong" resistance of not eating breakfast every morning due to some "calorie" concerns. But good luck with that, but there are still more people who are still eating breakfast to become energized everyday.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    I just make sure I always have a brain breakfast too.
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    • Profile picture of the author LarryW
      I see many people driving out of their homes in the morning and stopping for a cup of coffee.... like no breakfast for them. Not sure if they get donuts.

      If I could forget my morning shave and shower, and two eggs and toast, I would still want OJ -- and I would gain over an hour a day!! But my eyes would not be so open, and my hair would be pretty greasy by 2PM etc

      What I had done before when I was not getting up earlier than 7AM, was to just skip Lunch - and there I would work straight without interuption, gaining an hour, but actually more since continious work was much more efficient than coming back from lunch and finding where I was before I left.

      These days I do not go to bed and sleep before midnight and so I have more hours to work, but I get up around 5:30AM so after a few days (especially when I stay up until 3AM) I am falling asleep at various times during the daylight hours. Some times at red lights.... where is the wisdom in this?

      If I do not spend time chopping vegtables and cooking ....
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmarketer1
    When and what we eat has become habitual. The fact that many of us are over weight or obese suggests we take in too many calories too often versus our need for them. Hunger is also a relaive term...is the original poster truly 'hungry'? Likely not...perhaps the early pangs which again, I suggest are caused more by psychological triggers or habit rather than a physical necessity. But if that brief fast or non-break-fast is the lever to motivate, it may be worth forgoing the oatmeal.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Chloe Emerson
    I find that when I get up I am anxious to get started, to get things rolling for the day. I do my best work first thing in the morning or late in the evening.
    If I get up and eat breakfast before I sit down to work, I get all sleepy again. If I wait until lunchtime to eat I am ravenous and would eat whatever didn't eat me first.
    So I eat a late morning brunch, and then I am good to go until around 4pm when everyone's blood sugar naturally begins to drop. I don't have to break so often for meals, only for something to drink, and the kitchen is just a few short steps away from my desk.
    Good hydration is a key factor in staying alert, so I keep my water within easy reach
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I eat when I need food. I don't really label meals but I would say that I do eat "breakfast." If I don't eat I know that I lose focus and energy and feel like sleeping.
    If you can't take time out to eat, then there's something seriously wrong.
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