General Diet Plans and Questions - Big Breakfast or a little One?




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KattoS
08-28-2010, 08:29 PM
I'm a little confused when it comes to eating "the most important meal of the day". I know its differnt for every person. How much eaten is based on: time, life-style, work, and other factors.
I've noticed that if I eat a lot for breakfast, I'm full the entire day or for most of it, sometimes skipping dinner because I've already eaten my fill. I've heard that's not good for the body, (skipping meals) but why eat if you're not hungry, right?
However, when I've had days where I'm a little hungry and only eat a bit for breakfast, I of course have room later for lunch and/or dinner, and sometimes that in-between snack. It's been stated that eating smaller meals more often is better because it boosts your metabolism and keeps it constantly moving through out the day.
So which is the best way?
I have time to wake up and make a "big, well-balanced breakfast" if that's the healthier route, but what if all I need is a small bowl of cereal and a glass of OJ or just some fruit with yogurt?
Is the "most important meal of the day" supposed to be big or small?


Rochester
08-28-2010, 08:52 PM
I don't know the "correct" answer but my theory is that I'm going to have all day to burn off breakfast calories, but after dinner all I'm doing is going to bed. I taper my calories off throughout the day....the most at breakfast, less at lunch, even less for dinner.

My breakfast, though, isn't one huge meal with lots of calories. I have a snack before I run/workout, a snack after I run/workout, and then a breakfast "meal." It's usually about 600 calories divided approximately 150/150/300.

dangerousfish
08-28-2010, 09:02 PM
I'm a big breakfast person, not only does it keep me fueled I am not tempted by treats at work and I'm not tempted to do stupid snacking at night in front of the TV.

I do think you should eat when you're hungry and stop when you're not but I like the saying: "Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at dinner."

Favorite breakfasts are egg on nutty/wheaty toast (usually ezekiel bread), 1/2 sliced banana on almond butter on nutty/wheaty toast, hot oat bran with 1/2 sliced banana, ground cinnamon, and 1 ounce almonds. Sometimes I make a sludge in the blender with hemp milk, vega powder, baby spinach, and frozen fruit.


ohmai
08-28-2010, 11:59 PM
Everything I read says it's a must. When I eat breakfast, I'm hungry ALL day long -- regardless of if it is low carb, low fat (or full fat). When I skip breakfast, I can go until around 2PM without really needing to or feeling like eating, but when I decide I AM hungry, there's little time for choices as I feel famished and like I need to eat quickly. I'm sure there's a balance to be found there somewhere. I just haven't found it yet!

joyc21
08-30-2010, 12:10 PM
I don't necessarily think there is one totally right answer.....For me, I find that when I eat a hearty breakfast, my hunger is more under control throughout the day. Breakfast is usually my biggest meal of the day calorie wise and dinner my smallest.....If I eat a small breakfast, I'm usually famished by dinner time and will end up binging on anything in sight.

caryesings
08-30-2010, 02:11 PM
This is something I thought through pretty carefully before embarking on the weight loss plan I created for myself based on my experience with my own body. For me, hunger has no relation to food volume eaten. I'm likely to be just as hungry a few hours after a big meal as a small one. So I started eating pretty small amounts, but eat every 2-3 hours. I can still eat a normal size meal when eating with friends or family but do prefer my small, frequent meals way of eating.

dangerousfish
08-30-2010, 02:39 PM
Everything I read says it's a must. When I eat breakfast, I'm hungry ALL day long -- regardless of if it is low carb, low fat (or full fat). When I skip breakfast, I can go until around 2PM without really needing to or feeling like eating, but when I decide I AM hungry, there's little time for choices as I feel famished and like I need to eat quickly. I'm sure there's a balance to be found there somewhere. I just haven't found it yet!

When is the last time you eat at night? If you eat late at night you may not feel the need to "break your fast".

While I don't think breakfast is important if that isn't a time you feel like eating I do think there may be something to the theory that going long periods without eating slows your metabolism.

Just throwing that out there.

Lafayette
08-30-2010, 03:51 PM
My cardiologist recently said I should eat like a queen at breakfast, like a princess at lunch, and like a pauper at dinner.

Because I'm not hungry first thing in the morning, I "force myself" to eat one packet of instant oatmeal with a little bit of fresh or dried fruit (about 200 calories) and then eat a 200- to 300-calorie second breakfast or snack mid-morning.

Being able to tell myself I will eat first-thing in the morning has actually helped me manage my late-night cravings exactly the way my doctor said it would... who knew? ;)

KattoS
08-31-2010, 12:33 AM
I don't know the "correct" answer but my theory is that I'm going to have all day to burn off breakfast calories, but after dinner all I'm doing is going to bed. I taper my calories off throughout the day....the most at breakfast, less at lunch, even less for dinner.

My breakfast, though, isn't one huge meal with lots of calories. I have a snack before I run/workout, a snack after I run/workout, and then a breakfast "meal." It's usually about 600 calories divided approximately 150/150/300.

That actually sounds like a good idea. I've been telling myself to wake up, go for a quick jog, and then get ready. What do you usually eat for your (150/150/300) calorie intake?
I'd like to try your approach. :D

KattoS
08-31-2010, 12:34 AM
My cardiologist recently said I should eat like a queen at breakfast, like a princess at lunch, and like a pauper at dinner.

Because I'm not hungry first thing in the morning, I "force myself" to eat one packet of instant oatmeal with a little bit of fresh or dried fruit (about 200 calories) and then eat a 200- to 300-calorie second breakfast or snack mid-morning.

Being able to tell myself I will eat first-thing in the morning has actually helped me manage my late-night cravings exactly the way my doctor said it would... who knew? ;)

Lafayette,
You said you force your self to eat some beakfast. Sometimes I feel I have to do that too. I have to bike a good 20 minutes to work, then I start running around with kids for 3 hours, so I know I need something so I don't crash before lunch. (I'll also try what everyone has suggested-thanks.)

I did what to ask if you ever have to force yourself to eat lunch or dinner too? I do. I know you shouldn't eat unless you're hungry, but I sometimes worry that I will binge before 5am with a big breakfast if I don't. (And I have...). Any suggestions?:o

Rosinante
08-31-2010, 03:47 AM
I go with the Queen-Princess-Pauper method too. At first, I deliberately tried to do it and it was quite a struggle, because a nice big tasty evening dinner had always been something to look forward to, a kind of reward for getting to the end of the day.

When I had to re-work my WOE, when the doc said that low-carb was having a negative effect on my bloodwork and general health, I came up with a kind of low-GI, calorie counted method, and used one of Dr. Ian Marber's Food Doctor books. He advocates in his 7 day diet not eating starchy/grainy carbs at the evening meal, so I don't.

That became easy quickly, and also reduced the size of the evening meal, with not having a slab of pasta/rice/potatoes. However, because I wanted to eat more carbs than low carb (100-110g), I started getting the grainy ones in at lunch and breakfast, which made those meals bigger.

This past week, one day I just wasn't hungry come the evening meal, so had a milky drink instead. This made my calories low for the day, so another 2 or 3 days, I've planned to eat this way, and bumped up my first 2 meals - and 1 or 2 healthy snacks too.

I guess I'm actually eating Princess Queen Pauper, my biggest meal is lunch but I do eat a fairly strapping breakfast: today porridge made with half a cup of oats and 1.5 cups of milkandwater. It felt quite heavy but I know it'll keep me going all morning, and mean that come the staff lunch later on, I'll still fee full enough to help me make good choices.

Bac0s
08-31-2010, 09:52 AM
I've had to tailor my calories to what helps keep me full. I think it will differ for everyone.

If I eat a big breakfast, and if I eat early, I will eat all.day.long. Non stop grazing. I tend to binge most at night. So, I've tailored this to what I know about myself. I eat a small breakfast (usually a Fiber One bar) anytime after 9. Then, I usually have a snack (fruit or Greek yogurt) around 11, 11:30. Smallish lunch (around 300 calories) at 1:30, snack at 4 (usually popcorn, or fruit and cheese, around 150-200 calories total), and my biggest meal is dinner at 6/6:30 (usually 600, sometimes 700 calories). I figure since I'm doing it consistently, my morning weight will accurately reflect my weight loss. After dinner I clean up, and I go upstairs for the rest of the night so I'm not near the kitchen and avoid binging.

JenMusic
08-31-2010, 10:33 AM
This is, as so many things are, different for everyone.

I love breakfast and always have. From my previous experience with low carb (didn't really work for me long-term, so I'm counting calories now) I learned that a breakfast higher in fat and protein kept me satisfied for looooong time before lunch. So most days I eat a breakfast sandwich made of 1 egg + 1 egg white, a thin slice of sharp cheddar, some Canadian bacon (ham) and 2 pieces of wheat bread. It's a heavy meal, yes, but the calories come out to around 320 for the whole thing and I cut back on fat (esp. saturated fat) for the rest of the day so that my fat intake doesn't shoot sky high. I don't worry about cholestorol.

My lunch is fairly light - about 300 total calories, which allows me to use the remainder for an afternoon snack and a good sized dinner. I don't eat anything after dinner, because once I start I wouldn't be able to stop.

Personally, I've never liked the grazing/eating 6x a day thing. I know it works really well for others, and it may very well keep the metabolism moving, but I would MUCH rather eat 3 full sized meals and one snack. This has been how I've eaten for the majority of my weight loss, and I'm not going to mess with it until something changes there. :)

sarahyu
08-31-2010, 10:48 AM
I eat a big breakfast, heavy on protein and fiber. It keeps me focused for many hours and I tend to develop a gradual hunger that is easy to handle.

KattoS
09-02-2010, 11:44 AM
Recently, I've started waking up at 6am to do a 20-40min jog. I noticed that if I eat my breakfast after both my jog and shower, I'm hungrier. I have been keeping my breakfast somewhat smaller, but defaintly healthier with energy enriched foods. I keep in mind that I won't be eating again until 12 or 1pm, so just incase I get that hunger buzz, I have a snack bar with me. Its been working so far, and I am seeing results. I've been trying to do salad-filled lunches with lots of vegetables and some protein (tofu, fish, or eggs) and maybe some fruit with yogurt for dessert. This usually keeps me full until dinner time. I'm trying not to eat carbs at night, and focusing on a smaller lighter meal than breakfast and lunch. I'm also been substatuteing my icecream cravings with yogurt. And its been working!

I've seen a great improvement in both my body and energy levels.
Thanks for all the tips!