Eat Breakfast Like a Pauper?

Jan 24, 2011

200219739-001Just make sure lean protein is king.

According to conventional nutritional wisdom, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” This was deemed especially good advice for those with weight to lose.

Imagine my shock when I read the latest study in Nutrition Journal trying to disprove this time-honored advice.

Following close to 400 people and what they reported eating at each meal, researchers discovered that those who ate a big breakfast consumed, on average, 400 more calories a day than the rest of the study volunteers.

Dr. Volker Schustziarra, a nutritional specialist in Munich, Germany, found that “People ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast.” In other words, eating a big breakfast doesn’t stave off hunger later in the day—it just means you eat more!

But does it?

It’s About Quality, Not Quantity
If you take a look at what study participants actually ate, based on their food diaries, you’ll see how the research is slightly flawed!

For example, some people ate cornflakes, a processed cereal with a glycemic index higher than jelly beans. Well-recognized and accepted, the glycemic index shows the rate at which various carbs break down as sugar or glucose into the bloodstream. Foods with a high glycemic index cause a rapid rise in blood sugar followed by a rise in insulin that consequently results in a depletion of blood sugar, loss of energy and concentration, and…renewal of food cravings.

No wonder the cereal eaters weren’t full for long.

Others participants ate fatty sausage, while others ate bread—another high glycemic food—and cheese. Though these breakfast foods do contain some blood sugar-stabilizing protein, they’re also high in saturated fats and preservatives—likely contributing to sluggishness and a subsequent need to refuel at lunch and dinner.

The key here is not what the participants ate—but what they didn’t eat. Lean protein and the right carbs can make a big difference because foods with a low glycemic index are slow-acting and release glucose into the blood stream slowly, but surely, killing hunger.

A Tale of Two Hormones
The right protein stimulates the production of the pancreatic hormone, glucagon—which opposes the hormone insulin. Glucagon’s main job is to unlock or mobilize stored fat for use as a fuel source.

If you eat too many fast-acting carbs—particularly those like bread and corn flakes that rapidly turn into simple sugars—insulin levels rise, blocking glucagon. This sets off a blood-sugar roller coaster ride. Instead, eat lean, complete proteins, along with the right, slow-acting carbs, to promote weight loss by burning body fat for energy.

My Fat Flush offers menus with a variety of lean protein choices at breakfast—omega-3-enriched eggs, low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt, and vegetable-based and whey protein powders.

These lean breakfast foods not only raise metabolism by 25%, but are also crucial to cleansing. Your liver needs protein to produce the enzymes necessary to break down toxins into water-soluble substances for excretion—essential for detox dieting.

Protein is also crucial to prevent water retention, bloated tissue, and cravings. More importantly, it provides the building blocks for muscle. Pound for pound, muscle burns five times as many calories as other tissue. The body requires protein (think fish, lean meat, poultry, protein powder, beans, and tofu) at just about every meal—but especially the first one of the day—to set metabolism straight.

Breakfast to Go
For those who are too busy to cook in the morning but still want the metabolism-raising perks of protein, then smoothies are the way to go.

The Smoothie Shakedown program was originally designed as a fast-food Fat Flush with smoothies as the main ingredient. A two-week turbo-charged program, it will get rid of belly fat—and you’ll maintain high energy levels, so you won’t feel tired or hungry.

Each smoothie contains:
• Powerful protein to stabilize blood sugar, support liver detoxification, and fight hunger.
• The right carbs for slower burning and longer lasting fuel.
• Essential fats for long-term satiety and overall wellness.

So, tomorrow morning, don’t eat like a king or pauper—eat like a Fat Flusher.

The Fat Flush Plan
Ann Louise Gittleman’s Guide to the 40/30/30 Phenomenon
Your Body Knows Best

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. sarah

    i find not eating in the morning is the BEST way to rid toxins of the body and allow the body more time to heal, after a good nights sleep…the morning is the best time to be gentle to they waiting to eat…allowing yourself to feel empty before putting your system into work overload w/foods… warm water, 16 oz of water, maybe even alittle warm lemon water, then WHEN you really are hungry not just think you need to eat cuz you’ve always been taught that…JUICE your spinach, kale, lemon, ginger, a carrot and get vital vitamins and chlorophyl and enzymes into your blood to help remove toxins and fuel the body with energy….then at lunch eat a huge salad with flax oil/lemon and some stevia on it if you like, maybe some steamed veggies and maybe a veggie soup…then dinner eat another big salad and chose if its a starch meal or flesh…dont miscombine flesh w/starch…as your body needs different enzymes to break down a starch vs a flesh and putting them both into the body at the same time wreaks havoc on the digestive system, constipating you, bloating, gas and fecal matter that will build up into your tissues and organs over time…THUS causing all kinds of health issues as we see in our society today….EAT like this and you’ll have energy that you wont know what to do with….

  2. Amy

    Thank you for describing what type of breakfast most people eat. My “king’s” breakfast of fish, vegetables and half a small potato gives me instant energy, and keeps me energized for 9-12 hours. If I need to eat mid-day, I have an apple. I dislike stopping my work flow to eat during the day (yes, I take rest breaks, just not eating breaks), and find that this breakfast, plus a small dinner help keep me thin. The drawback? The waking to walking-out-the-door timeline is a bit long–a small price to pay for good health!

  3. Zee

    I too was surprised when I read that article. And I totally agree with Ann. An adequate protein breakfast is going to leave me pleasantly full until lunch with no grogginess. On the other hand, eating the typical white bread with jam will have me back in the fridge within an hour with little or not energy as I am insulin-resistant. I’m surprised that this article didn’t get more feedback from experts and nutritionists–it was clearly flawed and now, may cause a lot of harm to people either skipping breakfast or eating smaller amounts of high carbs-leaving them setup of for a huge binge shortly afterwards. These studies can be very irresponsible at times.



  1. February 2011 Newsletter « Rosen Wellness - [...] 3. What should I eat and when? [...]

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