Top Ten Diet Fallacies:

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

By Ori Hofmekler
Author of The Warrior Diet

When you wake-up, your body is already in an intense detox mode, clearing itself of endotoxins and digestive waste from the past evening meal. During the morning hours, when digestion is fully completed (while you are on an empty stomach), a primal survival mechanism, known as fight or flight reaction to stress, is triggered, maximizing your body's capacity to generate energy, be alert, resist fatigue and resist stress.

This highly geared survival mode is primarily dominated by part of the autonomic nervous system known as the SNS (sympathetic nervous system). At that state, the body is in its most energy-producing phase and that's when most energy comes from fat burning. All that happens when you do not eat the typical morning meal. If however you follow what "normal guys" do and eat your morning bagel and cereal and egg & bacon, you'll most likely shut down the above energy producing system.

The SNS and its fight or flight mechanism will be substantially suppressed. Instead, your morning meal will trigger an antagonistic part of the automatic nervous system known as the PSNS (Para sympathetic nervous system), which makes you sleepy, slow and less resilient to fatigue and stress. Instead of spending energy and burning fat, your body will be more geared towards storing energy and gaining fat. Under this state, detox would be inhibited. The overall metabolic stress would increase with toxins accumulating in the liver, giving the body another substantial reason to gain fat. (Fat tissues serve as a biological storage for toxins)

The overall suppressing effects of morning meals, can lead to energy crashes during the daily (working) hours, often with chronic cravings for pick-up foods, sweets, coffee and tobacco. Eating at the wrong time, would severely interrupt the body's ability to be in tune with the circadian clock. The human body has never adapted to such interruptions. We are primarily pre-programmed to rotate between the two autonomic nervous system parts: the daily SNS and the nightly PSNS.

The SNS regulates alertness and action during the day, while PSNS regulates relaxation, digestion and sleep during the nightly hours. Any interruption in this primal daily cycle, may lead into sleepiness during the day followed by sleeping disorders at night. Morning meals must be carefully designed not to suppress the SNS and its highly energetic state. Minimizing morning food intake to fruits, veggie soup or small amounts of fresh light protein foods, such as poached or boiled eggs, plain yogurt, or white cheese, will maintain the body in an undereating phase, while promoting the SNS with its energy producing properties.

*Note: Athletes who exercise in the morning should turn breakfast into a post-exercise recovery meal. Such meals should consist of small amounts of fresh protein plus carbs such as yogurt and banana, eggs plus a bowl of oatmeal, or cottage cheese with berries.

An insulin spike is necessary for effectively finalizing the anabolic actions of GH and IGF1 after exercise. Nonetheless, after the initial recovery meal, it's highly recommended to maintain the body in an undereating phase by minimizing daily carb intake in the following meals. Applying small protein meals (minimum carbs) every couple of hours will keep sustaining the SNS during the daily hours while providing amino acids for protein synthesis in the muscle tissues, promoting a long lasting anabolic effect after exercise. In conclusion, breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day.

The most important meals are post-exercise recovery meals. Saying that, for a WARRIOR every meal is a recovery meal helping to recuperate from either nutritional stress (undereating) or physical stress (exercise). It's when you eat that makes what you eat matter.





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