Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day When It Comes to Your Weight?

How many times have we heard it? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. By now, probably about as many times as we’ve heard people dispute that old saying! Nutrition-wise, it’s probably not so true. But when it comes to our weight? Well, things are a little more complicated. There’s been a lot of popular advice floating around regarding the timing of meals and weight loss, and there are also studies that have pointed to eating earlier as the key to losing weight. But now, there’s evidence suggesting that we might be able to rethink this. So, what should we think if we’re trying to lose weight? To breakfast big or not to breakfast big? That is the question!assortment of breakfast food and coffee on a white table with the article title


So why should we even think about or care what time of day we’re eating? Other than getting some pretty wicked heartburn if you’re scarfing down nachos at 1 am, scientists in recent years have begun to link various aspects of our health to the times of day we eat. This emerging field, known as “chrono-nutrition,” builds on the relationship between our eating patterns in regards to time, circadian rhythms, and metabolic health. Think of it this way: disruption to our circadian rhythms can be pretty hard on our bodies. And our metabolism aligns with a circadian rhythm, too. So eating out of alignment with that can be problematic for our bodies. 


So in this field, a growing body of evidence indicates that aligning our food intake to the times of day when circadian rhythms in metabolic processes are “optimized for nutrition,” according to one study, “may be effective for improving metabolic health.” Does that mean it can also aid in weight loss? Maybe. Two studies from 2013 suggested that eating a big breakfast, smaller lunch, and even smaller dinner could help you lose weight. What they found even suggested that it is true that eating more at breakfast keeps you satisfied.


But there’s always a “but,” right? Yup. Just this past fall, a major new study on this subject was published. And it is forcing us to question again whether breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

The New Studybasket full of various foods like a pepper and apples

To investigate the link between the size of breakfast and dinner and their effect on hunger, a team of researchers at the universities of Aberdeen and Surrey conducted a controlled study on healthy but overweight people.


The participants were fed two diets, each for four weeks. A big breakfast and a small dinner, and a small breakfast with a big dinner (lunches were kept the same). The meals were given to the participants so the researchers knew exactly what they were eating. They measured the participants’ metabolism, including monitoring how many calories they burned. All of the participants had periods of eating both diets, so that the researchers could not only compare the different people in the different groups, but also how the individuals reacted to each diet. 


They predicted that they would have similar findings to the 2013 studies. That a big breakfast and small dinner would increase calories burned and weight lost. But that just wasn’t the case. The results of the experiment found no differences in body weight or any biological measures of energy usage between the two meal patterns.


There were also no differences in daily levels of blood glucose, insulin, or lipids. This is important because changes of these factors in the blood are associated with metabolic health.


So a rare thing happened: the scientists were surprised! Contrary to what they thought would happen, their research suggests that the way our bodies process calories in the morning versus the evening does not influence weight loss the way other studies suggest.


But – yes, there’s another but! – they did find one thing that might make you stick to your breakfast regime. If you’re a breakfast eater and have your weight on your mind. When the participants were eating the meal pattern of a big breakfast and small dinner, they reported less hunger throughout the day. So if you’re looking to lose weight, there’s still a chance that eating that way might help you to better control your hunger and eat less.

Breakfasting the Right Way

So we’re sorry to say that we can’t definitively say if eating breakfast is the way to go for weight loss. But nutritionists still recommend starting your day with breakfast. Since they say it can set you up for better choices during the rest of your day. And it can also help you to meet the daily recommendations for certain food groups and nutrients. The jury is out on their other assertion that it means burning more calories throughout the day. But one thing we can say for sure: eating breakfast is only healthy if you’re doing it right!plates of breakfast with eggs oranges meat and coffee on a table


If you’re a breakfast eater, and want to make it your most important meal of the day, look for foods that are energizing, satiating, and packed with a wide variety of important nutrients. Consider these tips for upping your breakfast game:

  • Include an antioxidant source (like blueberries and kale – hello, smoothie!) to combat stress to your body.
  • Choose whole grains over refined ones to help keep you feeling fuller longer, and to keep that bad cholesterol in check.
  • Opt for whole foods whenever possible to get more fiber, and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Limit sugar to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can lead to anxiety, fatigue, irritability, headaches, and difficulty concentrating, not to mention craving more high-carb foods, leading to a vicious cycle of overeating. And get this: studies have found that people who eat sugary breakfasts have about 10% higher total daily sugar intake compared to people who chose non-sugary breakfasts.
  • Eat some protein before your carbs/fruit: this may reduce blood glucose spikes compared with eating carbs first. Studies also show that having a meal combining both protein and carbs “can slow the digestive process. Making your breakfast more satisfying and reducing your post-breakfast cravings,” according to Corinne Kohlen, registered dietitian.
  • Don’t forget the fruits and veggies!
  • Prep your breakfast ahead of time to avoid unhealthy choices.
  • Get nutty with some nuts or nut butter. Did you know that eating a few more nuts a day can lead to a lower risk of weight gain and obesity?
  • Choose solids over liquids, since they keep you fuller longer. But if a smoothie is the way you’ll get all those good, nutritious things into your body, we won’t tell!
  • Consider eating your breakfast in two mini meals, to trick yourself into thinking you’re getting more.
  • Don’t fear the fat, or the good fats at least, especially since you’re more likely to burn them off during the day if you eat them at breakfast. 


Your mom might still be insisting that you eat your breakfast. Because – say it all together now – it’s the most important meal of the day. But not everyone is 100% convinced, at least when it comes to weight loss. With that being said, though, there is still evidence that eating your big meal early in the day can be good for weight loss. And your health overall. Especially since it can lead to healthier choices and fitting in more nutrition throughout the day (as long as you do it right!). And it’s certainly better than nachos at 1 am…most of the time.

Co-written by Joanna Bowling

Improve Your Blood Pressure Now For Better Brain Health Later

In your circulatory system, blood pressure is the force of blood moving through your veins. It carries oxygen-rich cells to all parts of your body.

When you get your blood pressure checked, they are measuring how hard the blood is pushing against the wall of the arteries when your heart is beating, and when it is resting in between beats. But did you know that one in three American adults has high blood pressure, which doctors call hypertension? This puts affected adults at risk for a stroke or heart disease, which are among the leading causes of U.S.deaths.

To make matters worse, hypertension has been linked to dementia. Recent research shows a cognitive decline with dementia is higher in people in their 30s and 40s paired with hypertension.

pressure valve to represent blood pressure
You don’t have meters installed to catch blood pressure spikes, so learn to be proactive.

Having high blood pressure this early in life continuously creates blood vessel damage in the brain. These are typically called white matter lesions. If enough nerve cells are damaged by high blood pressure, then memory cannot be restored.

Blood Flow in the Brain 

The brain typically receives about 20% of the body’s blood supply, which carries oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients to give it energy. If this blood flow is blocked somehow or reduced, such as with high blood pressure, the brain is damaged. 

One study found that even just slightly higher blood pressure (which is 120/80) could increase the risk of dementia. While another study found that women in their 40s with high blood pressure were 73% more likely to develop dementia than those who did not have hypertension. But now there is a risk of overall cognitive decline, including memory and processing speeds.

What Recent Studies Suggest

In a study published in The Lancet Neurology, a team checked the blood pressure of over 500 participants that ranged from the ages of 36 to 69 years old. None of the participants had dementia. The results showed that people between 36 and 43, and 43 to 53 had a greater than normal increase in blood pressure and a smaller brain volume later in life. 

People who had higher blood pressure in their 30s and 40s had a 7-15% increase in white matter lesions in their brains. 

“We found that higher and rising blood pressure between the ages of 36 and 53 had the strongest associations with smaller brain volume and increases in white matter brain lesions in later life,” he continues. “We speculate that these changes may, over time, result in a decline in brain function, for example, impairments in thinking and behavior, so making the case for targeting blood pressure in mid-life, if not earlier.”

Can You Lower Your Chances Of Cognitive Decline?

Well, as far as the clinical trials say, there is no medical proof showing that controlling high blood pressure through drugs or lifestyle changes can prevent the decline in cognition or dementia.

stress written in red ink for blood pressure
Stress plays a role in your blood pressure too. Don’t just hit the gym, meditate to lower blood pressure.

However, the landmark Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which included 9,300 participants, ended in 2015 with a positive finding about blood pressure control and heart health: Lowering systolic blood pressure to less than 120 (which is below the hypertension threshold of 140) significantly reduced the number of deaths and cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, in nondiabetic adults age 50 and older. Similar results were found for about 2,600 participants aged 75 and older.

What You Can Do

Although there has been some skepticism on if you can do anything to lower your chances of dementia, it is important to get your blood pressure down. Hypertension is not good for your brain, heart, and body, in general. You can still lower your chances of a stroke, heart disease, and more by following these guidelines:

  • Diet– Your diet plays a major role. Make sure to eat things with lower salt and sodium. Sodium intake should not exceed 1,500 mg a day. Reduce, and cut out processed foods altogether, and instead eat as many vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and fish that you can. 


  • ExerciseExercise can lower your blood pressure. Try to walk at least 30 minutes a day, and other moderate exercises. Keeping your weight down can help drop points in your blood pressure.


  • Limit Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs- Using ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs can raise blood pressure, especially in older people.

7 Reasons Seniors Should Try Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a hot trend. Going 16-18 hours a day without consuming any calories does not sound that easy, but it can be. Recent studies show that there are long-term benefits to intermittent fasting, such as lowering belly fat, boosting brain function, and helping you live longer by reducing your risk for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. But is this a safe practice for seniors? Absolutely!

smooth for fasting with seniors
As long as you’re getting your daily calories and nutrients, you should be safe to fast.

1.Reduced Insulin Resistance

During the fasting period, lower insulin levels improve fat burning in the body. Not only will it improve fat burning, but the lowered insulin levels will help encourage muscle growth. Studies show that fasting reduces insulin by 20-31%.

2.Detox The Body

When you fast, your body removes toxins. One way this occurs is from shedding weight. When you intermittent fast, your body will burn fat, using it for the energy it’s not getting from food. The fat cells are the usual culprits for toxin storage, keeping it from what we eat and breathe.

When you cleanse your body from toxins, you will find that you have more energy, stamina, clear skin, better brain function, and restful sleep patterns. 

3.Lose Weight

Because your body lowers it’s insulin levels, your body burns\ the fat for fuel, and it no longer receives the signal to store extra calories as fat. Intermittent fasting can increase norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that can boost your metabolism! That way, your body will burn calories throughout the day.

4.Improved Gut Health & Mood

Not only does your body burn more, but your gut health improves. Your mood and mental health go hand in hand with your gut microbiome. So, when your gut reboots due to intermittent fasting, your stomach and your mood are overall happier.

5.Heart Function

At least one study indicates that people who follow a fasting diet may have better heart health than people who don’t. When you fast, your levels of hemoglobin, red blood cell count are affected, in a good way. This improves heart health. 

senior woman feeling better from fasting
Feel good about yourself no matter what your age! What you eat plays a huge part in your energy levels.


The process of cells eating themselves to get rid of damaged cells, and recycle into better, more youthful ones is called autophagy. Viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens are destroyed in this process. The simple way to activate this is by fasting. Damaged cells are removed, and cellular and tissue rejuvenation occur.

7.Brain Function

Your body will burn glucose reserved in your blood and liver when you are fasting. The liver will turn the fat into ketones and use them for fuel. Your brain prefers ketones over glucose, and in turn, will work better and increase your ability to learn and think.

As you’ve read, intermittent fasting has many great benefits, even for those who are over 50 years old. The important thing to note is that what you eat still matters. 

When you are done fasting, remember to stick to nutritional foods that will fuel our body and mind. Stick to vegetables, fruits, and protein. If you feel weak, or light-headed, then stop fasting and seek advice from your doctor. If you have chronic conditions such as heart problems, or diabetes, contact your doctor before beginning intermittent fasting. If done right, there can be many benefits obtained from fasting, including living a longer healthier life.

Men’s Health: Where to Begin


It’s Men’s Health Awareness Month, and guess what–a majority of men don’t prioritize their health. As a man working on this, I’ve found this problem stems from a low prioritization of our own bodies. We take care of our careers, our family members, and our relationships first, but we place our own physical health last. This even extends to gym-goers and bodybuilders. Sure, we have Crossfit and a mountain of protein supplements, but many people get critically injured with Crossfit, and many of those vitamin supplements are still full of sugar or dairy–things that contribute to poor health.

jogger running for men's health down a street
Jogging is a great way to stay fit. If you don’t like this, swimming, cycling, or rowing are great cardio substitutes.

Statistics show that on average, men die five years earlier than women. This has to mean something, if not a warning sign to take care of ourselves. (Or it’s evidence that women are truly the strong ones, but we won’t get into that here.)

People are dying in droves because of poor health; we just aren’t aware of how bad our habits are. First, we have to look at what exactly is killing us, then we can take steps to prevent it.

What Is Killing Us?

Modern technology has eliminated many threats that killed us even 50 years ago. Unfortunately, these are the main issues that we still have to worry about:

  • Diabetes
  • Suicide from depression
  • Prostate cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease

Not the sexiest list, is it? When men talk about how they want to die, it usually doesn’t involve taking their own life or a sudden heart attack. However, we don’t have threats in contemporary life like wars or fighting off bears. (If we must look at traditional “masculine” ways of dying) Our new enemies are food and mental illness.

doctor doing blood pressure for men's health
It’s better to take preventative measures than to visit a doctor when it’s too late.

Do you know which on this list is killing one-entire-third of Americans? It’s not diabetes, which is what all of our commercials seem to talk about. It’s heart disease. However, we don’t see that on the news. While cardiovascular health is an issue for both men and women, for now, we’ll focus on what men can do to stave off this incredible killer.

Luckily for overall men’s health, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression are connected. Scientists are finding that our gut flora, the bacteria living inside our digestive system, has a role to play in our mental health. So, taking care of what we eat can influence our mental wellbeing. This will simultaneously solve most of these issues except for prostate cancer.

Besides the digestive issues, we really need to start talking about our feelings and teaching these habits in our male children. It’s no longer okay to brush off serious mental illness as stoicism. Masculinity can be just as powerful when we take our emotions in hand and learn to deal with them in healthy ways. 

For the prostate problem, we have another solution here that we think you’ll like.  

So, we know now that the fight for our lives resides on our dinner plates. What’s next?

What Can We Do?

It’s not just our diets; we must get involved with overall well-being. This means not only watching our diets and exercising regularly but also taking our mental health and emotional intelligence in hand. It’s no longer excusable to blame others for our vices. 

This means scheduling doctor visits, both to a physician and a therapist. It also means not eating all those wings and drinking 70 beers (At least not every week, you can keep Superbowl Sunday. We’re not heartless.) While your buddies may look at you funny for ordering a salad every other party, your heart health is more important than fitting in. If they are truly your friends, they’ll support your healthy habits.

man squatting heavy weight and straining for men's health
Lifting weights teaches a good lesson: strive for failure for that is how you improve.

And you should get them involved too! Maybe schedule gym visits all together and work out with fitness in mind, not just huge biceps and washboard abs. While they are nice to look at, your external muscles need to be built well. With so many exercise and men’s health programs out there, you can afford to be choosy. Look into which ones support a whole-body experience and not just getting you ripped as soon as possible. Look for workouts like this one here.

The bottom line for men’s health is this: get to a doctor and ask for a no-nonsense laundry list for what you need to improve your health. Most likely, this is going to involve throwing some green stuff onto your plate and generating a sustainable workout routine at the gym. You can do Crossfit if you want, but seriously be careful with that program. After that, read some books over emotional intelligence, you’ll be surprised at what you can learn. Involve a therapist if you believe professional help is necessary, but most likely, just understanding how you think can make a huge difference. We can make our society a healthier place, as smarter, more aware individuals, and as men.


Fitness Goals vs. Nutrition

America is currently in a love/hate relationship with food and our fitness goals. There is a tremendous amount of apps out there in regards to weight control. With the volume of nutrition programs, diet books, and health ads, we seem to be in a war with how to handle our bodies. Worse yet, we have an obesity epidemic. NCBI says, “The latest estimates are that approximately 34% of adults and 15–20% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese.” That’s over a third of people.

What can we do? Science tells us food is the key to losing weight, gaining weight, or maintaining. What we eat (and when) are paramount to fitness. Of course, exercise is a major part of a balanced lifestyle. (On this note, try adding this to your workout.)  However, with certain fitness goals, you need to eat certain things.

What to Eat to Lose Weight 

There are so many diets available and each person needs to tailor their own weight loss plan. No two bodies are exactly alike.  One of my friends can eat Oreos by the sleeve and still has trouble keeping weight on, while another watches her diet, exercises, and continues to struggle. Your fitness goals don’t have to be a huge battle.

Studies tell us the surest path is just a numbers game. While it’s not fun, the best way to think about it is the food pyramid. It’s the one you’re probably familiar with from earlier nutrition classes.

food pyramid for your fitness goals
The food pyramid! Does this look familiar? It’s got the recommended allowance of food intake for maximum nutrition.

Just cut out the top and bottom, focusing on the center portion. This leaves you with a large portion of your nutrition focused in leafy greens, healthy meats, and dairy products. With these, be sure to choose whole foods because ones may contain inflammatory additives that, while delicious, may affect your health. A great diet for this if you need an idea is a Mediterranean diet. Another option is to be aware of your eating times; fasting has been studied more in recent years and has shown great results.

Sugars and starches are the main cause of inflammation, weight retention, and other health problems. Humans evolved for a specific diet, and recent years have provided a cornucopia of delicious, cheap, sugary-starch foods that have taken us away from what our bodies naturally need. Our bodies were just not made to handle that, and we haven’t caught up physically for this fierce influx of food that’s just not good for us in gargantuan amounts. In this case, fat is not the enemy; sugar is.

Focus: Whole foods, leafy greens, healthy portions of meat. Less oil, no sugars, no starches. Also, make sure to track your progression with body fat.

What to Eat to Gain Weight

If you’re on the opposite end and are working to gain weight, you may have an easier time with this. You’ll still have to follow some rules so that you’re putting on healthy weight instead of empty pounds. Start a food journal and set goals with what you’re consuming.

measuring food for losing weight
It doesn’t have to be a fight with food. Just be mindful of what works and what doesn’t.

The best way is by putting on muscle, lean or otherwise. The solid rules are to eat more small meals throughout the day and watch your alcohol intake. Your nutrition and fitness goals are more important than a quick buzz. Your friends will understand.

You can involve more of the food pyramid with gaining weight, eating from the entire selection. Of course, sugars and starches may be involved, but take care not to overindulge. Choose many high fat and protein foods like nuts or milk. Also, fill up with whole grains like oatmeal, or use rice. Smoothies/shakes can be helpful as well. Here’s a great resource for recipes and tips for those wanting to be healthier.

Focus: Use healthy protein shakes, dairy, nuts, and involve a good balance of the entire food pyramid. Find your body weight to grams of protein ratio. 

What to Eat to Maintain Weight

This diet is more of a lifestyle, and it includes elements of the first two. Reaching your goal weight is a short term path, but to maintain it, you must think long term.

fresh nutritious food for weight management
Your best bet is to stick with vegetables. Learn to eat a variety of beautiful, natural colors.

 Like the “losing weight” section, you must reduce sugars and starches in your diet, but you don’t have to eliminate them. When losing weight, that’s the goal, but if you’re maintaining, it’s fine to include them. The same goes for the “gaining weight” section, focus on filling up throughout the day with nutrient dense foods, but you don’t have to eat quite so much.

Keep a food journal (with a fitness goals section) so you’re aware of what’s going into your body and how it makes you feel. If you’re like my friends from earlier, you can inhale an entire sleeve of cookies and be okay weight-wise, but does that actually make you feel energized and happy? If it’s something you’re okay with, then eat what you’d like. Food should not be the enemy here, but a partner through the day. 

Focus: Be aware of the food you’re consuming. As long as you’re eating whole, nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens, fish, and eggs, you can safely consume moderate amounts of sugar & starch. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed. 

Healthy Eating Tips

In order to stick to a healthy diet, it is important to consume the right amount of calories for how active you are throughout the day. You must have a balanced diet so that your body receives all the nutrients necessary with the energy you use. It is recommended that men eat around 2,500 calories a day, while women should have 2,000 a day. Here are a few eating tips to focus on every day.

Eating breakfast is important to kickstart your metabolism for the day.
Eating breakfast is important to kickstart your metabolism for the day, it also gives your brain fuel.

Do Not Skip Breakfast

It is always said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s because it is. Eating breakfast is what kick starts your metabolism for the day and helps you to lose and/or maintain weight. Research has actually shown that people who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight.

Eggs with whole grain toast or a low-sugar cereal with fruit is a nutritious healthy way to start the day.

Eat Less Salt

Too much salt can raise your blood pressure which makes your heart pump more than normal. This can lead to heart disease or a stroke. Reading food labels is a good way to cut down on your salt intake. Foods that we eat already such as bread and sauces contain salt in it.

More than 1.5 grams of salt over 100 grams means that the food is high in salt. You should try to limit your salt intake to no more than 6 grams a day.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Make sure to keep yourself hydrated so your body can replenish your cells.
Make sure to keep yourself hydrated so your body can replenish your cells.

Getting enough liquids in a day is important to stay hydrated and help flush out your system of toxins. It is recommended that a person drink 8 glasses of water a day in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat.

Avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, and unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies because they are high not only in sugar but in calories as well. Stick to a cup of teas, fruit juices, smoothies or vegetable juices. However, water is the most essential for your health.

Eat More Fish

Fish offers a lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals, which is why it is good for your body and health. They contain a lot of omega-3 fats, which is essential for heart health, preventing heart disease. You should try to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, one oily fish and one non-oily.

Some oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines, and pilchards.

Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, canned tuna*, skate, and hake.

*Canned fish contain a lot of salt, so be sure to keep an eye on salt intake to a minimum.

Eat Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables

Doctors recommend that we eat at the minimum five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A lot of people do not accomplish this because it may seem to be too much. You can easily eat a banana or blueberries in the morning with your breakfast. And as far as the rest of the day, unsweetened fruit or vegetable juice/smoothie counts as another serving, and at lunch and dinner try to have a cup of vegetables, raw or cooked.

Watch Starchy Carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta should make up over a third of the food you eat. A lot of people are scared to eat carbs and cut them out of their diet completely to lose weight, but these carbs are important. They can help you feel fuller for longer, just be sure to try to choose whole grain for a healthier option.

You should aim for at least one starchy carbohydrate each meal, but make sure to keep an eye on what you put on these starches, Calories add up quick when you add butter to bread or creamy sauces on pasta.

Achieving these helpful eating tips and turning them into habits will help you live a healthier life. Over time of choosing wisely what you eat, it will become a habit to make healthier lifestyle options, which in turn is best for heart health, body, and weight.