eggcellent incentive

Justice for Breakfast

Compelling incentive to start the day, IMO. Photo: OksanaKiian/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The anti-breakfast lobby is out in full force today, their smear campaign apparently designed to push you away from your early morning feed and into the arms of, I don’t know, lunch. “Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day, and science agrees!” they cry. Okay, fine. But though breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day, it is arguably the most useful, a fact any reasonable human who loathes the post-dawn hours will appreciate.

Some of us, you see, do not rise with the sun, an abundant zest for life coursing through our veins as if we’d been awakened with an adrenaline shot to the heart. Some of us still require a rough minimum of 11 hours of sleep to function at full speed, even a decade after of our teenage years have ended. Some of us still throw pillows at our closet when the alarm — which we’ve hidden behind closed doors in the vain hope that having to get up and walk across a room to make the bleeping stop will minimize the odds that we hit snooze — goes off at 7 a.m., no matter what time we went to bed the night before. Some of us hate the morning and need a tasty snack dangled cartoonishly in front of our faces in order to drag ourselves from the cozy confines of bed. Some of us need the incentive of breakfast to catalyze daily activity, so you could argue that does actually make it the most crucial meal of the day. There’s a lot riding on breakfast.

Media attention around a new paper, published in British Medical Journal, overlooks this pivotal role, zooming in instead on breakfast’s worth as a weight-loss agent. This is a myopic view, in my opinion as a morning-hater, but allow me to elaborate: According to a review of 13 trials comparing the metabolic effects of eating breakfast versus skipping it, your morning meal may not kick-start your metabolism and help you to drop pounds. In fact, it may do the opposite, as participants who breakfasted tended to consume more calories in a day. Whatever, I say.

Calorie-counting is infamously bullshit, though, as is the assumption that I am out here shoveling omelettes in my face in an effort to lose weight. Jezebel notes that the breakfast-as-your-make-or-break-moment idea is actually just a conspiracy concocted by Big Cereal, and I don’t dispute it. It’s just that I don’t care.

I need to remember that I have a soft mouth blanket of overnight oats waiting in the fridge if I am to unwrap myself from my warm cocoon and get to work on time. I need to ease into being awake with a gentle, understanding egg sandwich. Hell yes, hit me with an avocado-sausage-cheese-hash-brown breakfast torpedo and you will have my extended attention. When the alarm blares into the darkness of my early morning room, and I am cranky and confused and my cat is staring menacingly down into my face, I may not understand the words you are saying to me, but I will understand the smell of bacon, and furthermore, I will follow it wherever it leads. And that is powerful stuff.

Justice for Breakfast