Do you believe that the statement, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” is an unshakable truth? I did until relatively recently.

Have you heard it from multiple people and sources pretty much all your life? I have!

It’s one of the things I’ve taken as a truism. I never questioned it until I began investigating why intermittent fasting (IF) worked so well for me and many others, perhaps especially people with ADHD.

Dr. Bert Herring’s book The Fast Five Diet explains the benefits of intermittent fasting on a 5/19 schedule. That schedule looks like this: you eat during five hours of each day and fast (only drinking non-caloric, non-sweet beverages) the other 19 hours of each 24. The schedule Dr. Herring recommends is an eating window either between 3 and 8 pm or between 5 and 10 pm. That pretty much eliminates breakfast, doesn’t it?

In one of his books, he explains that there is really no scientific evidence to support the idea that breakfast is highly important for our health. He has worked for more than a decade with people on the 5/19 intermittent fasting plan, and he has learned that, “As long as your diet includes good nutrition and adequate quantity sometime during the day, you can choose when to eat without incurring the wrath of mythical health-stealing breakfast fairies.”

So where did this idea originate? In his book The Obesity Code, Dr. Jason Fung says, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day–for Big Food. Sensing the perfect opportunity to sell more highly profitable, highly processed ‘breakfast’ foods, Big Food circled the easy money like sharks on wounded prey.”

So, like so many things we take for granted (such as the need to eat three meals a day with snacks between), this belief is the creation of special interests who want to sell us something we don’t need.

[As it happens, I actually do eat breakfast. It’s dinner I don’t eat on the 5/19 IF plan. My eating window is from 7am-12noon, because that works best for me and my husband. We don’t do it because we believe in the sanctity of breakfast, however. We just prefer the last hours of our fasting window to take place when we are sleeping and starting our day.]


If you are interested in learning more about why diets don’t work, why intermittent fasting does work, and why IF works so well with an ADHD brain, stay tuned for more posts on this topic!

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