Nutritionists call it the most important meal of the day, but there’s one Hollywood health nut who isn’t buying it: Gwyneth Paltrow.
The actress and Goop lifestyle-guru opened up about her health habits recently in an interview, and a few of them might surprise you.
In addition to sharing that she sometimes indulges in a “baguette dripped in cheese,” the 44-year-old admitted that she always skips breakfast. She told the magazine that her first meal of the day is usually lunch, saying “I keep it light on carbs so my energy levels don’t peak and valley throughout the day.”
So is Gwyneth out to lunch (pun totally intended) or is there something healthy about skipping breakfast?
Most health experts agree that breakfast is an essential part of the day.
Brekkie ain’t so bad, actually it’s good
According to Calgary-based registered dietitian Gillian Proctor-Ronald, you need to eat a meal when you wake up — even if you’re not hungry. “Waking up after a night of rest, your gas tank is empty, but you expect your body to get up and start the day? Not even your car would start with an empty tank.” At the bare minimum, she recommends having a glass of juice to give your body some energy, or a glass of water with lemon to get your body going and hopefully spark some hunger.
In addition to providing necessary energy, the first meal of the day is critical if you’re trying to lose weight. Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that study participants who skipped breakfast ended up consuming more calories throughout the day. (Hear that, Gwynnie?) Those who ate breakfast were more likely to stick to their diet.
But breakfast is a fickle friend. Eat too much of it and you could end up packing on pounds without realizing it. Eating a big breakfast (in an effort to reduce hunger come dinnertime) has often been touted as an effective weight loss tactic, but a recent German study found that people who ate a big breakfast consumed more calories throughout the day than those who ate a light meal when they woke up.
If you don’t care about the number on the scale, there’s still a list of reasons to have brekkie. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a 16-year study of men who skipped breakfast, and the results were not promising. According to the lead author, “Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time.” Even when researchers removed other factors (think smoking, diet and exercise) there was still a clear correlation between skipping breakfast and heart disease.