Okay, firstly I would like to point out that “breakfast” doesn’t necessarily mean that morning meal you have at 7am or 11am! It doesn’t mean pancakes, cereal or eggs and perhaps some sausages! “Breakfast” means “breaking the fast”! Literally 🙂
You can have your first meal at 3pm in the afternoon (which is what I do most days – which I will explain why in a sec!) and call it breakfast because that’s what you are breaking your fast with!
Okay, so back to whether having breakfast (that meal that’s is apparently “crucial” in order to avoid overeating!) is the most important meal or not…
On one side of the debate, we have those who encourage that we need the glucose from a breakfast meal to power our bodies and brain for the day and to maintain a healthy weight. That has been a fundamental belief across the board in published literature for many years. But do we really??!
On the other hand, scientists at one university tell us that missing breakfast a few times a week may be a prudent way to lose weight. Moreover, the data produced by those scientists says that skipping breakfast will NOT cause you to eat more in subsequent meals – remember this one here its important!!
So which one is it, is skipping breakfast a good idea or not?
Well, the simple answer is eat if you are hungry and don’t if you’re not.
Some people are not hungry in the morning, whilst other will pass out if they don’t eat!
Just like anything, skipping breakfast is not for everyone. Each person is different with regard to their unique biochemistry, genetics, activity programme, and personal tendencies. Take for instance those with a sensitivity to food rewards or even a tendency to eat until complete satiation or a full stomach. Skipping breakfast might be a really good idea for individuals with such propensities. For them, skipping breakfast all together may feel easier than trying to practise portion control. (yep, rather skip breakfast or my 50% of my caloric intake will be consumed right there!)
This is true for some people. In particular those with a history of overeating (yes that’s me!!). Also, depending on what you eat at breakfast it may certainly make you hungrier sooner and often. One theory is that eating refined carbohydrates like muffins, bread, sweetened cereal and juices raise blood-sugar levels. This sets up an insulin surge that drives blood sugar down again, causing rebound hunger (didn’t you notice this happen before…)
How about the benefits of skipping breakfast? Is there any?!
There is no clear-cut, scientifically-based answer to ‘if’ you should eat breakfast or not. Again, it depends on who you are and if you are willing to try it for yourself. There certainly are benefits to skipping breakfast and here is three that you might want to consider for yourself:
- If you are overweight or obese the reduction of breakfast calories can help to improve daily energy balance.
- You encourage your body to enter a safe ketogenic state which can expedite the body’s natural fat-burning mechanisms by causing your body to dip into fat stores for energy.
- Skipping your first meal may help you reflect on your relationship with food. Sometimes you can learn to reign in unnecessary eating by learning to recognise the feelings that trigger you to eat.
Bonus benefit – you can accelerate autophagy. This is a very important point to get excited about, so it deserves its own space here.
When we don’t eat for a while, a cellular process called autophagy cleans waste products left by dead and damaged cells. If your body fails to clean house with your built-in vacuum cell cleaner this can contribute largely to ageing and the aggravation of detrimental age-related diseases. Skipping a meal or two from time to time may actually be good for you in terms of cell cleaning. Caloric restriction, skipping breakfast is one variety, is one of the most robust anti-ageing interventions known so far.
When you fast intermittently, which skipping breakfast qualifies for, the autophagic response is bumped up. In other words, you’re giving your cells the space and time needed to get DNA debris and waste products out when you skip a meal. See, isn’t that cool? The bottom line, skipping breakfast is basically a form of intermittent fasting. If you struggle with your eating, skipping breakfast might be a really good idea. The key is to test and experiment, until you find something that works for you in the long run. The published literature out there may seem as confusing as it is helpful. There is no solid evidence that goes in one direction. This is because each one of us is different.
Did you notice that I favour skipping “breakfast” first thing in the morning?! 🙂
I came across intermittent fasting few months ago & I wish someone introduced me to it before…
Do not be put off by the word “fasting” – and don’t confuse it with starving either. Intermittent fasting can be a very successful method to lose weight or those last few stubborn pounds without cutting any of your favourite foods!
Intermittent fasting can also be part of your lifestyle, which is what I do. & I LOVE IT!! Why?
Well for starters I don’t have to worry about what I am having for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between! I just have 1 big meal and desert OR 2 average meals and desert!
Therefore I am much more productive & energetic all day long 🙂
I don’t have to worry about my portions, which is a weakness of mine! I can just enjoy that massive meal in the evening and desert 🙂
Intermittent Fasting (IF) taught me to know the difference between REAL hunger and “hunger”! I am more in touch with my own body and I know when I am eating emotionally, just eating cause I am bored or whether I NEED SOME FOOD OR I AM ABOUT TO EAT SOMEBODY! LOL
These are just few reasons why I love IF – I will go on the benefits and the difference it made to my life and how it can help you too in another future post…
But for now, I just want to share some health and weight loss myths with you:
- Skipping breakfast is bad for you, you will just end up overeating! No it doesn’t but the belief that you will, will lead you to overeat! So change that mindset…
- Eat every 2-3 hours a day (aka 6 mini meals a day) – for starters majority of people don’t have the time to prepare 6 meals a day & shouldn’t you all be working during the day anyways!
- Fasting will lead to muscle loss & fatigue! – 100% FALSE!!
So are you going to skip breakfast tomorrow or not?
Well, don’t listen to me or another post about benefits of IF, do YOUR own research and make YOUR OWN VIEWS ABOUT IT! This is exactly why most people are so confused these days… There is just way too much information about diet and what’s healthy and what isn’t and most of them do work BUT YOU REALLY NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!!! Make your own conclusion and then run the study on yourself – what did you find when you were the participant?? Same exact results?? Probably not, but at least you will have an idea whether this or that works for you or not J
Anyways I am going to end it here, this post has been way too long but it’s something I really wanted to share with you and I can’t wait to share my future content which will cover intermittent fasting in more details, especially for women since most information out there is for men only.
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P.S. Excuse the random photos! but thought I would show off!