Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Every day, our parents told us that if we wanted to be strong and healthy we would need to eat our breakfast, even though most of the time we wouldn’t want to. The thing is, this doesn’t just apply as a child, even as an adult the rule still applies!
It’s correct, breakfast is vital to your overall health and if you eat the right foods it will set up you up for a productive day and make you feel more energised. Besides your body will thank you for nourishing it so early during the day.
WHY? When you get out of bed, you have already been fasting for 8 or more hours due to sleeping. Provided that you intend to lose some extra fat, when you eat breakfast first thing in the morning it actually breaks the fast (hence the name) but does it keep you further away from your fat loss goals?
Breakfast has always been a regular part of people’s lives so it’s only natural that it’s one of the things included in our morning routine. It’s almost subconscious. We always hurry to eat before going to school, work, training at the gym or whatever plans made for the day.
Why is that?
We have been told over and over again that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day” and if you dare to skip it your metabolism would crash or slow down, your blood sugar levels would also crash and the body would start cannibalise itself. Apparently your body would start starving which would have a negative impact on your thyroid gland.
Will skipping your breakfast make you more sluggish, less energised and less motivated for your daily chores? The answer is a resounding NO!
So, what should you do?
The actual truth is that there’s no need to eat anything as soon as you wake up. Believe it or not, it is much better that you postpone eating.
Looking at people’s physiques it’s safe to say we’re battling an obesity epidemic. You don’t have to be an expert to see that. Just walking down the street in any major city can prove that. There are lots of factors that cause this, ranging from diet, exercise and also eating your breakfast contributes a great deal.
As mentioned earlier, when you look at the word itself it literally means breaking your fast. That means you were fasting while you were sleeping and because of this you did not ingest any extra calories, except for maybe a small amount of glucose converted from the glycogen in the liver and triglycerides coming from fat deposits.
These two compounds were used by your body as energy sources for basic life functions such as breathing, heart pumping and also brain function to create dreaming.
What does breakfast have anything to do with this?
When you wake up, the body is in a fasting mode. Provided that you want to decrease fat levels, eating so early in the morning would put a stop to fat loss and would break the fasting period.
When you restrict your caloric intake for longer periods or when you start skipping your breakfast, the enzyme known as lipase start metabolising your fat in great quantities. This is actually the time when you can achieve a real fat loss in the absence of food and ingested calories in your blood stream.
Let’s use a simple example. Say you’ve been sleeping for 8 hours straight. You went to bed at 11 pm and you woke up at 7 am. Full 8 hours of quality sleep and real fat loss. When you wake up, you can do two things. Either prepare yourself a meal with some oats and yogurt and break your fast or don’t eat anything for another 3-5 hours and prolong the fasting time.
And if we take into account that you want to lose fat, what do you think would be the most rational option given the situation? You guessed it, you skip breakfast!
Does that mean that everyone should skip breakfast?
We don’t intend to prove that skipping your breakfast can be the only option to lose the extra fast since it’s obvious that there’s a multitude of diets and nutrition plans which have been proven repeatedly to be very effective.
We are merely trying to give a different perspective to the issue.
It could also be said that skipping your breakfast is a lot more reasonable from a metabolic perspective. Losing the excess fat is not the only benefit that skipping breakfast brings.
It brings a lot of other benefits to your health like: You give the pancreas and the stomach a much-needed rest from the constant secretion of digestive fluids like bicarbonate and HCL (Hydrochloric acid). Both compounds help with the extermination of dangerous bacteria, neutralising your stomach’s pH levels and mixing different food nutrients.
This result is improved digestion and food movement in your intestines. You allow the pancreas to recover from the constant secretion of hormones and digestive enzymes. This will, in turn, optimise the secretion of enzymes, improve the breakdown of food and improve the regulation of blood sugar levels.
Skipping your breakfast will also re-sensitise your cells to glucose and make them utilise more optimally. Basically, you make them a lot more efficient when it comes to utilising glucose coming from ingested carbs and transforming it into usable energy.
And last but not least, when you skip breakfast you can better control your hunger. The majority of people start eating immediately if they hear the stomach making sounds. When you skip breakfast you will significantly reduce and better control hunger. That way you re-calibrate your body to eat only when it really needs nutrients.
Does skipping breakfast really aid with losing fat faster?
If what you’ve read so far still hasn’t convinced you of the benefits of skipping breakfast or at least postponing it, then the best way to get convinced is to do an experiment yourself and see if you get any results.
You should always take into consideration that the body has lots of glycogen reserves in your liver, around 70-100 grams, which would provide you with around 350-400 calories coming from the stored glucose should your body really need it. And that’s beside the excess amount of fat you already have and will be burning, no matter your body fat levels.
So, you don’t need to worry. If you choose to skip your breakfast, there are lots of energy reserves in your body to keep it running smoothly.
It needs to be stressed that the purpose of this article is NOT to convince you to always skip breakfast. It is to use it as one of the many strategies which will help you burn fat faster. As we already know, the majority of people carry too much fat and eating breakfast every day is most certainly not helping them get rid of it, especially if it is comprised of processed sugars, which it most commonly is.
You don’t need to eliminate breakfast at once, nor should you eliminate it altogether. Skip it twice, maybe three times a week or you could try 5 days of the week. It’ll control your hunger, keep you healthy and shed the excess fat.