Whether you practice intermittent fasting or skip breakfast solely due to a lack of hunger or time in the morning, it’s time for you to start reconsidering this. I am a big proponent of intermittent fasting and there is a lot of great research on it but you don’t have to skip breakfast for it.
I personally believe that intermittent fasting can be powerful and I myself skip breakfast at certain times in the year when following specific protocols. However, these are just temporary protocols and once it’s over, I go back to having my nutritious breakfast every single morning. Remember, just because something is good in the short term does not mean it’s good in the long term
REASONS NOT TO SKIP BREAKFAST:
1. It can cause a spike in blood sugar levels
When you skip breakfast, the body feels more stressed from not eating and so it might cause a spike in cortisol. This will cause your body to break down more stored glycogen to bring some glucose into the bloodstream. This is counterintuitive because one of the goals of intermittent fasting is to optimise blood sugar!
You can test your insulin in the morning with an easy at-home lab test and, if it is high, then it is a great indication that there is some type of stress response as your blood sugar spikes even without eating!
2. Higher chance of overeating
Eating breakfast will cause you to be less hungry for the next meals in the day (lunch and dinner). Satiety throughout the day is important to prevent overeating which is not only important for weight but for gut health too. Overeating can cause fermentation in the stomach because it will take longer to break down the large amount of food ingested.
3. Decreases the ability to burn fat
If your breakfast contains protein, it can increase the body’s metabolism. Remember, protein is a high thermogenic food and it boosts metabolism. Satiation combined with balanced blood sugar levels allows the body to tap more into body fat.
However, cortisol levels rise in a sympathetic nervous system state (fight or flight) or when there is a drop in blood sugar, causing the body to bring blood sugar to the bloodstream. It will break down liver glycogen to give you fuel to “fight or flee”!
However, you don’t actually need this fuel so now it’s going to be stored as fat!
The majority of people that skip breakfast and feel better, usually do as a result of an underlying root cause. If you feel tired after eating breakfast, it is a digestive system issue; the food is not the problem.
A lot of people feel better when they fast but the reason is that they get a spike in the stress hormones as not eating is a stressor to the body. So yes, they do feel more alert but staying in this “fight or flight” state in the long-term will eventually lead to your body breaking down further down the road.
This is why trying all of these fad diets and trying out different things blindly can cause more harm than good. This is when working with a professional comes into play and that is what I’m here for!