Skipping breakfast, a popular form of intermittent fasting, is a practice that I believe most people can benefit greatly from. In my experience, breakfast is the most important meal of the day … not to mess up. I have discovered that what I eat (or don’t eat) in the mornings has an enormous impact on how I think and feel for the rest of the day.
When I suggest skipping breakfast to some people, I am usually met with the same three reasons this could be a bad idea:
Reason #1: “You would starve!” Not true. There will be a period of about a week when you might feel hunger pangs shortly after waking up, but there is a way to curb that. Adding coconut oil or heavy cream to your morning coffee or tea is a great way to ease your appetite while still training your body to burn fat for energy.
After your body has adapted, it will now have the ability to burn its own body fat for energy more efficiently, and you will be amazed at the level of control you will have over your appetite.
Reason #2: “You'll miss out on micronutrients.” Not necessarily. You can still consume whatever foods you would usually eat in the morning, just later on in the day. I usually eat a big lunch and a big dinner, which makes up for any micronutrients or calories I may have missed out on for breakfast.
Reason #3: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” This statement really depends on context. In my opinion, there are only three reasons you should be eating breakfast: You have a very physically demanding job, you have issues with low blood sugar, or you’re a growing child. If you don’t fall into those categories, then I believe you would experience far more benefits from skipping breakfast.
So, now that I have those out of the way, let’s get into why I choose to skip breakfast every day:
1. My energy levels are more stable throughout the day.
By practicing intermittent fasting, I am training my body to burn its own body fat for energy. Having this ability keeps my energy levels more stable throughout the day because now my body isn’t totally reliant on food for fuel. It now has a secondary energy source for when food isn’t available.
2. I experience better appetite control.
I would say one of the most profound benefits of skipping breakfast, for me, is the appetite control. When I wake up, I am in no way hungry, nor do I crave food. I usually don’t eat till around noon, and some days I may not eat until 2 p.m. Not because I’m forcing myself not to eat, but because I’m just not hungry. I also never feel starved for food. A common scenario that a lot people experience on a daily basis is becoming so hungry that they become angry, aka "hangry." By skipping breakfast, I drastically reduce my chances of becoming “hangry.”
3. It keeps me lean.
By skipping breakfast, I allow for my body’s natural fasted state to be prolonged up until the afternoon. By prolonging this fast, I allow for more body fat to be burned while experiencing zero hunger pangs.
4. I’m mentally sharper in the mornings.
Digesting food is a very laborious process that requires a lot of attention by the body. By avoiding breakfast, I allow for more attention to be used for mental focus and creativity. For example, all of my creative writing is done in the mornings on just an empty stomach and a coffee.
5. I have fewer sugar cravings.
Some of the worst foods to eat are ones that are offered to you in the mornings. Somehow companies have convinced us that eating dessert for breakfast is a good idea. When I go to coffee shops, all I see is sugar-glazed muffins, doughnuts, banana breads, cookies, and elaborate coffee drinks that contain more sugar than a bottle of soda.
By eliminating breakfast, I no longer feel hungry in the mornings and I am able to get my morning coffee without succumbing to the temptation of those sugary treats. By avoiding those treats, I notice a significant drop in sugar cravings throughout the day.
I’ve noticed that being completely dependent on food for energy, and constantly having to deal with nagging bouts of hunger, can feel very restricting. However, when I started skipping breakfast and my body adapted to this routine, I no longer had to deal with intense hunger, food cravings, or dips in energy. This has been a very liberating experience for me, and I would highly recommend experimenting with this style of eating.
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