Is It Bad To Skip Breakfast?
If you eat one meal, god forbid it better be breakfast, this sums up the extreme level of importance many dietitians, personal trainers, fitness magazines and ‘weight loss experts’ place on breakfast.
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, skipping breakfast will cause you to gain weight, lack focus and start the day on a downward spiral.
I spent 20 years religiously eating breakfast every single morning at 7am without fail, although at the time I didn’t know what a morning routine was, let alone have one my oats and fruit at 7am were the one certainty in my day.
“Breakfast, The Most Important Meal Of The Day” – Old Fashioned Mentality
While trolling through article upon article on dieting I read up on intermittent fasting, guys out there were building muscle, burning fat and feeling great while only having an 8 hour eating window.
I started intermittent fasting, waking up early in the morning and not consuming any calories until just past midday.
Did I encounter the laundry list of ‘problems’ associated with skipping breakfast?
Skipping breakfast actually provided me with a number of great benefits.
My energy was vastly increased.
My productivity and focus began to increase…
4 Big Benefits I’ve Noticed Since I Began To Skip Breakfast
Increased Energy In The Gym
I find myself lighter, with more energy particularly when you’re deep amidst my workout, be it an early morning gruelling leg session or high intensity interval sprints.
Increased Focus When Reading, Writing & Working
My attention to detail, motivation and overall productivity are well and truly boosted. Regardless of whether I’m reading a book or writing a research paper I find myself working far more efficiently when in a fasted state.
No Afternoon Crash
Mid day crash? Nope! Fasting through the morning as opposed to slowing your body down and burdening it with the task of digesting large amounts of food early on in the day will leave you energy levels running low as the afternoon approaches…
If you fasted your way through the morning your energy will remain strong throughout the afternoon as you continue to crush your tasks like a lion.
Easier To Regulate Calories Throughout The Day (Cutting Is Simple!)
Losing weight and getting shredded is merely a game of calories in vs. calories out – if you eat breakfast you’re already consuming a portion of your daily calories, leaving you with the ability to eat fewer calories later.
If you’re cutting on 2600 calories and you eat a 1000 calorie breakfast at 6am that leaves you with a miniscule 1600 calories for the next 15~ hours until you retire for the evening.
Intermittent fasting (and particularly skipping breakfast) makes dealing with a low calorie diet that much more manageable.
“SJ, Won’t I Lose Muscle From Skipping A Meal, Especially Breakfast?” – Reader
After decades of debate, the record stands.
Meal timing is irrelevant for body composition.
Eating small meals in 2 hour intervals will net you no benefit (in terms of fat loss or muscle gain) than eating the same amount of food in one or two big meals.
I used to believe the hype, ensuring I never went more than 3 hours without a form of protein and carbohydrates – I also nearly went insane in the process.
Since I changed to eating on a schedule to works around my day I have continued to progress just as I did when I had a structured approach to meal timing.
The takeaway? As long as each and every day you eat your meals and hit your caloric goal you’re fine.
But, meal timing can be important for other reasons, particularly performance and productivity.
Does your diet have you eating early in the morning? If so, do you find yourself sluggish and unproductive after eating?
Are you more focused and working more efficiently when you’re in a fasted state?
Are you going to be eating before your workout? If so, does the meal contain protein and carbohydrates?
Or do you train better fasted?
These are questions I can’t answer for you, I’m personally a big fan of working and training fasted as I have far more energy, although some people are distracted and light-headed when they haven’t eaten… find out what works best for you.
Experts Purposely Complicate Dieting
Want to take advantage of the energy, productivity and overall feelings of well-being associated with intermittent fasting?
Find a eating and fasting schedule that suits your lifestyle best.
Forget muscle breakdown, nutrient timing and anabolic windows.
Go by how your body feels and hit your caloric goal on a 24 hour basis.
Don’t fall victim to complicated dieting mumbo-jumbo or paralysis by analysis.