I know, I know. It goes against everything that we have been told for all our lives! But bear with me then make up your own mind!
Have you noticed that when you eat breakfast, you seem to be hungry all day? Have you noticed that if you ignore breakfast, you can go for quite a while before you need any food and often its habit or your head that makes you eat, not hunger?
Have you ever wondered how we as humans started thinking we needed 3 meals a day? Our caveman ancestors wouldn’t have done that. They would probably only eat once a day if they were lucky and then nibble on roots and berries when they found them. I suspect that it started off fairly naturally but somewhere along the line was hi-jacked by big business who wanted us to buy their products. Big business is very good and convincing us that we need what they are selling like a “healthy chocolate bar” in the afternoon when you get home from school. It’s nonsense but I digress!
Now a tough fact. If you are fat, you don’t need breakfast! Or lunch or dinner for that matter because your body is carrying all the “energy” you need to survive in those yellow fat cells under your skin. If you were to start a fast today having only water, black coffee, black tea and bone broth, you could probably burn up 15 lbs of that fat in 18 days as one of my clients has just done, all the while still exercising and feeling better than normal.
But in our world, that’s pretty extreme. You may simply want to lose weight in a gradual way by eating food. So let me tell you the advantages of NOT eating breakfast.
- Anything you eat for breakfast will raise your insulin. As soon as insulin kicks in, you set your day up for crashes and cravings. Think about it – if you have cereal for breakfast at 7.30 and are hungry again at 10.00, we know that because you are overweight you don’t actually need energy, so why would you be hungry? The overwhelming feelings you get to eat are simply a reaction to insulin dropping, not a need to be fed. If you don’t eat breakfast, you stop this from happening. People who eat low carb diets never experience that hunger and are therefore able to eat far less often and less in quantity because their hormones are working in sync.
- If you eat convenient breakfasts with carbs – porridge, cereal, toast and jam – your insulin will be affected even more so the cravings and crashes will be even stronger. You know the expression, the higher they go, the harder they fall? – that’s what is happening here. You can stop it.
- If you don’t eat anything, you will keep glycogon (the hormone that breaks down your fat cells) coursing through your body for longer. Yes please!!
- If you don’t eat anything, you will reduce the natural amount of visceral fat your body carries little by little. This is what happens in 5:2 fasting. The less visceral fat you have, the healthier you become, the more you lose weight and the more you prevent weight coming back on.
- If you don’t eat breakfast, you give your body a chance for the 8 hormones involved in managing weight to normalise and work as they were designed to do. We have a hormone called leptin that tells us we are full. If you are always hungry, you are no longer hearing those signals.
I am a great believer in trying things out for yourself. We have been fed a huge amount of lies since the days of Ancel Keys in the 70’s who said fat makes fat, not sugar and look how well that’s worked out!
Perhaps you could try this experiment for 3 days, see what happens and if it works for you, extend it for a week. I’ll bet by the end you will weigh less!
When you wake up, have decaffeinated* black coffee or tea and keep having that and water until you feel you really have to eat. If possible, make your first meal anything to do with eggs and / or bacon and eat as much as you want. If you can’t cook because you’re at work, have a few chunks of cheese, baby tomatoes, cucumber and any protein like cold chicken. Again, eat as much as you want. Then go back to the liquids until you feel like eating again.
* Decaff is important because caffeine stimulates insulin.
Just a little warning. If you naturally eat a lot of carbs you may get a pretty nasty headache and feel unwell. If this starts happening, please look for my post on Ketosis to understand what’s going on and what to do about it. Trust me, it’s the best thing you can do for weight loss.