Is breakfast the most important meal of your day? Or can you skip breakfast without irreparable consequences? Is it good, is it wrong? As always, it depends. Do you prefer to have breakfast; otherwise, you don’t feel active? Could you do it? Can you be productive and energetic without having breakfast? Could you not do it? Do you want to approach intermittent fasting (skipping breakfast) to lose weight but are you used to it? Start gradually.
Getting benefits from your habits always depends on the context in which you place them. For example, you skip breakfast reluctantly and do it because it helps you create a calorie deficit. Still, during the day, you are more hungry and recover all the deficit calories that you would have gained by not having breakfast. Is it helpful to skip breakfast to lose weight? In this case, not, indeed it is counterproductive.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Breakfast? What Does It Cause?
In this article, we will try to understand once and for all if and how to skip breakfast. When it is essential to do it, and when it could be helpful to ignore it, starting from the principles of biochemistry and physiology, we try to clarify the topic of breakfast. Summarizing the aspects that will be better explored in the rest of the article, we emphasize that skipping breakfast:
- It does not lead to hypoglycemia.
- It does not lower the metabolism.
- It does not make people suffer from hunger.
- It does not send into ketosis (a metabolic state often confused with diabetic ketoacidosis that occurs after days of fasting and not hours).
Clarifying these four points was essential to be able to continue in the article. Note that these are not personal opinions but established biochemical and physiological concepts. You will not find other pictures in other biochemistry or physiological books. Here we are not talking about a study that shows one thing. Subsequent research shows the opposite: we are exposing the basic biochemistry, universal for all human beings.
Is Skipping Breakfast Good Or Bad? What Are The Benefits?
Having breakfast is common sense: you don’t arrive at 11 hungry, and you don’t rush to the bar to eat whatever you find, you don’t faint, you don’t lower your metabolism, you don’t go hungry. In short, your doctor will rightly never tell you to skip breakfast. What happens to the ordinary person after he skips breakfast? He feels tired, drained, hungry, and dizzy.
In a normal and healthy diet (60% of the calories deriving from carbohydrates), we become dependent on them. The exogenous availability of sugars regulates the energy state of the body. If we do not eat them, we feel discomfort. Now, this food addiction is not a bad thing. In thin athletes with a high contractile mass and who practice glycolytic efforts, a high carbohydrate diet increases performance without straining the metabolic systems.
Sugars are a clean fuel for our body, and it does not tire it. In sedentary (often overweight), this addiction is not always optimal. How is it possible that fat people with very high energy supplies (they could go months without eating and would not starve), if they try to skip breakfast, feel bad?
A few hours of fasting are enough to undermine a system designed to last for weeks and months without eating. There is something wrong. Here the exogenous dependence on carbohydrates takes over the natural metabolic systems. We have total reserves, but we continue to depend on external sources, a bit as if in Sicily they stopped eating their oranges : does it make sense?
Does Skipping Breakfast Help To Lose Weight?
By itself, skipping breakfast doesn’t make you lose weight if you take in all the calories you need with the other meals of the day. Indeed, if you are in a regular caloric regime and go from having breakfast to not having it (keeping all the other meals of the day unchanged from a caloric point of view), this step can help you lose weight because you will enter low calorie. But you have to be very careful. Starting to skip breakfast out of the blue could lead you to get hungrier and therefore eat more, recovering the “lost” calories by not having breakfast!
Instead, after the first phase of adjustment and the regained metabolic/energetic balance, the hormonal framework produces an anorectic effect by decreasing the sense of hunger: you will not suffer from hunger! Furthermore, in this way, the metabolism will shift towards the lipid one, burning fat (not a determining factor for a guaranteed flat stomach but which can contribute).
Does Skipping Breakfast Make You Fat?
No, it does not affect the increase of fatty tissue. On the contrary! In the right conditions (explained shortly), not having breakfast helps to lose weight, obviously depending on the person and his habits. Take overweight people who are used to skipping breakfast, let them do it, and you will see that they will lose weight.
Take overweight subjects who are used to having breakfast, let them skip it, and see that they will lose weight. In both cases, metabolic adaptations occurred that broke the homeostasis that had been created with food habits. Always start from the person. In a diabetic subject, everything we have written makes no sense, but at the same time, you also start from biochemical and physiological principles.
As for children and adolescents, skipping breakfast could more easily induce obesity because it triggers a vicious circle guaranteed by being hungry outside the home and looking for the most palatable, sugary, fatty, and caloric foods at the machines or at the bar after school. . Which occasionally has no effect, but if a habit does.
Does My Metabolism Slow Down If I Skip Breakfast?
Not having breakfast does not lower your metabolism: when sugars drop slightly, your blood sugar is supported by catecholamines and cortisol (hormones that increase metabolism and lipolysis) and by glucagon. The GH (following the night peak) remains HIGH. This happens because the body is slowly shifting its metabolism from sugars to fats. The fewer sugars are available, the more fat you use to preserve them.
Does My Blood Sugar Increase If I Skip Breakfast?
As for the relationship between breakfast and blood sugar, skipping breakfast does not send you into hypoglycemia. Only people with serious health problems risk an excessive lowering of sugars (this is one of the reasons why generally not knowing who we are in front of we cannot recommend them. to skip breakfast).
In healthy subjects, skipping it improves glycemic parameters and improves insulin sensitivity. The sugars in the blood drop slightly (so it does not increase blood sugar), bringing the muscle cells and adipocytes to increase cellular receptors to insulin. Your Body Learns To Feed Even Without Postprandial Glycemic Peaks.
Skip Breakfast To Detox
You have eaten too much and poorly for a couple of weeks, and to recover, you already think of a sad week of restrictive liquid, a semi-liquid diet without breakfast and based on fruits, vegetables to detoxify you: thanks to this, your body will surely detoxify. Sad and unnecessary idea: our body is already programmed to detoxify itself from unwanted or waste substances, thanks to the liver’s metabolic function. Therefore, skipping breakfast cannot “detoxify” your body. Likewise, taking supplements or ” detox ” foods is useless.
Are You Skipping Breakfast With Intermittent Fasting?
Skipping breakfast (and getting to do 16-18 hours of fasting ) teaches the body to exploit its energy reserves with constancy. You will learn not to feel any tiredness. You will not feel any hunger or need to eat. The body will learn to self-regulate, making the most of fat deposits and preserving hepatic glycogen. It is advisable not to start from scratch to skip breakfast.
It takes gradually. Start modifying your breakfast by preferring fruit instead of cereals, low-fat yogurts over those with fruit (the latter have a lot of added sugars), perhaps introducing some walnuts or almonds, or protein sources such as eggs (we’ll talk about cholesterol on the subject) in another article).
Already by doing so, the benefits will be enormous, later if you want to start 2-3 days a week to skip it and then get to stay 16-18 hours always fasting. With a bit of persistence (at least three weeks), you will find that you will be standing the same, that what you considered the most important meal of the day perhaps was not.
Conclusion: When Is Breakfast Worth Skipping?
Skipping breakfast is a good strategy for overweight individuals who are used to it: it could help them lose weight! Or basically for those who are already used to not doing it. In other cases, having breakfast will allow you to feel more active and energized to start the day!