"Why you should STOP eating Breakfast" (Blog#32)
There's a nutritionist out there right now reading the title of my blog and yelling at their computer screen! The title is slightly misleading however, I am not saying for everyone to stop eating breakfast; just people that are looking to lose a substantial amount of body fat. For years I have been a huge breakfast advocate (and still am, depending on who you are) but the past decade there's been a ton of new research out there that may be shining some new light on the whole breakfast issue.
Lets break down why we are told that breakfast is the most important part of the day: Breakfast AKA "Break The Fast" is pushed because after we go to sleep our bodies go into a catabolic state and we don't eat when we sleep so we have a 6 or 8 hour "fast". That means when we wake up we are theoretically out of our glucose in our blood and low on glycogen stores (glycogen is stored glucose in our muscles and liver). Glucose is the bodies main fuel, once you burn that off your body goes to its glycogen stores for energy, after they run out/low your body will turn to burn its fat stores.
Here's the problem with this scenario; many people around the world eat too late! They go to bed with full bellies which is a big issue if you're looking to drop large amounts of body fat. If you're an elite athlete and/or already lean eating late may not be a problem at all. Every time we eat the body gets a sugar spike in the blood stream and to allow the sugar/glucose into the cells to be burned for energy the pancreas releases Insulin which allows glucose into the cells and starts to drop your blood sugar levels.
When people eat too much and/or too often they are in a constant sugar/insulin spike and drop all day long. This is exactly how you become fat and diabetic over years and years of this eating behavior. The solution is to allow your body a rest, allow it to get to its "fat burning zone" and stop eating every 3 hours (unless you're a bodybuilder/elite athlete). If you're eating the proper meals with the proper macronutrient breakdown (protein/fat/carbs), you should easily be able to eat every 4-6 hours without nutty cravings.
Excessive cravings are due to poor nutritional choices - People think that because they ate CALORIES that they ate NUTRIENTS! There is a huge difference between the two, just because we eat 800 calories of food doesn't mean our bodies got what they needed. If you have a coffee and a doughnut for breakfast you will get an instant sugar rush/spike and be hungry for Nutrients again very quickly — and there in lies the vicious cycle! But if you eat a couple of eggs with an avocado and a vine of cherry tomatoes, your body will not get that sugar spike and you wont crave more food so quickly because your body will digest those nutrient dense foods slower.
Training on an Empty Stomach
Like I stated earlier, everyone is slightly different. If you're a lean person who eats proper food choices and amounts, by all means you may need breakfast to perform and/or lift at the intensities that you'll be hitting. But if you're an average, heavy joe/jane you may want to skip the breakfast, train hard and allow the body to burn it's stored energy and allow your over filled fat stores to be used as fuel.
The down side to training on an "empty" stomach for rookies is that they lack large amounts of glycogen stores because glycogen is stored in muscles. Stored in muscles that rookies don't have yet! So this is where rookies may need a small amount of either fruit, glucose tablets or a little chocolate milk so they can get through their workout without feeling light headed and nauseous. As time goes on and they continue to lift weights and gain muscle and strength the body will slowly be able to store more energy and allow them to train harder and at higher intensities without "breakfast".
Fear of Being Hungry
From an animalistic standpoint, humans for hundreds of thousands of years had no bigger fear than starving to death. If they couldn't find food, they died, period! So the drive to eat and make sure you're never hungry may be a deep imbedded fear for many. But if you have this issue you must realize immediately that with the abundance of food at our fingertips on every corner no matter where you live, this fear is superficial and should be crushed right away! It's OK to be hungry, you won't die!