Are you confused about all of the information out there regarding breakfast as an essential part of your weight-loss goal? Well, you’re not alone. For every article that expresses that you absolutely must eat breakfast to lose weight, there are articles that point to simpler and easier ways to get to your weight loss goal. So how do you arrive at the truth? It may be a good idea to begin by examining the arguments and assumptions that these articles put forth and find out why the authors have taken the position to eat or not to eat breakfast.
Proponents of eating breakfast daily to achieve weight loss often argue that skipping breakfast is harmful to your daily caloric intake. The reason that research shows that folks who skip breakfast are overweight is because they will over compensate for skipping the meal later in the day. According to research study information posted in Shape magazine by registered dietitian, Cynthis Sass, skipping breakfast causes dieters to look at high calorie foods as more appealing when it comes down to choosing subsequent meals. For example, skipping breakfast just might make a large plate of fettuccine alfredo look like the perfect lunch. But what if that’s not the type of person you are? What if you skip breakfast, simply because you’re not hungry, and you make excellent food choices for lunch and dinner? Perhaps you have discovered your best way to cut 300 calories.
Another argument for making breakfast a daily habit assumes that people who eat in the morning are also more likely to exercise. Interestingly, those who exercise also “say that before having breakfast regularly, they would eat most of their calories after 5 p.m.,” according to Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, nutrition manager for the Duke Diet & Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School. This is interesting to note because eating most of your calories after 5pm is probably worse than skipping breakfast. The next and final arguments propose that eating all of your calories by a certain time of day is more important than whether those calories are consumed for breakfast or not.
If you have fairly good control over your cravings or perhaps you have reached a weight-loss plateau, you might be interested in fasting. Advocates for intermittent fasting claim that an irregular eating style boasts benefits such as reduced cancer risk, glucose regulations, stress and slowing down of the aging process.
While many of the notes studies have been conducted on mice, there have been a few studies conducted on humans.
Intermittent fasting can be done every other day, or it can be done by only eating within an seven hour period during the day (noon to 7pm) and fasting all night long. However you look at it, “breakfast” is not as essential to weigh-loss with fasting unless you want to eat breakfast foods on your non fasting days, or have breakfast later in the day.
Some fitness experts even say that the best combination for fat loss is exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. In this scenario, your day might look like this:
- Wake up 7am
- Continue fast until 11am
- Get in a lunchtime workout
- “Break your fast” post workout
- Eat sensibly whenever you need to until 7pm
For more information on different types of intermittent fasting, click here.
Whatever side of the fence you end up on, remember that different plans work for different people. Keep trying different things until you discover what works best for you on your weight-loss journey.