Blasphemy, dissent, heresy!
These were just some of the terms thrown around by breakfast lovers when the intermittent fasting craze took the world by storm about 18 months ago.
One of my mentors used to tell me that ‘it’s easier to get someone to change their religion than to change their diet’ and this is how I felt about breakfast for years. I LOVED it!
It was my favourite meal of the day.. by far.
When I worked full time as a primary school teacher, I had the same meal each morning before work. 80g of porridge oats with almond milk and 2 scoops of chocolate mint whey protein with 100g of frozen blueberries.
I hated my first teaching job, but this meal was literally the difference between me getting up some mornings or not (no lie).
However, over the past few years, my goals have changed dramatically.
In 2012, I worked full time as a primary school teacher and the gym was my hobby.
In 2020, I run my own fitness business, have a four year old daughter and do ultra endurance fitness events all around the world.
In 2012, I ate breakfast EVERY DAY!
In 2020, I never eat breakfast and haven’t done so in over TWO YEARS!
So which is better?
The answer: neither AND both.
If losing body fat, increasing lean muscle tissue or getting stronger, fitter or faster is your goal, then having breakfast or skipping it can both work.
It’s about finding what works best for you.
So instead of making a strong argument for either side (which I can do for both), here’s a list of some of the pros and cons for skipping breakfast.
Pro List – Some of the reasons you SHOULD skip breakfast.
- You save time in the morning by not sitting down to eat.
- You might eat less calories throughout the day if you skip one entire meal.
- You could make yourself more metabolically flexible by conditioning your body to tap into current fat stores for energy.
- You might feel better mentally due to the effect fasting can have on cognitive performance.
Con List – Some of the reasons you SHOULDN’T skip breakfast.
- You’re normally ravenous in the morning which leads to making unhealthier food choices later in the day due to hunger.
- You overeat at lunch time because you’re starving, thus negating any positive caloric balance that skipping an entire meal had (if fat loss is the goal).
- Regular meal timings can make it easier to adhere to a nutritional plan because you’re feeling satiated throughout the day.
- Food is fuel so skipping breakfast can potentially have a negative impact on training sessions (based around what time of the day you work out of course).
As mentioned, I could easily make an argument for why you should or shouldn’t have breakfast; but the real question is ‘what works best for you?’ – assuming body composition or performance is your goal, then both work.
Also, if you watched this weeks YouTube video (linked below), then you know how to read ‘studies’ from now on.
If a ‘study’ on the internet, in a magazine or on the newspaper claims that ‘this one thing helps you lose weight.. or build muscle.. or drop body fat’ in isolation from everything else – do me a favour.
Just put chuck it in the bin please.