hen I was a kid, my parents would rush me to eat breakfast before going off to school. My parents believed that eating breakfast was vital and was the only way to ensure I had enough energy to be productive at school.
Were my parents the only ones who valued breakfast? Of course not!
When you wake, your body is in a fasted state. Assuming that your goal is to reduce fat, eating breakfast early morning theoretically stops fat loss or “breaks-your-fast” at breakfast, so should you skip breakfast for faster fat loss?
In fact, breakfast is such an important part of everyone’s life that we make it a priority to eat first thing in the morning. We subconsciously hurry to eat breakfast before going to work, school, exercise at the gym or go off into the day.
Well, somewhere down the road we were taught to believe that breakfast is the “most important meal of day” and skipping it would crash your metabolism, drop your blood sugar to unhealthy levels, and that your body would cannibalize itself, go into starvation mode, and affect your thyroid health. YIKES!
Is this true? Will skipping breakfast slow you down, decrease energy, and work production? Absolutely not!
The Truth About Eating Breakfast
The truth is, you don’t have to eat immediately upon wakening. Actually, it is best that you don’t eat right away.
From a health and fitness perspective, we can all agree that we have a fat crisis, right? There are just way too many people carrying extra fat around. Now there are many contributing factors to this, but eating breakfast (first thing in the morning) is surely one of them.
Think of the word “breakfast.” It really translates to “break-the-fast.” In this case, the “fast” is when you are asleep (or were asleep) and no external calories were present in the blood during that time other than a little glucose (from liver glycogen) and triglyceride (from stored body fat) being used. This little fuel was used to keep you alive: breathing, dreaming, heart pumping, etc.
Where does eating breakfast fit into all of this?
Again, when you wake, your body is in (or should be) in a fasted state. Assuming that your goal is to reduce fat, eating breakfast early morning theoretically stops fat loss or “breaks-your-fast” at breakfast.
A quick note, in the absence of calories over a prolonged period of time or in this particular case, sleeping “hormone sensitive lipase” is metabolizing fat. And a lot of it! This is where the majority of true fat loss occurs when no food or calories are present in the blood stream.
Let me give you an example. Say Johnny slept for eight hours. He went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 6am. That’s 8 hours of sleep and true fat burning. Upon waking, John has 2 options. (1) He can head over to the fridge and “break-his-fast” with oatmeal and a glass of milk or (2) He can wait a while, 4-6 hours later and extend this fat state.
Now, assuming that John wants to lose some fat, which option do you think makes the most sense using this “context?” That’s right, option 2!