It’s OK to stop eating breakfast
I am not trying to add to the conflicting and often-confusing amount of diet information out there. The greater concept is that there are many different paths to success, and you have many options for reaching your goals. I recommend that you constantly challenge the status quo to get the best results out of anything.
Nonbreakfast eaters rejoice! Finally we are not taking a bunch of flak from uppity breakfast eaters telling us that we’re stupid, fat and unhealthy for not eating breakfast.
A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dieters who skipped breakfast lost just as much weight as dieters who ate breakfast regularly. The researchers concluded that while breakfast may have several health benefits, weight loss isn’t one of them.
There is no proof that eating breakfast helps you lose weight. None. In fact, extending the overnight fat burning phenomenon of ketosis helps you lose body fat. The risk of catabolizing muscle for energy is very questionable. You really have to be going hard to do this, and you’d most likely crash before it happens. Your best chance of using muscle for energy happens chronically and is certainly not our culture’s biggest problem.
The biggest complaint that I get from my non-breakfast-eating clients is that they can’t wake up and immediately eat. So don’t. Wait a little. Just don’t try to work too hard physically at the end of a fast. Your body has trouble with intense, short bursts of energy on little or no glycogen (stored sugar).
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This is why power athletes used to dose up on creatine. The thought was that you could extend the ability of your power energy system (ATP-CP) and get bigger and stronger. Muscle power is directly related to size because bigger muscles can store more energy. This is why power athletes are bigger than endurance athletes.
This is also one of the reasons why it’s difficult for athletes and average Joes to cross the lines of human physiology. You can’t be the best at everything all at once based on the known physiological principles of the human body. You can try, but you’ll get jacked up quickly.
The average breakfast in America is mostly GMO, processed sugar. Your body will not work well on a diet based on sugar — obviously. Look at all the problems we are having metabolizing sugar — that’s because we were not designed to eat much sugar. The only indigenous people who have ever had a diet based on sugar is 20th century Americans. The results of that have been disastrous at best.
Top endurance athletes are switching back to stored body fat because it’s a way better energy source for lower intensity, longer duration exercise. Carb loading and disgusting “sugar-gel” have already gone bye-bye for endurance athletes.
Regulating blood sugar is key to fat loss. Fat does not spike insulin. Sugar does. You are better off skipping breakfast if you’re planning on slamming a bowl of Wheaties with skim milk.
So what do you do? Here are some tips.
If something is not working, stop it and try something else. If you have been eating breakfast and are not happy with your results, try to stave it off as long as you can a couple of days per week and monitor results.
Inversely, start eating breakfast to confuse a complacent metabolism.
There is no way I would send a child off to school without breakfast; but this is based on the poor quality of institutional food and the fact that I have no way to influence my child on making healthy choices while at school. Definitely feed your kid a healthy breakfast.
Apply basic complex problem solving skills to diet problems.
Find another emotional/control/comfort mechanism.
Take everything that experts say with a grain of pink sea salt.
Do the exact opposite of what the food-guide-pyramid-plate thing recommends.
If you hate eating breakfast, wait till later and call it brunch.
If you don’t eat breakfast because you don’t cook, learn to cook or stop complaining about your health.
Go to sleep earlier and get up earlier. You can YouTube Jimmy Fallon the next day while “working.”
Kick start your metabolism by waking up, drinking 32 ounces of water, do a light workout, then have breakfast. The idea is to extend the effects of ketosis without causing the crash.
If you are OK with eating breakfast, eat healthier stuff like the nonconventional breakfasts below. Don’t start your day with a bowlful of diabetes from the heartland.
• Brown rice with cinnamon and honey. Brown rice is like metabolic magic. It scores very low on the glycemic index so it won’t spike insulin, it’s inexpensive and very sustaining — much better than any cheap, junky grain like wheat or oats.
• Make a quick veggie omelet cooked in butter in an iron skillet. Eggs and butter both have faces, so be very careful.
• Quinoa, brown rice, blueberries, cranberries, chia seeds and walnuts makes a great “granola-ish” cereal-like breakfast
• Good old rice and beans for breakfast is also a great alternative if you do legumes. Add hot pepper or salsa for taste and health benefits.
Replace conventional breakfast ingredients with good ones. You can regenerate similar textures with healthier choices.
• Instead of cereal and milk (a real gateway drug combo) try brown rice, almond milk, cinnamon and ginger.
• Use nuts and seeds to get the crunch.
• Sweeten with real fruit, honey, maple or agave.
• Meat eaters may consider starting the day with meat for breakfast instead of dinner. If you crave meat, I bet you are sensitive to cheap carbs like wheat and oatmeal, which makes eating them for breakfast an even bigger mistake. Go for quality meat and veggies instead.
Steve Wells is owner of Midland Fitness.
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