Do you often skip breakfast? Whether you just can’t stand eating first or you’re a fan of fasting, there are several reasons why you should skip breakfast.
You could even skip it to shed some unwanted pounds.
Jess Hillard, Sports Nutritionist at warriorsays breakfast is called the “most important meal of the day” for good reason.
“By breaking it down, we’re breaking the fast that happened overnight,” explains Jess.
“The body has slept for so many hours that it hasn’t eaten, and breaking the fast allows the body to wake up again, have energy for the day, feel energized, and carry out whatever activities come up that day. “
She adds that breakfast also makes up 25 percent of our daily nutrients: “If you don’t eat breakfast, you’re missing out on a huge amount of vitamins and minerals in the first half of the day.”
For women in particular, skipping breakfast can actually be detrimental to weight loss goals.
To start the day, Jess says it’s usually best to eat within an hour of waking up, if possible, because it prevents a spike in blood sugar later in the day.
“This spike in blood sugar can put undue stress on the body and lead to poor eating habits,” she explains.
Need more convincing why you should eat breakfast? Here’s why it can help you lose weight…
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Breakfast can keep you from cravings later
“Skipping meals can cause your body to produce more hunger hormone, ghrelin,” says Jess.
“This can lead to hunger pangs and that awkward time of belly growling that no one wants.”
Skipping meals can also decrease levels of the hormone leptin. This hormone actually reduces appetite.
“It means that when you finally start eating, you’re not feeling full and you’re more likely to snack or binge,” says Jess.
And let’s be honest: It’s likely that the foods you choose to snack on when you’re hungry are high in calories, sugar and fat.
Think chocolate, chips, cakes and other processed foods; not ideal for achieving those weight loss goals!
Binge eating leads to blood sugar problems
Jess says those after-lunch and dinner hunger pangs can lead to spikes in blood sugar.
“That’s because blood sugar levels are harder to control the later in the day they rise, once they drop. So when your body isn’t getting the regular fuel it needs from food throughout the day, it goes into overdrive, leading to a…spike,” she notes.
Constant spikes in blood sugar can lead to poor mood, anxiety, lack of sleep and unstable mood swings.
Also, these can be detrimental to weight loss.
“It’s also worth noting that constantly skipping meals, especially breakfast, uses up a lot of your hormone, progesterone, to produce cortisol, the stress hormone.
“This leads to a dominance of the hormone estrogen and can lead to a variety of symptoms, including PMS, irritability, breast tenderness, bloating, headaches and an irregular cycle,” says Jess.
Skipping breakfast can wreak havoc on hormones
“Various studies have shown that fasting may have a negative impact on women’s reproductive hormones.
“Fasting has been shown to reduce the efficiency of ovarian function and, in some cases, the quality of egg production,” explains Jess.
She adds that fasting can cause significant shock to the body, which can lead to irregular periods and a disrupted menstrual cycle.
“That’s because fasting can reduce the production of reproductive hormones, which regulate your menstrual cycle.
“At the same time, fasting can lead to an underactive thyroid and slow down the release of thyroid hormones, which in turn can lead to fertility problems.”
On the other hand, however, it is worth noting that some research has shown that fasting has a positive impact on women who have suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome in the past.
“Fasting can lead to better regulation of hormones and can lead to a decrease in fatty tissue, which tends to make PCOS symptoms worse,” says Jess.
Healthy breakfast choices to support weight loss
“There are countless breakfast options that can be tailored to different needs, whether for those who need to eat on the go or in a hurry, or for those who prefer sweet to savory – the choice of healthy breakfast options is endless,” explains Jess.
Oats are a great option because they can be served in many different ways.
Try heating up oatmeal with milk and protein powder for a filling protein porridge, and top it with fruit and Greek yogurt.
Or make overnight oats by mixing together yogurt and chia seeds, refrigerating overnight, then tossing in a small handful of nuts and dried fruit.
“If you’re on the savory side, eggs are a great option,” says Jess.
“You can bake these in the oven in breakfast muffin cases. This is a great take out option. Mix the eggs with the sliced red peppers and spinach.
“Or if you have more time, poached eggs with some spinach and avocado on a slice of whole wheat toast make a great and filling breakfast.”