Could Skipping Breakfast Possibly be Good for You?
Written by: Michelle MacLean
Are you someone who has always believed that breakfast was the most important meal of the day? And now you’re hearing it might be beneficial to keep the fast going a little longer, perhaps even until lunch.
Confusing, I know. In fact, I had a client reach out to me because she ate the majority of her food at night and wanted to figure out why and if that was a problem.
After much experimentation, research and exploration, we came to the conclusion that eating most of her food later in the day was what her body preferred. Her health was good and she was experiencing no ill effects.
My research led me to numerous theories, studies, books and blogs all supporting the idea of intermittent fasting (IF).
So what is intermittent fasting and why might it be good for you?
Going for short periods of time without eating is not new. Think about our ancestors who had to hunt and gather their food. We evolved from times when food was scarce and we were designed to handle periods of feast or famine.
I know fasting can seem drastic and extreme, especially since we’re always eating – 3 meals a day, a couple snacks, coffee breaks… We’re bombarded with food all day long, rarely feeling hungry and often eat way past the point of feeling full.
Now, we have the research to prove that, even though our ancestors weren’t intentional about fasting, they were definitely on to something. Here are some health benefits of IF:
- Weight loss
- Ends sugar cravings
- Promotes burning fat for energy instead of glucose
- Improves blood pressure
- Promotes better cholesterol levels
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Increases longevity
- Builds higher resistance to stress
- Increases mental clarity
- May normalize some hormones
- Improves biomarkers of disease
- Promotes brain health
How does intermittent fasting work?
The basic premise of IF is that, when you are in a fasting state, your body turns on a process called autophagy, which means “self-eating.” During this process, you recycle cellular garbage like damaged proteins, bacteria, viruses and other germs and turn them into food for your cells, which can bring about some of the health benefits mentioned above. When you’re in a fed state right after a meal, this process is turned off and pathogens resume their proliferation.
You are likely doing IF already and you just don’t know it. It actually happens when you sleep.
I’ve found the easiest way to try out IF is to extend the 8-10 hours of fasting through the night into the morning. Skipping breakfast and waiting until around noon to eat your first meal can extend your fast for about 16-17 hours, depending on when you ate the night before. This way, you condense your window of eating and consume all of your calories within 6 to 7 hours of the day between noon and 7 pm.
There are many different IF plans and schedules. Generally, they involve fasting for either a couple of days a week, every other day, or – as I suggest – daily to reap some healthy benefits.
Looks like skipping breakfast might be healthy after all.
What’s been your experience with Intermittent Fasting? Have you given it a try? Curious to check it out? Let me know in the comments below.
Michelle MacLean is a Wellness Coach and Nutrition Consultant who works primarily with women who are struggling with the negative effects of sugar. She helps her clients reclaim their inner sweetness and let go of refined sugar for good in her 8-week Sugar Shift Intensive. She also offers individual coaching. Michelle doesn’t focus on diets, but instead helps create a total transformation, focusing on the relationship with food and self-love.
Download Michelle’s Sugar-Free Breakfast E-book with nine healthy recipes to rev your metabolism and energize you for the day.
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