If you want to lose weight, you need to get into the habit of eating a little less each and every day.
This is called creating a calorie deficit.
When you eat less and create a calorie deficit, your body will have to burn fat to make up the energy shortfall.
This is simple math.
The ideal calorie deficit is around 500 calories per day.
Why? Because of you create a 500 calorie-per-day deficit, you should lose one pound of fat per week.
This is deemed to be a safe and sustainable rate of weight loss.
There are lots of different ways to create a calorie deficit including:
· Reduce portion size
· Eat less fat
· Cut carbs
· Eat less sugar
· Skip meals
This last option is often called intermittent fasting (IF) and has gained a lot of popularity lately.
The most common approach to IF is skipping breakfast and pushing your first meal of the day back by several hours.
Basically, your lunch becomes your breakfast and you limit your food intake to around eight-hours per day.
Of course, some people practice IF by accident by simply skipping breakfast because of lack of time first thing in the morning.
Whether you skip breakfast on purpose or out of necessity, missing your morning meal COULD help you lose weight.
1. Reduced Calorie Intake Without Having to Count Calories
Skipping breakfast reduces the amount of food you eat per day without having to change any of your other meals.
If your breakfast normally consists of cereal, juice, and toast, you are probably consuming close to 500 calories in that one meal.
Skipping breakfast will save you 500 calories which could lead to weight loss.
2. Increased Insulin Sensitivity
Skipping a meal increases insulin sensitivity which basically means that the calories and nutrients from your next meal are more likely to be preferentially directed into your muscle cells and away from your fat cells.
By skipping your breakfast, your lunch is going nowhere near your fat stores – even if it is a relatively big meal.
3. Enhanced Fat Burning
Your body is better at burning fat in a semi-fasted state.
Why? Because if there are calories and carbs available, your body will preferentially use them and leave your fat stores intact.
However, no food means no competition for fuel and your body burns more fat instead. So far, so good – there is a strong case for skipping breakfast.
Before you start missing your morning meal, consider this: according to the National Weight Control Registry, a 22-year study of diets and dieters, 78% of successful dieters (who not only lose weight but then keep it off) eat breakfast most days of the week.
Eating breakfast can help you lose weight in a couple of ways:
1. Eating Breakfast Prevents Hunger and Overeating
If you skip breakfast, you are more likely to suffer insatiable mid-morning hunger pangs and eat unhealthy snacks or overeat at lunchtime.
This may undo any benefits of skipping breakfast.
2. A Better Start to the Day
Eating a healthy breakfast starts your day off on the right foot and is likely to lead to eating healthily for the rest of the day.
3. Helps to Instill Better Dietary and Nutritional Discipline
People who take the time to eat a healthy breakfast are much more likely to make time to eat a healthy lunch and dinner.
It’s a good habit that then seeps into other meals during the course of the day.
In contrast, an unhealthy or skipped breakfast can soon lead to unhealthy meals later.
Should You Skip Breakfast?
Like so many aspects of weight loss and nutrition, there are two sides to the breakfast argument.
On one side, the physiology of weight loss seems to support skipping breakfast but, on the other side, the psychology of weight loss supports eating breakfast.
So, which is right for you? It depends!
If you skip breakfast and can then resist the temptation to overeat when you break your fast, you’ll probably get good results from pushing your first meal of the day back several hours.
However, if skipping breakfast leaves you hungry or leads to eating unhealthily later in the day, you should make sure you start each and every day with a healthy morning meal.
Note the word “healthy” – that doesn’t mean a donut, toaster pastry, or bowl of sugar-laden cereal!
THE BOTTOM LINE
There are usually two sides to every argument and, often, both sides can be right at the same time.
Try both options and see what works for you. You are, after all, unique and what works for one person may not work for another.