Sneaking out the door without a hearty breakfast may not be such a bad idea.
Contrary to the popular belief that the morning meal is the most important of the day, new research suggests that deliberately skipping breakfast and prolonging the time between your last meal (yesterday) and first meal (today) could have a positive impact on your health.
“For one, skipping breakfast extends your nighttime fast and compresses the window of opportunity to overeat,” says Carolyn Williams, a James Beard award-winning dietician, who served as a consulting expert for The Men’s Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting.
And don’t worry about slowing your metabolism by fasting.
“Skipping meals may even slightly boost your metabolism,” Williams says.
Here’s are five more reasons to consider bypassing breakfast tomorrow morning.
You’ll clobber cravings.
You might think that fasting would make you feel famished and trigger insatiable cravings for foods, especially carbs. But studies show that’s not always the case. In fact, a study in the journal Obesity found that people who ate only during a 6-hour feeding window felt less hungry than people in a control group who were allowed to eat normally.
You’ll lose weight.
Simply changing when you eat can trigger weight loss. A 2018 study found that intermittent fasting can help promote weight loss even if you don’t cut total daily calories from your diet. When we shorten our calorie-consumption window by skipping breakfast, we minimize the constant release of insulin and force the body to find alternate fuels—like body fat—for energy, says Williams.
You may help fight inflammation.
Simply eating food triggers inflammation in your body, and chronic, sustained inflammation may play a role in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Skipping breakfast gives your body a needed break from a constant onslaught of food.
When you refrain from eating in the morning, you automatically avoid potentially inflammatory foods like bacon, the refined carbohydrates found in such baked goods as bagels, muffins, and pastries, and breakfast cereals, highly processed breakfast sandwiches, and sugar-laden coffees and fruit juices.
You may reduce your blood pressure.
Several human studies have shown that people who fast improve their cardiovascular health.
In one study, Germany researchers put 1422 people on an intermittent fasting diet for a year and found that those who fasted lowered both their diastolic and systolic blood pressure and reduce their resting heart rates.
Researchers believe the drop in BP may be caused by an increase in parasympathetic activity due to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that regulates blood pressure.
You’ll stay sharp.
Fasting advocates say going without food allows them to stay focused and do more work.
Researchers say that may be due to the cocktail of hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol, and other biochemicals that are released when your body transitions from fed to fasted.
When that happens “your body generates energy by burning fat, while arousing it with adrenaline, which increases your alertness and focus,” say biochemist Trevor Kashey, Ph.D., founder of Trevor Kashey Nutrition.
And now for a caveat (you knew it was coming, didn’t you?)
All of these terrific health benefits will likely disappear fast once you go back to starting your day with a Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast.
But why stop intermittent fasting? Following a skip-breakfast fast is pretty easy to maintain. After all, you are asleep for most of your fast.
You can learn how to do the popular 16:8 intermittent fast in The Men’s Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, available here. It explains the science of fasting, gives you simple instructions for getting started, and supplies 46 delicious recipes, including 16 Keto-friendly meals.
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