I know I can’t skip breakfast, I never have been able to. Can you? And do you know what impact it’s having on your body?
There is some discussion that skipping breakfast increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes particularly in women and then there is intermittent fasting which has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes. Who should we believe? I thought I’d put together my findings and observations from working with my clients for you to work out if you are one of those people that should eat breakfast or not!
Let me just say first of all that fasting of any kind is not designed to be long-term. When we fast our body perceives the lack and starts to lay down fat in case of starvation. This comes from the periods of lack many years ago when food was scarce over winter.
Going back to breakfast, I believe breakfast is a very important meal. It helps us with focus and concentration and with memory. When we don’t eat breakfast we rely on cortisol, the stress hormone, to bring sugar out of storage and create sugar in the liver. I liken this to having a teaspoon or more of sugar for breakfast rather than nutrient-rich food with fibre and protein that keeps our blood sugars stable.
How do you feel about having just sugar for breakfast? Because that’s essentially what happens if you skip eating proper food!
There are plenty of studies to show the benefits of eating breakfast and they are not all done by cereal companies! A 2005 review of 47 breakfast-related studies found that eating breakfast is likely to improve cognitive function related to memory and test grades.
Eating breakfast has also been associated with a lower risk of heart disease in men over 45. This 2019 study also found that skipping breakfast was associated with high blood pressure, insulin resistance (the early stages of Type 2 Diabetes) and elevated blood sugar levels.
Another study concluded that skipping breakfast may increase a woman’s risk of diabetes risk. Women who ate breakfast every day were at a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than those that skipped breakfast.
And then there’s weight loss – In a recent weight loss study, a group of people were divided. One-half ate breakfast as their largest meal and lost an average of 17.8 pounds over three months. The other half consumed the same number of calories each day but ate most of their calories at dinner. The large-dinner group only lost an average of 7.3 pounds each over the same period. Remarkable, don’t you think?
A study in Australia found that breakfast eaters were less likely to be overweight compared to those that did not eat breakfast. This was put down to the fact that people who skipped breakfast have higher levels of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’, meaning they are likely to eat more later in the day and find that the food they do eat does not satisfy their feeling of hunger.
So the message is – DONT SKIP BREAKFAST
When I’m working with clients we look at what breakfast works best for them. It might be that they wake early, or that they eat breakfast at work. If that’s the case we make sure that they can have something delicious and nutritious whatever the time, even if it’s on the go. This will always include protein. Having a high protein breakfast has been shown to have a positive impact on appetite, hormones and neurotransmitters (messaging in the brain) that control the regulation of food intake. A high-protein breakfast also led to reduced evening snacking.
Even those who eat good quality cereals have better nutrient intake and less adipose tissue (fat) than those that skip breakfast. I would suggest that good quality cereals include some protein such as nuts and seeds.
So I would highly recommend that is that you eat breakfast. If you are someone that runs on adrenaline, you’ll know if that’s you, then please try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking. This is because you are more likely to produce that cortisol I mentioned earlier and make your stress worse during the day by waiting to eat breakfast or skipping it altogether.
To help you on your way I have compiled an eBook of breakfast recipes that all contain protein. Please feel free to share this among your friends if you think it would help them and let me know how you get on with trying the recipes.