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SKIP BREAKFAST, OPTIMIZE YOUR METABOLISM (Pt.4)


Weight loss is one thing. Fat-loss is another. But a change in body-composition is the ultimate objective of anyone who wants to look, feel, and function better.



That’s because a change in body-composition is not just assuming a loss of body-fat but an increase in muscle.


Does skipping breakfast hold the key?


I wouldn’t go so far to give a definitive, yes, but I’ll explain how it contributes.


All of this talk about skipping breakfast is really nothing more than a conversation around the concept of intermittent or extended fasting.


Here are the logistics and rationale for skipping out on “the most important meal of the day”, as it relates to fasting.


Firstly, people think fasting is hard. Secondly, they think “not eating” is "not good" for you.


And they would be completely wrong on both fronts.


Let’s say the last morsel of food you eat for the day happens at 8 pm. You’re in bed by 10 pm and sleep until 6 am.


During these 8 hrs of not eating you’ve begun to enter a post-absorptive state, which means that the last meal has been digested and the nutrients absorbed. At this point, your insulin levels begin to fall and your body starts to release glycogen for energy.


The post-absorptive state lasts for 12 hrs so it would not be until 8 am that you begin to enter a fasted state. But that’s just the beginning. The most significant decrease in insulin and breakdown of fat occurs between 18-24 hours. That’s when your body is almost completely devoid of glycogen.


However, is it necessary to go as long as 18-24 hrs to enjoy the benefits of fasting, because that seems like an awfully long time? For a beginner that may very well be too tough a starting point.


Many, including myself, who fast daily follow a 16:8 schedule—6 hrs fasted and 8 hrs fed.


What makes this schedule ideal is that it only requires SKIPPING BREAKFAST!


Check this out!


Using our current example, the first meal of the day would be at noon, followed by (if necessary) a mid-day snack, and ending with dinner at 8 pm. Voila!


At this point, you might be thinking, "Sure, that part seems easy enough. I’m rarely hungry when I wake up anyway. But what will my energy be like if I don’t eat until lunch?"


Contrary to what we would assume our energy will actually increase when fasted.


As we know, we can use our own fat for fuel when food is not present. Since we tend to have plenty of fat to spare when we make the shift to using it for energy our energy actually stabilizes.


Also, when we cross into a fasted state another very popular hormone gets secreted...


Adrenalin.


There’s a lot to like about a surge of adrenalin. As already pointed out it causes a major elevation in energy, which has a cascading effect.


With more energy, we become more physically active and expend more energy. Heck, we might even exercise more intensely.


With a rise in adrenalin, we also experience a rise in metabolic rate.


Tell me if you’ve ever observed this scenario either with yourself or someone close to you.


It’s time to lose some weight. So you go on a diet. On the diet you restrict calories. After a few months, you’ve lost a few pounds (woo hoo!). But suddenly, losing more becomes increasingly difficult even though you’re eating less than ever before (not, woo hoo).


A combination of frustration and a burning desire to eat just one appealing meal convinces you to stop the diet and enjoy your somewhat leaner self.


Shortly thereafter, ALL the weight comes back...and then some. What cruelty!


The reason is a phenomenon known as, metabolic slowdown.


When we decrease our caloric intake our metabolism adjusts itself downward over time. Basically, our bodies learn to, live off less, since less is coming in.


You can predict the rest of the story from here. You start to really eat again but your body has been trained to not need all the additional calories you’re now taking in. Uh oh, Spaghetti O’s.


Contrast this being in a fasted state (no food at all) where our body makes hormonal changes that actually increase metabolism and help to preserve muscle.


That brings us to our fifth and final part where we’ll discuss the role of Growth Hormone (GH) in intermittent and extended fasting.

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