What a common topic of discussion! Breakfast is just that, break the fast, but what really does that mean? Let’s cut through the BS of so many opinions and touch on the real science behind breaking the fast. Once you awaken, you’re in the beginning of a mini fast, as you have not eaten since the previous night’s dinner. This will initially result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as almost all glucose stores in the liver and muscles have been depleted. Yeah, so you’ll feel fatigued if you do not eat … big deal. It is a big deal in fact.
Metabolic debacle occurs and you change gears to slow your metabolic rate and find alternative sources of glucose. Whether you consume carbohydrates or not, you will absolutely turn protein into glucose because some bodily systems can only run on glucose (your brain is one of them). During prolonged periods of fasting, your brain can use ketones made from fat stores, but it will take a lot longer to reach this point than one night’s sleep.
So, now you’re fatigued, your metabolism has slowed and worse, your muscle tissue is being broken down to extract the necessary amino acids that can be turned into glucose via gluconeogenesis. Bummer! But we can use fat for this, right ??? To a degree, yes, but the dominant substrate used for gluconeogenesis are amino acids (muscle protein). And we really do not want to lose muscle tissue, which is exactly what happens when we skip breakfast.
If your ultimate goal is to achieve a weight loss, fat loss, or a higher level of fitness, it is important to keep your metabolic rate up. By skipping breakfast, you are working against yourself and slowing your metabolism. Your body will burn fewer calories, be less efficient, and fatigued (so you will not be as productive or motivated).
So, that’s just a glimpse into what changes occur in your metabolism when you skip breakfast. What’s a good breakfast to eat, you ask … A great first meal would include enough protein and fat to slow the absorption of whatever carbohydrates you consumed. A nice example is 4 egg whites, 1/2 cup whole oatmeal with 1Tbsp natural peanut butter and a fresh fruit. So starting tomorrow, plan some extra time, get up a little earlier, and get yourself started the right way with a good breakfast.
As always, thank you all so much for your continued support.