Intermittent fasting: Should you skip breakfast?
Can intermittent fasting really help you lose weight? Let’s take a look at the possible advantages, or lack thereof, of skipping the most important meal of the day.
Whatever else our views may differ on, we can all agree that eating food is the prime cause of calorie intake. And excess calories are sure to get stored inside the body as fat, causing weight gain. Unwanted weight gain? Never good news.
Shedding the extra weight can be trying and, at times, downright difficult. However, many believe that intermittent fasting holds the key to easy and healthy weight loss.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a diet pattern that involves a fasting period followed by a non-fasting one. During the fasting period, you are supposed to either completely refrain from eating or strictly limit your food intake.
There are various ways you can carry out intermittent fasting. The most common method is following the 16:8 diet, where you fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour interval. In other words, you will be skipping breakfast and eating lunch and dinner.
What are the benefits of skipping breakfast?
The short answer: there are no substantial benefits. In fact, there are no advantages to skipping any meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Experts and dieticians always recommend a balanced eating regimen throughout the day. It has been suggested time and again that eating consistently will help keep blood sugar and energy levels at a recommended optimum.
Possible health risks of intermittent fasting
While there may not be any significant gains from skipping breakfast (or other meals), there definitely are several hazardous drawbacks from the practice.
Diminished cognitive function
Numerous studies have connected healthy breakfasts to improved cognitive function and good short-term memory. It has been suggested that skipping breakfasts in the morning will hamper your concentration and slow down your ability to remember information. This can be especially detrimental for teenagers and young adults.
Risk of diabetes
Eating a balanced breakfast contributes to ideal blood sugar levels and steady insulin secretion. A full night’s rest means you have already fasted during your sleep. It is important that you eat breakfast, even if it is something light. Your body’s energy and glycogen will be restored after a morning meal. Regularly skipping breakfasts will result in low blood sugar levels and unstable spikes after meals. In the long run, this can become the cause of developing type 2 diabetes.
Adverse weight management
As discussed briefly at the beginning of this article, one of the chief reasons many take up intermittent fasting is to lose weight. However, there is a chance that adopting this diet regime might just give you the opposite result.
Studies indicate that there may be a link between skipping breakfast and unwanted weight gain. Dieticians recommend eating balanced meals and snacks every four hours for a smooth working metabolism. It is especially important to eat a nutritional breakfast in the morning after a night of ‘fasting’. A healthy metabolism is critical in keeping your weight in check.
Moreover, skipping the morning meal can put us in the mind of guilt-free dining later in the day. This can ultimately lead to a bad habit of unhealthy and uneven eating patterns. When our bodies get used to the cycle of starving followed by overindulgence, they are bound to store up excess calories for the fasting periods, ultimately resulting in an unnecessary increase in weight.
Conversely, other studies have claimed that eating or skipping breakfast ultimately has no ties to weight gain or loss.
If you are serious about trying out intermittent fasting or are actively practising it, we would strongly urge you to consult with a dietician and be sure if that is the correct route for you.
While we at VIVO Clinic are of the opinion that there are no shortcuts to healthy living or alternatives to a balanced diet, we also believe that everyone needs the occasional help. VIVO Clinic’s Cryolipolysis (fat freeze) treatment is perfect for people struggling with adamant areas of fat in the abdomen, chin, or other parts of the body.