perfectstorm

Why I Don’t Eat Breakfast

You read that right. I don’t eat breakfast.

The “most important meal of the day” turns out to be really important – TO SKIP!

Here’s why:

When you wake up your body is primed to burn fat. The environment in your body when you wake up is like the movie The Perfect Storm. A dream scenario that only happens when several key conditions exist simultaneously. Luckily for us, those conditions coincide daily – WHEN WE WAKE UP.

The Science:

Cortisol is a main player in this event. Cortisol is THE stress hormone and it peaks around 6-8AM in order to rouse us from sleep. So when we wake up, our cortisol levels are the highest they’ll be all day. See the graph below.

Cortisol gives us that push to get up and get started with our day. It is a catabolic hormone – meaning it breaks things down. In a healthy human without chronic disorders, this involves releasing fatty acids from adipose tissue (fat cells) for use an energy.

This is AWESOME for fat loss. It means our body is releasing stored energy for us to burn. And it’s the fat we want to lose!

Number ONE way to screw that up? EATING – especially carbohydrates that trigger the release of insulin. And ALL carbs trigger insulin – even the “good” ones. You see any and all carbs ingested are turned into glucose and released into the bloodstream. Glucose has to be cleared out of the blood by INSULIN – the STORAGE hormone. Insulin will not only clear the sugar out of the blood, but also those free fatty acids released earlier by cortisol. NOT GOOD for fat loss.

Glucagon is Insulin’s opposite. Glucagon stimulates the release of glycogen (stored carbs in our muscles) for use as fuel. Insulin and glucagon have an inverse relationship – like rain and sun. You get one when the other isn’t present. In the graph below, you see what happens when glucose (sugar) is introduced to the body. Blood sugar rises, insulin responds, sending glucagon into hiding. Glucagon only return when glucose and insulin begin to fade.

Glucagon also stimulates the release of growth hormone, another key player in this “perfect storm”.

Growth Hormone is another HUGE player. Thanks to Barry Bonds and BALCO, many people gasp at the mention of this naturally occurring hormone. And just for the record, growth hormone is NOT a steroid  It is a peptide – a protein, just like insulin. Yes it can be taken as a Performance Enhancing Drug, and NO you should not inject it. But you can optimize your natural levels. Growth hormone is an awesome substance that is powerfully lipolytic. That means it likes to release fat from stored deposits and burn it for fuel. Guess what growth hormone does when we don’t eat breakfast? It goes UP. It triggers the release of more fatty acids from our fat cells and give us more opportunity to burn fat. GH also preserves muscle mass – so no need to worry about “losing all your muscle” from not eating every 2-3 hours.

Grehlin also plays a role. Grehlin is a relatively new topic for scientists and the research is still be collected. You’re tired of the science and just want to know what to do…

What to do:

Option 1: Skip Breakfast (Simply push your first meal back 3-4 hours after waking). To help with hunger issues and the HABIT of eating breakfast (more powerful than you think)…

Have a cup of coffee about 1-2 hours after waking. NO SUGAR. In an ideal world, your sweetener would be stevia as Splenda and others stimulate an insulin response – even if they claim ZERO calories. I suggest grass-fed butter or MCT oil (unrefined coconut oil) along with a bit of Stevia.

Without drowning you in science again, the fats in both butter and coconut oil are mostly Medium Chain triglycerides (MCTs). These have been proven to metabolizes more rapidly into usable forms of energy than longer chains of fatty acids. This will give you a burst of morning energy, but they have also been shown to increase ketone production, further stirring the “Perfect Storm” pot, by promoting the release of more stored body fat.

Option 2: Fasting or Intermittent Fasting (IF)

More on this in the future – but suffice to say, fasting requires that you not eat, an act that automatically eliminates breakfast.

Give this a shot. You’ll probably notice a more alert and focused mind through the mid-morning hours. You’ll be thinking clearly and your body will be clicking in a way that you aren’t used to. Far from the normal groggy, sleepy version of people you see around you! Oh yeah, you’ll be shedding fat & getting leaner all the while!

POST YOUR THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS BELOW: