As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I devote a significant amount of time to busting old, tired diet myths. In fact, lately it seems like it’s the only thing I do.
It’s not, of course — but it certainly could be. The fact is, there are an overwhelming amount of weight loss misconceptions out there. So many I bet I could make an entire career of uncovering the lies and the omissions without ever running out of things to say…
But as it stands, a myth or two a week will have to do (for now, at least). And this latest one? Well, it’s a biggie…
Why a big breakfast isn’t the healthiest way to start your day
I’ll just come out and say it: Breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day. It’s a waste of time and a liability for your waistline. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Because a new study has proven my point for me.
As part of this recent meta-analysis, Australian researchers examined data from 13 different randomized, controlled trials. And each trial observed breakfast’s effects on weight change, as well as its impact on calorie consumption.
In a nutshell, results showed that:
- Eating breakfast doesn’t help you eat less throughout the day
- You certainly won’t get fat because you skip breakfast
That’s right. Metabolic rates didn’t slow when breakfast was skipped. In fact, weight loss outcomes were better among the subjects who passed on the meal.
Why? Well, there are a few potential reasons, actually.
For one, studies showed that breakfast-eating participants generally ate about 300 more calories per day than the breakfast-skipping participants did. Now if you believe in the whole calories-in, calories-out business, that means eating breakfast would easily lead you to gaining a pound a week — or at least, stop you from losing it.
But if you’ve been a reader of mine for while, you know by now that weight loss and gain really isn’t that straightforward. Which makes it easy for the naysayers to show up and dismiss the results.
Intermittent fasting is the real secret
One of the main objections here was that this study only looked at weight management — and didn’t look at any of the benefits to eating breakfast.
And maybe that’s true. But I challenge anyone to give me three health benefits of breakfast that this — or any other — study hasn’t already debunked.
In the meantime, I can point you to loads of research for the benefits of intermittent fasting (IF) — not just weight loss.
In fact, I’m a big proponent of this technique. It’s not something I generally talk about — except with my patients. But it is something that I’ve been doing for myself for at least a decade, so it’s not nearly as trendy as you might think.
There are few different approaches to IF, but all of them are pretty simple. One approach involves alternating days of “normal” calorie intake with days of significant caloric restriction. (Fewer than 600 calories for men, and fewer than 500 calories for women.) A newer iteration of the IF strategy relies on a 5:2 approach, where any two days in a single week are fasting days.
But IF can also take the form of designated eating “windows” in your day — usually restricted to four to eight hours during which you have your meals. This is usually the easiest approach for most people to stick with long-term. And guess what? It usually means skipping breakfast. Who knew?!
Well, I did. But these latest findings really solidified my beliefs. And not just around IF, either. Because the researchers also found a link between skipping breakfast and microbiome health. And among many other things, your friendly flora play a huge role in weight management. Bottom line, these little bugs like to skip breakfast, too.
So give it a try. Give up breakfast for one week. And let me know how you look and feel. Drop me a Facebook comment on my Logical Health Alternatives Facebook page, or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, I discussed the benefits of IF in the September 2016 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“One shockingly simple way to outsmart today’s deadliest epidemics—from fatty liver to cancer”). To read this article — and my entire archive — just go to www.DrPescatore.com and log in with your username and password. Not a member? No worries. Click here to learn more or sign up today!
P.S. In case you missed my big announcement yesterday, I am hosting a historic masterclass for conquering disease this Sunday, March 24th at 3:00 P.M. Space is extremely limited for this live event, so click here to reserve your spot today!
“Benefits of Breakfast in Weight Loss Don’t Add Up.” Medscape Medical News, 01/30/19. (medscape.com/viewarticle/908403)