Why You Shouldn’t Eat Breakfast
If you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, you might remember a box of brightly colored cereal being part of this complete breakfast.
Growing up, it was always the most important meal of the day. I remember my mom always making us eat breakfast - eggs, potatoes, cereal, oatmeal, even a smoothie, something to eat.
Imagine my surprise when I found out years later that breakfast had been sabotaging my weight loss efforts and general health. More on that later.
I faithfully ate breakfast for decades, chewing down on something before I would head to school or work. And without fail, I would be hungry an hour or two later.
Starving, I would race to my next bite of food, usually before lunch. And then, I would eat lunch on top of that.
For a long time, I was confused by it. Why was I always hungry after breakfast? I was told that oatmeal was a hearty breakfast - “sticks to your ribs!” and all that jazz. Even a high protein breakfast of eggs and sausage would make me hungry - what gives?
As it turns out, there is a very interesting phenomenon that occurs with eating breakfast in the morning - particularly right after you wake up.
A little hormone called cortisol - aka, the “stress hormone” as it is more commonly known - is at its highest point in the morning right after you get up.
At the same time, the hormone insulin - the hormone that shuttles sugar from the blood into storage - is at its highest as well.
When your insulin levels are high, it means that all the carbs you eat are going to be quickly and very efficiently shuttles into storage - quicker and more efficiently than any other point in the day.
This means the level of blood sugar plummets very quickly. The body is keeping watch - and plummeting blood sugar is interpreted as one thing by the body - that the body needs carbs, and ASAP.
What happens when you have low blood sugar? You get hungry. And when your cortisol and insulin levels are at their highest in the morning, your blood sugar drops the quickest, which means you get the most hunger in the quickest amount of time.
So to summarize:
High cortisol, high insulin, rapidly plummeting blood sugar levels all make you hungry very quickly.
What’s interesting too is that this phenomenon happens only in the morning. The rest of the day you can eat something and not have it affect you in the same way, because your cortisol and insulin levels aren’t anywhere as high as when you first wake up.
So how do combat this? Do you skip breakfast?
If you can, by all means do. If you can make it through that initial burst of high cortisol and insulin, then you’re going to have a much easier time controlling your appetite.
What I do is just have a cup of keto coffee - with naturally occurring appetite suppressants coconut oil and MCT oil helping you out in addition to helping you prolong ketosis which has its own natural appetite suppressing tendencies.
Additionally, cortisol levels are at their lowest at around 6 PM - meaning that if you can make it until dinner time without eating, you’ll be eating food during the period of lowest cortisol levels, lowest insulin, and the least hunger as a result. It’s a reason why the 16:8 fasting works.
So, I hope that cleared up some of your ideas or misconceptions about breakfast. No, it’s not the most important meal of the day - you can go without it entirely - and eating it may in fact make you hungrier than not.
If you’re looking at lose weight, keeping your appetite in check, or staying in ketosis, you’re probably going to be best off if you skip breakfast.
There are of course some people who don’t do well without breakfast. Try it out - if you get foggy and dizzy and nauseated when you don’t eat breakfast, then go back to eating it. I just know that I feel best when I don’t eat breakfast, so I make it a point not to eat anything in the morning