NO! This is one myth which continues to circulate among those seeking to shed body fat. The theory is that by skipping breakfast, you are reducing overall caloric intake and thus forcing your body to lose weight. In theory this sounds great, but here are some important facts:
- The body is fasting overnight. Skipping breakfast deprives the body of essential nutrients which it needs to function normally. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, and gets your digestive system moving for the day ahead. It also helps maintain concentration and mood.
- Skipping breakfast has been shown to increase the likelihood of bad food choices later on in the day – high saturated fat / sugar, high calorie – as these are usually the most convenient and tempting choices to satisfy your hunger. This is also due to low blood sugar levels which prompt you to eat as soon as possible. Excess consumption of these foods can lead to further weight gain, and often long-term health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- The body requires a certain amount of calories every day just to keep its basic operations in check – organ function, breathing etc. This is known as your basal metabolic rate. It also needs additional calories to replace those lost during exercise and daily activity. Missing out on breakfast doesn't remove the fact that your body needs a certain amount of calories to function, so you may end up cramming large amounts of food into one or two meals later on to make up for missing breakfast. This slows your digestive and metabolic rate, thus reducing your potential for weight loss (fat burning).
Just a final note on exercise first thing in the morning …
Don't do it! Training on an empty stomach first thing in the morning generally utilizes glucose from amino acids in muscle tissue as a fuel for the exercise. This means that you are literally breaking down your muscles to keep you going. For anyone on a muscle building program, this is seriously counter-productive. For those attempting to lose weight, this is also counter-productive – more lean muscle mass equals more fat burning potential (quicker metabolism)!