Do you ever find that eating breakfast- even the recommended breakfast of Protein and Vegetables makes you hungry?
You start your day off right, sitting down to a nutritious breakfast and refuelling after you’ve slept, then sometime around 30 minutes to 2 hours or so later you’re hungry again – as though you never ate! It’s not all in your head- you are not alone!
Given that most of you are still being told you must never skip breakfast by some earlier schooled professionals- “gets your metabolism going” they say, “starts you burning calories” they say – you may find it hard to get your head around what i am about to advise, however it is this advise that i am reading in latest research and hearing in current seminars delivered by industry leaders –
Skipping breakfast is the way to go- the way to burn fat, stop hunger cravings and stay slim.
The thing about eating in the morning is that it coincides with your circadian rhythm – the time of day in the AM, when your Cortisol rises and reaches its peak. It is this circadian Cortisol peak which has an impact on your insulin secretions, such that when you eat during this time, it leads to a rapid and large insulin release and a corresponding rapid drop in blood sugar levels, more so than when you eat at other times of the day. If you are healthy, your blood sugar levels wont drop to a dangerously low level- such as can occur with hypoglycaemia and those of you boot scooting around the lines of Insulin resistance.
Many Australians aren’t even aware they are border line diabetic to start with – for every diabetic in Australia, there is one undiagnosed.
These midmorning, hormonally induced, blood sugar lows can drop your blood sugars low enough to make you feel hungry- in some cases, lightheaded enough to feel as though you may pass out and if you are in fact an undiagnosed type 2 diabetic, chances are- you’ll pass out.
However I think there is a far more interesting reason, as to why we should totally skip breakfast!
Back in the day- i mean way back in the DAY – not 1973, not even 12,000 years ago when 3 or 4 million Homo sapiens shared the planet – before then, before we had domesticated wild dogs and started to settle into mud brick houses, before the Neanderthal period 100,000 years ago- go back just a little further to around 1.2 Millions years when Homo Erectus had developed the Achilles tendon to become “erectus” and start to nomadically roam the planet in search of food. Yes, back a couple of million years ago we would wake with our circadian rhythm- as we still do, leave the cave and head out to hunt and gather our food- which could take hours, up until midday in some cases. These days, that early morning hunt and gather – which could take up to 6hrs of roaming may be defined as a 10km jog or cycle class, we would then eat that carcass we just hunted down- hunted using legs heart and stamina mind you- not a gun! We would eat this first class meat protein with all its hormone free, grass fed delicious calorie dense saturated animal fat and any nuts, seeds or foliage (greens) we may have come across on our morning gather – Oh and no, our ancestors didn’t come back with a loaf of wonder white over their shoulder! We are talking about 2 million years ago- man didn’t get industrious and begin to eat grains until a mere 12,000 odd years ago – there was no bread!
Our Species – Homo Sapien, has been on the planet for around 200,000 years- give or take a few days, so 12,000. Homo Sapien is the Latin for wise human – i think we need to reconsider that definition!
As a side note, in regards to “wonder white” bread, I wonder why its white? Is more like the question – wheat is not white, It’s any “wonder” we don’t all have diabetes is more to the point! And lets not even get started on the Bromine content of white bread- which is highly to human – But i digress 🙂 So based on this Hunter gatherer circadian rhythm we are genetically predisposed not to eat grain at all, and not eat for hours after we wake!
These days, most of us wake up and sit back down again! We sit down to a bowl of sugar in the form of cereal or slices of sugar in the form of bread, both presented to us by the profitable grain industry, with a tongue in cheek thanks to the dairy industry, we then pour half a litre of dairy milk – over the grains. Did you know that drinking just 500ml of milk a day can increase a man’s chances of Prostate cancer by 500%- increase it by 5 times!!
So with Cortisol high in our blood telling us to wake up, get out of bed and burn baby burn -ie, hunt, in addition to having laden our blood full of sugar for breakfast before we even take off our ugg boots- you would think we were priming ourselves with enough energy for a marathon – right? Wrong! We toddle off to work- erm, that toddle is usually sitting in a car, bus or train, and sit our ever increasing butts down for 9 hours! So not only did we not expend the energy our body elevated our Cortisol for, we saturated our blood with sugar – a grain is just broken down into sugar after all.
A basic food comparison to help you understand just how high the sugar contents of grain is – 4 punnets of Strawberries has the same amount of sugar as one slice of bread – one slice!
So with all that said…. the question of intermittent fasting is brought to the table because missing breakfast and not eating until mid to late morning is a form of intermittent fasting.
Why i have stopped eating breakfast
I have revised my personal eating schedule to eliminate breakfast and restrict the time i eat food to a period of about six to seven hours, which is typically from noon to around 7pm. Our ancestors rarely had access to food 24/7 like we do today, and it makes sense that our genes are optimised for intermittent fasting.
It takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolise your glycogen stores and after that you actually start to shift to burning fat. So when you get up and exercise in the morning- yes, on an empty stomach, your body immediately burns your glycogen stores- your fat stores and not the sugars you have most recently eaten, there is nothing readily available for your body to use as a fuel source because you have not eaten lately, so your body starts to shift to burning fat immediately. If you are replenishing your glycogen by eating every eight hours, you make it far more difficult for your body to actually use your fat stores as fuel because it can just utilize the sugars you have just eaten – just make sure you dose up on a good pure protein source within 30 minutes of completing your exercise. If you are driving home from your work out- id suggest taking a good quality protein powder with you in your bag such as Dr Cabot’s Synd X powder – adding filtered water into your shaker at the end of your workout and drink it as you are driving home. This will optimise your bodies immediate anabolism and increase its ability to repair and grow muscle. Whatever the protein powder- just make sure it has branch chain amino acids in it- such as Leucine. We are talking about breaking down fats- and not doing that at the expense of lean muscle mass, intermittent will not break down muscle mass if you are providing your body with enough quality protein souces.
Fasting is historically common place as it has been a part of spiritual practice for millennia. Modern research has also confirmed there are many good reasons to fast, intermittently, including:
- Normalising your insulin sensitively, which is key for optimal health as insulin resistance is a primary contributing factor to nearly all chronic disease, from diabetes to heart disease and even cancer.
- Normalising Ghrelin levels, also known as the hunger hormone
- Promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production, which plays an important part in health, fitness – but who cares about health and fitness 😉 HGH slows the ageing process. HCG plays and important role in maintaining health fitness and longevity, including promotion of muscle growth and boosting fat loss be revving up y our metabolism.
- Lowering triglyceride levels
- Reducing inflammation and lessening free radical damage.
The fact that fasting improves a number of potent disease markers such as those listed above also contributes to fastings overall beneficial effects on general health.