When I first started my intermittent fasting journey all the research I came across said that breakfast is the best meal to skip. This may be true for most people but we must keep in mind that we’re all different.
What works for you may not for me and vise versa. So let’s explore the benefits of skipping both breakfast and dinner.
Skipping Breakfast Has a Powerful Effect on Your Hormonal Environment
Since the modernization of human society breakfast has been touted as the most important meal of the day. Since we were young we’ve been force-fed the notion that the body simply can’t function properly without a huge meal after waking.
This is absolutely false.
This programming of society has more to do with government subsidies in agriculture and having the public consume far more than we need to.
The truth is many of us would benefit from skipping breakfast. Breakfast is a notoriously unhealthy meal filled with simple carbs, sugar, and processed foods.
When you skip breakfast you allow your body to:
- Remain in a fasted state- Which allows for more fat burning to occur. As soon as you eat your body switches to burning its replenished glucose.
- Have more stable insulin levels– Skipping breakfast allows you to become more sensitive to insulin. Low insulin also helps the body purge from excess salt and water.
- Boost your metabolism– Yes, you read that correctly. Not eating breakfast doesn’t have harmful effects on your metabolism. In 2104 a study was done twice with eight males to debunk this myth.
Skipping breakfast also allows the human growth hormone (HGH) to surge in your system.
John Romaniello (world-class fitness guru) who is a huge advocate of fasting in his article, IF 201: A Look of The 4 Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Protocols says,
“ Caloric manipulation aside, fasting works incredibly well because of the effect that fasting has on your overall hormonal environment.”
HGH is also paramount for lean muscle growth.
John also makes the great point that the fewer times you eat per day the less your insulin will be spiked.
He says, “ The elevated HGH in combination with low insulin is a deadly one-two punch to your body fat.”
Eating stops HGH release.
HGH production is at its highest in the morning and then tapers off throughout the day.
If you wait a few hours before eating, you experience these benefits for the long-term. If anything eating breakfast slows you and your metabolism down.
Skipping Dinner Works As Well if You Need Food to Start Your Day
Eating earlier in the day and having a long night fast can also work to your benefit.
Now while HGH production may be suppressed and insulin levels spiked earlier in the day, early time-restricted feeding (eTRF) has its own benefits.
One of the key benefits is that by eating all meals earlier in the day, you allow your body to keep in tune with its natural circadian rhythm.
This also helps with digestion at night.
Resting while going through the initial phases of digestion can impede sleep quality. Skipping dinner allows you to go to bed satiated but not full.
Skipping dinner can also aid in:
- Prevention of late snacking which will derail your weight loss efforts despite having a fasting protocol.
- Reduce the recurrence and mortality in early-stage breast cancer in women.
- More stable ghrelin levels throughout your day. Ghrelin is the hormone that signals hunger. eTRF helps reduce appetite.
One study had 11 overweight adults follow an eTRF schedule. One group ate from 8 am–2 pm and another 8 am–8 pm for 4 days.
The researchers found that:
- eTRF did not affect 24-hour energy expenditure although the 8 am-2 pm participants had a longer fast.
- Hunger and the desire to eat was more even-keeled.
- eTRF also increased metabolic flexibility which makes the body burn energy more efficiently.
Studies mentioned above are preliminary concerning the nuances of fasting. As fasting in Western society gains more traction we’ll see an increase in studies.
The evidence currently points to the fact that both classic intermittent fasting (skipping breakfast) and eTRF have massive benefits.
If you’re looking to adopt or improve a fasting protocol, skipping breakfast or dinner will work.
If you like eating first thing, eTRF will be most beneficial to you. If you’re like I am and don’t like to eat in the morning fasting during the day will yield the best results.
Meal quality, good sleep, and generally living a healthy lifestyle matters more for long-term success with fasting.
- Developing a solid morning routine
- A sustainable exercise regime
- Building a healthy, loving relationship with yourself and others
This will help you reap the amazing benefits of intermittent fasting for years to come.
Here’s a Guide That’ll Help You With Hunger As You Create Your Fasting Schedule
Download the Stop Hunger Guide. Implement the 5 tips suggested. You’ll see a positive change in a short period of time.