With the rise of intermittent fasting, skipping meals is becoming trendy. There is proof that choosing to not eat meals does indeed help you meet exercise goals. But does skipping breakfast actually help your body? The verdict is still out. Some fasters choose to forego it. Fasting dieter and neuroscientist Mark Mattson said he has not had one in 35 years and he claims to not miss it: “I’m not hungry at all in the morning, and this is other people’s experience as well. It’s just a matter of getting adapted to it,” he told the New York Times.
But before you scrap eating omelets and oatmeal in the morning forever, remember that research still finds health benefits to eating breakfast that you may miss.
The case for not skipping breakfast
When you eat breakfast, you are doing your brain a favor. It improves your memory. “High energy intake from breakfast had a beneficial effect on immediate recall in short-term memory evaluated,” researchers testing teenagers found. It may even get you moving more. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a morning meal was “linked to higher physical activity thermogenesis in lean adults.”
And above all, it helps keep our bodies stable. We are better able to control our blood sugar level and metabolism earlier in the day. One study found that breakfast skippers had bigger spikes in blood sugar levels.
For all you fasters, you may want to rethink which meal you want to sacrifice to your weight-loss god. If you’re picking between eating a large breakfast or a large dinner, you may want to pick the former.
“When we eat a large meal at breakfast, our bodies can handle it really well. So when it comes to intermittent-fasting regimens, I think the ones that are going to show the most promise moving forward are the ones where the food consumption is in the daytime,” Dorothy Sears, the associate director of the Center for Circadian Biology at UCSD notes.