Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Body › Benefits and side effects › missing breakfast – I am so annoyed at previous diet advice
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4 May 18
I wasn’t sure where to place this post. Partly here to vent but also to share my experience. I have been told by so many people never to miss breakfast. I have for the past few days and guess what happened? I felt in a great mood and appetite was greatly lowered.
Admittedly, before lunch I started to feel a little “weak”. I ate less. I really can’t think it’s placebo effect. I am also really annoyed that I have always been advised against missing breakfast. I am also some one who can’t sleep unless I have eaten so still working on this side of fasting. I just feel I have discovered an amazing secret to appetite reduction (although not that much of a secret for fasters I should imagine!).
5 May 18
I’m with you on that one. It seems to be drummed into us ” breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”
My husband was shocked at my no breakfast plan, but I find it quite easy to abstain.
Any breakfast I ate before no matter what it was had me hungry by 10 am.
Anyway lets carry on and be in control of our intake.
Happy days =)
I think some of us just aren’t hungry in the morning and have our own internal clocks. Dieting or not, I’ve never been much of a breakfast person. A bagel or toast and a couple cups of coffee is all I was ever in the mood for in the morning. On FD it easy for me to wait until noon to eat. Like you, I’m less hungry at lunch if I don’t eat breakfast.
Lots of talk on this site about skipping breakfast. Many find they are not hungry and have no need of nutrition early in the day. Some that believe in conspiracy theories believe that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ was created by bad corporations selling breakfast cereal.
But there is research on the subject. Here is what recent research shows about both eating windows and skipping breakfast – listen between minutes 29 and 31: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=dr.+longo+youtube&&view=detail&mid=6D8F7CB8DEE99AFB8F436D8F7CB8DEE99AFB8F43&&FORM=VRDGAR
I am in agreement. If your body isn’t hungry first thing in the morning then why eat a meal? I used to eat breakfast because I believed it was the right things to do. It dies increase your metabolism a bit, but for me it also kick starts my appetite/cravings and I tend to feel like snacking all morning. I tried the advice about having a protein breakfast instead and supposedly avoiding the cravings. It didn’t work for me as I think for me it’s a mental trigger about long standing food behaviours rather than a metabolic response to certain macro nutrients.
I initially gave up breakfast on FDs and when I realised my appetite was more controllable without breakfast I stopped eating breakfast on most NFD as well. The only exception is if I actually feel hungry then I’ll eat in the morning – that happens a couple of time a month.
I don’t think this works for everyone (anymore than, “you should all eat breakfast” did). Some people have their strongest appetite in the morning and it wanes through the day and they probably do need breakfast. I think it’s wise to get in touch with your body’s hunger signals and try to only eat in response to genuine hunger. I found that harder than it sounds as I ate for many reasons, but rarely hunger. I ate because it was a meal time, because others were, because I was cold, bored, lonely, upset, happy, celebrating…
A few months into 5:2 I realised just how little my eating had to do with hunger and I found it hard to tell the difference between cravings and hunger. I did a week long experiment where I committed to only eating when I felt hungry. I learned that genuine hunger for me isn’t a thought about wanting to eat it’s also a physical sensation in my stomach. If I just have the thought about needing to eat then it’s just a craving (usually for something full of sugar, fat or salt). Learning the difference actually helped me manage my eating better. I still stop and ask myself sometimes, “am a really hungry”?
LJoyce, I completely agree with all your remarks. In addition, I’m not sure I’ve ever been truly hungry since starting 5:2 about a year ago. I’m don’t think a day or two, even in a row would leave me with true hunger. 500 calories for the day seems enough to alieve any real hunger. I do however experience the cravings you describe for all of those other reasons, with bored or seeing or smelling a favorite food being at the top of the list.
Much good perspective here on this forum. I do ADF (only water, coffee, tea on fast days) and initially tried to push eating on eat days to after noon (thinking I would get additional benefits from a longer fast), but found that I was just way too hungry when I finally did start eating. Now I fast 36 hours and have breakfast on my eat days, and it has made all of the difference in my mood and my ability to do this WOE.
However, I think what one eats at breakfast certainly has an effect on hunger. I don’t eat any carbs at breakfast (other than incidental). Toast or fruit or something carb-y at breakfast would make me extremely hungry. I couldn’t do that. I have 2 eggs scrambled in olive oil, three slices of uncured bacon and heavy cream in my coffee. It’s yummy and the fat and protein ensure that I’m not hungry again until lunchtime. I still can’t get over the fact that after all those years of skipping breakfast and then eating junk the rest of the day, I’m now eating bacon and eggs and a full-fat latte for breakfast and losing weight. 🙂 I think we all have to tinker with our diet and figure out what works best for our particular lifestyle and preferences.
I do agree that nutritionists dig themselves into holes when they say “Never do this,” or “Always do that.” I think there are many different avenues from Point A to Point B.
Okay, I seldom eat breakfast until after a workout but when I’m eating I don’t skip it.
If you find it doesn’t help you eat less throughout the day, then it is probably because of what you are eating for breakfast. If you eat refined grains and sugar for breakfast, you would probably be better off eating nothing. I have removed all sugar and refined grains from my breakfast and find it extremely filling and sometimes so much so that I eat very little for lunch. The normal progression is good breakfast, reasonable lunch and light dinner.
People often eat refined grains and sugar for breakfast, then a large lunch and finally a huge dinner. That works against the body because generally people are more insulin sensitive in the morning and less so at night. Which means you end up burning less fat at night.
That being said I don’t recommend forcing yourself to eat. If you don’t want it you shouldn’t force yourself. What I do recommend is going to bed a little on the empty side. Lighter supper is much healthier and than a heavy supper.
I have always loved breakfast- when I have more time it’s my favourite meal of the day and a reason to enjoy weekend mornings particularly. However as soon as I planned to have a FD I knew straight away that I would skip it for the reasons noted here about controlling appetite. I’ve only been on the 5:2 for 3 weeks but I’ve decided to experiment with skipping breakfast every weekday to help keep kilojoules down on my NFD too. It does feel like a total departure from all that I ever thought about breakfast being really important but I think it’s going to work for me.
6 May 18
Interesting insights thank you for sharing.
I love food and it doesn’t matter if it’s offered at 6am or 10pm I can always eat, a hearty appetite. I do notice I feel tired by 10 am most days but in the days I fasted, my energy was consistent. I felt weak before lunch but with a sit down job it made no difference. I didn’t need to snack mid afternoon either. I lasted two days consecutively the the third I had a day off and looked forward to my protein enriched chocolate porridge… but the appetite came back. It was a no. Working day though so other variables undoubtedly came into play.
I don’t honk would work for all, a relative has a heart condition and also feels awful if he doesn’t eat upon waking. I have noticed he snacks all day though. I was shocked at the reduction inappetite and everyone kept saying I looked well, my face looked less puffy- I think there maybe a logical explanation for this bizarre side effect, I didn’t feel as warm sound after I eat I usually get very red cheeks!
I have been made to eat breakfast (and I enjoy it) since I was very small. I suu consciously avoid sweet cereals and pancakes/waffles as one is seldom sufficient. I just am amazed even a healthier choice, for me, woke the stomach up.
One thing to keep in mind is that carbs and sugar often have a sneaky appetite-increasing effect that a high fat, low-carb meal usually doesn’t. Recipes vary, but homemade Chocolate Porridge probably contains around 40 grams of carbohydrates, which might cause a blood sugar/insulin spike. That would definitely get my hunger revved up. 🙂 It probably also has 20 grams or so of protein, which as you know, our bodies will happily convert to carbs if we’re taking in more protein than we need.
7 May 18
Absolutely agree about breakfast! Maybe if you’re going out to do some physical work you would need some carbs, but otherwise no.
We realised that we were eating by the clock rather than hunger, so now we break our fast at around 1pm. The only time we will have breakfast in the morning is when staying in an hotel and we have paid for it! 😄
The reasons I eat breakfast on NFDs:
1) I have complete control of the nutrition. It is often the only meal of the day I have complete control.
2) My breakfast doesn’t include refined sugar or refined grains (like toast) so it is really filling.
3) I enjoy it!
8 May 18
Not necessarily cause and effect. Very few people need three meals a day. A fast of 16 hours, eg from 7pm to 1pm, with plenty of liquids in that period, is beneficial.
I’ve been away for a few days and am just catching up. I’ve read through all the posts on this thread and there are numerous interesting and thought provoking points.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt while trying to lose weight it is not to eat unless I’m hungry. As I’m rarely hungry before midday, I wait until then to eat something. I think it varies from person to person but in my experience the people I know who are the hungriest first thing in the morning are those that eat a diet rich in processed carbs and sugar. I have also come to the conclusion that it is age dependent. All children should eat breakfast as their growing bodies need it but the older we get the less likely we are to need to eat three meals per day especially as so many of us do nothing after dinner (which in my opinion is often eaten too late) to burn off the calories we’ve consumed before we go to bed.
It has definitely helped me to control my eating as once I start I don’t want to stop so it makes good sense to wait until I’m properly hungry.
Thyroid disease is not caused by skipping breakfast. If it was, half of the world would be suffering from it and it wouldn’t be so difficult to treat.
Amazon, absolutely right. Children or anyone doing hard physical work work will need breakfast. For many of rest of us it’s a case of eat once, eat again.
9 May 18
Refined sugar is a carb but not all carbs act like refined sugar. I dare anyone here to cook 100g of oatmeal (just rolled oats, nothing else) and add 100g of blueberries and eat that for breakfast. That isn’t even 500 kcals and it is really unlikely after eating that much oatmeal you’ll even want lunch. That is a breakfast of mostly carbs, but it isn’t the type of carbs that are going cause a large blood glucose spike. The problem isn’t carbs, the problem is most people just eat too much refined sugars for breakfast.
A typical breakfast pushed by many food processing companies is nothing more than refined grains and sugar. Of coarse that type of breakfast is going to leave on eating more later in the morning.
I also don’t buy the don’t eat if you aren’t hungry argument. One has to apply some common sense. I’m almost never hungry after 36+ hours of fasting. If I choose not to eat because I wasn’t hungry I would likely end up fasting for multiple days. Another way to look at it, how many times when one is one a trip do you use a nice bathroom just because it is handy and you don’t know when you see another one? It isn’t always because of immediate need, it is more of a taking control of your near future. The hunger we feel is a learned response. There isn’t anything wrong with actively managing our food intake.
The real problem with delaying eating too long is one ends up eating more late in the day and not doing anything to aid in the digestion of food. Most people are less insulin sensitive the longer they have been awake. From that perspective it is better to eat more earlier in the day and must less later in the day. If you do that, then you should be mindful of the impact, you are making it more likely to develop metabolic issues. Not a problem if it is managed, but most people just stuff themselves and then become coach potatoes.
Now if you absolutely can’t stop eating after you start eating, maybe that is actually an eating disorder? Granted mindless eating is a pretty common eating disorder that many people have. We just need to be mindful about our eating. The flip side of there isn’t any problem with not eating when one isn’t hungry is there isn’t anything wrong with not eating when we feel hungry. That is kind of what fast days are all about. We all have brains, we just need to manage or eating and not let our brainless eating manage us.
I have porridge with fruit, banana or berries, at 1pm. The benefits, health not simply weight, of following a 16:8 eating pattern are proven. Go back to Dr, Mosley’s book if you need confirmation.
However, if eating as soon as you get up works for you – so be it.
I’ve done a few long fasts and haven’t been hungry when I ended them but I have a long history of once I start eating I don’t want to stop which is how I got to be obese. It isn’t an eating disorder and has nothing to do with hunger, rather pure greed. Like most lifetime bad habits it takes time to break and replace with a good one and for me the best way forward on a daily basis, long fasts excepted, is not to eat unless I’m hungry and there is rarely an occasion when that doesn’t happen at some point during the day.
That’s the thing about IF, it leads each of us on an individual journey and what is good for one doesn’t always work for someone else. I like the fact that there are so may different viewpoints on this forum as the newcomer doesn’t take long to realise that armed with the good advice on offer, they can find a way that suits them and those of us who have lost our way can try something else and adapt it to suit ourselves.
As for the breakfast discussion, in Michaels first book he discusses the fact that women do better if they work out in a fasted state which is another reason for me not to eat until lunchtime as I go to the gym in the morning.
16:8 works well for many and there are proven benefits. There are also proven benefits for eating a healthy meal first thing. The choice is ours 🙂
I’m going to comment here because I believe this is not a one size fits all situation. Also I don’t believe beeakfast is OK for everyone as long as you’re not eating certain carbs.
Here’s my experience:
1. I am allergic to rye and oats.
2. I am highly intolerant of every other grain excuding corn and quinao.
3. I am gluten intolerant, but not coeliac.
4. I’m intolerant to amines – a natural substance occuring in many foods including some fruits snd vegetables.
Yes I’ve had the stomach biopsy and all the other tests including including many months of elimination testing starting with 5 foods no-one is supposed to be intolerant to. I reacted to one of the 5 when the quantity was over a small threshold, with the dietitian saying I was the only person they’d ever heard of who reacted to rice.
So – to breakfast:
I ate breakfast as a child and teenager, but I didn’t really want to eat it straight after I woke up. I just had to. As an adult I didn’t want to eat breakfast, but did because it was “healthy” to do so. When totally left to my own schedule I never ate, or was hungry, before 10.30am and then had 2 pieces of fruit, or a boiled egg and 1 piece of fruit.
During all the food testing it was discovered that I had a type of intolerance that includes an addictive factor. I.e. if I ate any 1 of some of the categories of foods I’m intolerant to about 1-2hrs later I craved all, yep all, of them. Craved to the point of eating them like I was addicted to them. That ‘addictive’ response lasted for 5 days.
I also had a vast range of intolerance responses, some of which seem to be prevalent amongst people with ADD/ADHD. I have ADHD. Dykadk, I love porridge. I would love to get up in the morning and be able to eat a bowl of porridge. If I did have your 100gms of rolled oats at breakfast not only would I put on heaps of weight because I wouldn’t be able to stop eating, but I would also not be able to think clearly. Weird hey, but that’s what it does to me. Oatmeal is also in lots of skincare products because it’s good for the skin. They give me hives.
My point is that I believe our range of reactions to foods/drinks is far greater than we all thought, and the solution for each of us is our task to figure out. What works for some won’t work for others.
Now, to 5:2.
When I started 5:2 3 1/2 years ago I discovered within the 1st month or so that I wasn’t really hunger at all on a FD till-I-ate-something. No matter what time of day I ate, that’s when my appetite roared to life. I learnt that I was a member of a sub group on here, and we in that group have a phenomenon we call “The Hunger Dragon”. Not everyone has it.
It is quite distinct that there are the 3 groups on this forum.
1. Those who have a Hunger Dragon usually only eat dinner or nothing but water or tea on a FD.
2. Those who don’t have a Hunger Dragon usually eat 2-3 small meals on a FD.
3. There is a 3rd group who feel a bit nauseous if they don’t eat breakfast. These people often eat a small breakfast and a small dinner on a FD.
Just for the sake of adding to the discussion of complex versus simple carbohydrates I’ll mention a bit more I’ve observed on the forum.
1. Some people plateau and after a few weeks the plateau ends and they start losing again
2. Others plateau and the plateau doesn’t end, until they take out the carbs from grains – refined or unrefined seems to make no difference.
3. When I plateaud and it kept continuing too long I was having a small amount of gluten free non-grain carbs ( not sugar related). It was recommended I try going of those gluten free carbs. Did that, but found I had to also go off all foods with starchy carbs in them. I had to go off pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, corn, beetroot, bananas, peas, legumes, beans eg soy beans, chickpeas. My weight did not resume going down etc till all of these were gone. Vwhenever I tried adding any back in my weight will stop going down, and mostly will start going up.
So far, I’ve not found anyone else on the forum who’se had to go to that extent in removing starchy carbs from vegetables, fruit, legumes, beans etc.
In conclusion: I’m now in maintainence and I continue 5:2, adding a bit more on nonFDs, but still not eating breakfast 7days a week. It keeps my appetite at a healthy level, and allows me to eat a range of things over the rest of each day to keep my nutrition normal.
Onwards and downwards,
Please excuse my typos above.
Great post, merry! Indeed, eating often promotes eating. More than just greed, it’s habit and making tummy bigger.
15 May 18
Some great posts and personal insights- thank you.
I tried the 3 meals 2 snacks whilst reducing kcal approach and it’s not working for me personally. If I’m poorly this approach works.
I created another post raising this point, it appears if I cut kcal in the evening I cannot sleep, it’s a nightmare. Slightly disturbed sleep for 3 nights has led to feeling very tired and very hungry!
I beg to differ dyskask I think porridge earlier in the day makes me hungrier, I’ve tried adding seeds…still feel shattered an hour later.
Amazon I think you also make some points that resonate. I suppose everyone in this country has an eating disorder – the fact we all eat (and even the most laid back of my friends) when not hungry, look at the amount of coffee shops with cakes – filled with slim, overweight, who goes there to meet a friend and asks for a glass of water? I have noticed if I have had no sleep and the following day start eating early I overeat generally for that day, whether that be an eating disorder or not, that’s the way I appear to b reprogrammed. I eat sometimes because I enjoy it and if I’m tired I want a pick me up which is quite often a carbohydrate like snack.
Merry me, have you heard of Stanley McChrystal I think he describes much the same thing and he became renowned for having only one meal day.
I think being mindful about we are eating is also a key to success and I find this easier to do when genuinely hungry.
No breakfast for me on fast days. No lunch either. Save all the cals for evening meal. My wife is usually the same.
It prevents the induced hunger cravings, and also the annoying thing of trying to work out exactly what not-really-satisfying meal I can have for 50% of my calorie allowance. Plus in the evening you can have a ‘proper’ meal with 600 cals.
I’m with you. Dinner only on FDs in order to have a satisfying meal and a good nights sleep as I don’t go to bed hungry.
As for everyone having an eating disorder, the sad truth is that the majority of us have been hoodwinked by the food industry into thinking if we don’t eat every couple of hours we’ll fade away. In order to ensure their profit margin is good, they manufacture foods that make sugar addicts out of all of us. They’ve been telling us for years that fat is the devil when in fact sugar is the problem. And when they take the fat out of dairy products such as yoghurt they need to add stabilisers, to keep it fresh and something to replace the flavour fat gives so they use sugar or the equally awful artificial sweeteners.
I don’t do reduced fat dairy as it means I’m not getting essential fat soluble vitamins. I have full fat natural unsweetened yoghurt and find it sweet enough to eat on it’s own or with fresh fruit/seeds or nuts.
I never buy processed carbs such as cakes, bread, biscuits etc from the supermarket, nor do I buy ready meals and takeaways. I would rather make time to cook from scratch so I know exactly what has gone into the food on my plate. No preservatives, colourings, stabilisers or unnecessary added sugar of any description.
We all need to jettison our views which have been formed by advertising and what is on the shelf in the supermarket and learn about real food, what it tastes like, what is good for us and most of all, how little we need to sustain our bodies and keep them healthy.
IMO the most joy I get out of meeting up with friends is their company not what we eat or drink. I have no problem going into a cafe and having a coffee even if others around me are all eating, and the truth is that these days the majority of cakes and pastries available are too sweet and cloying for my taste so it is easy to say no thanks.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a decent slice of well made cake from a good bakery or patisserie but since I’ve been following 5:2 my sweet tooth has diminished considerably.
I also have to say that most of my friends are not overweight and while they all enjoy the occasional treat the majority of the time they only eat if they are hungry and not because they can or because someone else is doing so.
Sw600 – I think this is the way to for me too, Amazon like you point out, alleviates the stomach rumbling whilst sleeping (yet I have a friend who sleeps well when having a complete fast highlighting we are all so different).
Amazon, erm, my friends and colleagues, faced with one of the fresh lemon, chocolate or carrot cream cakes mid afternoon week day or weekend day I can honestly say most are not relying on their hunger queues as to whether they want a slice…. meetings are the worse I don’t think anyone is genuinely hungry when they take another biscuit from the tray. Perhaps I’m wrong… perhaps it’s just me!
I wouldn’t take a biscuit as they are usually too sweet and not worth the calories. I stopped buying them over 20 years ago.
Cakes are another matter and if I have some it has to be really good as it will be designated lunch!
16 May 18
There is just as much advertising around having processed food dinners as there is around breakfast being the most important meal of the day. People just notice what they want to see. It isn’t reasonable to blame anyone but yourself as it is your choice when to eat and what to eat assuming you aren’t a child.
There have been studies that show people do better with calories in the morning vs in the evening when it comes to losing weight. That isn’t proof that everyone is that way, but in general people have higher insulin sensitivity in the morning than later in the day. However I assume that if you don’t eat a all until much later, then it is still likely the good insulin response happens. Many people eat – snack – eat – snack – snack – eat – snack – snack and snack with increasing amounts of food causing the body to be stuffed beyond what it needs. In general the problem is too much food and the wrong kinds of food.
So do what you want, just don’t blame people that eat more in the morning and less as the day goes on. My breakfast is almost completely refined sugar free but it is typically larger than my other meals. As my eating is reducing some, I find I’m moving more towards two meals a day with maybe a couple light snacks. I think the amount of food eaten is much more of an issue than which meals are eating. For me breakfast slows down or even stops the eating for hours. However a good part of my breakfast is just from raw oats that I cook.
20 May 18
Dykask ah I’m sorry I didn’t mean it to come across that way. I actually think we are all so individual and even for me I don’t think every day of the month it’s appropriate for me to miss breakfast. I’m finding there are certain times I’m just hungry, and to actually say to myself in the morning “ no breakfast” I feel grumpy at the time (I like eating) but other days it seems to open up the appetite and I feel tired a few hours later.
I also eat my supper very late so probable I just don’t need it early (I am up and out of the house before 7am most days).
I’m also finding to keep my kcal within the range I find on fast day I actually like to have breakfast then no lunch or breakfast and lunch, but it’s easier to last the day if I do the latter but I need more discipline to make myself do the former. So I’m slightly contradicting myself.
I was shocked at my body’s reaction to missing breakfast- more energy and less appetite. I also just felt less puffy and hot – odd. What I’m saying it breakfast has been so ingrained as being so important I was shocked at how great I felt during the day for missing it and how easy it was to still have a lovely meal in the evening, and not go over the designated kcal.
My children could not go without breakfast and I notice a huge negative change if for any reason they haven’t had their porridge!
Ps I think I’m one of those eat- snack but for some reason that desire stops if I just miss starting the eating cycle. I think someone else referred to the hunger dragon. I relate to this but and I do think it’s a lack of discipline ofcourse but there is something by which my appetite is revved by regular snacking. Saying that, a close blood relative nearly collapsed if she doesn’t eat every few hours.
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