Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Body › Science of intermittent fasting › No breakfast, or more like less brekkie – appears to be helping
This topic contains 71 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Bingeingqueen 9 months, 2 weeks ago.
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14 Jul 17
CalifD – thanks for those sentences! You do it so well!
-flat hand over the top of the glass when someone’s pouring
-Ask wait staff to take away wine glass
– sparkling water with a piece of lemon or lime
– “I’m doing Dry-July”
It’s not rude to refuse a drink. It is rude to fill someone’s glass without asking, or to push someone to drink. Having drink inside them is no excuse – more reason to say no thank you
and resist their sabotage, and it is sabotage.
Bingeingqueen and penguin, I agree that alcohol is a bigger problem than food, especially with business associates. “Team building meetings” can be especially challenging, in my case it feels doubly so because I’m the only female. I do occasionally drink a glass of wine, so they know I drink. And agreed that when everyone else has alcohol in them they are more insistent that you drink too. My go to excuse when pressed is “allergy meds, lots of pollen at home in CA. Can’t mix it with booze.” Then I order a fizzy water with a twist of lemon or lime. It looks like a mixed drink. I sip slowly so reordering doesn’t come up too often. And I make sure I’m as loud and animated as the rest of the team. I encourage them to drink more. I gain lots of valuable info and can ask questions (business related) that I might not have gotten answers to before. Loose lips…! I’m often actually bored and looking forward to the evening being over, but never underestimate the amount of information I’m able to glean from these exercises! (Same strategy can work in social situations.)
MerryMe, we were typing at the same time. Looks like we have some of the same strategies!
15 Jul 17
CalifDreamer, exactly the reverse of my problem – I was the only male. I was also somewhat older than the others, including my female boss, which may have helped. Earlier in life my work occasionally required me to stay sober in serious drinking company. I agree – very entertaining and informative. A whiskey shaped glass of any clear, slightly fizzy drink in my hand kept everyone happy.
Penguin, I’m also the oldest by a few years.
I’m on the other side of the breakfast fence. While I have no doubt skipping breakfast can help with the fat reduction, I find there is a lot of value to breakfast. It is the meal I have complete control of and I can use it to make sure I’m getting a lot of the nutrition I need. My breakfast is very fruit/nut heavy and kind of designed to keep me feeling full for hours.
Frankly when I can I would rather skip supper and fast from lunch to a morning breakfast, but that often is socially difficult. I think the body is more able to handle a rich meal after fasting than it is after have at least a meal and maybe snacks.
I also often push in at least a light workout before breakfast so typically my breakfast is somewhat delayed. I also don’t drink alcohol and limit my sugar from non-whole-fruit sources. I drink coffee/tea black and don’t add sugar to my food. I do have deserts but mostly limit that to social situations. (I don’t choose a desert for a snack.)
I haven’t got my body fat low enough to see my abs yet … just hoping I don’t have to give up breakfast to do that. 🙂
What it comes down to is what reduced calorie plan can you stick with? I’ve lost fat eating breakfast, not eating breakfast, fasting not fasting and even eating six times a day.
If you are eating less than your TDEE you are going to lose weight. From my research and personal experience I believe eating early in the day is the optimum way to lose fat and for best health because most people are hormonally primed to digest and process food in the first 8 -10 hours after rising. It is the way to be in harmony with your body. If you haven’t eaten breakfast in years it takes time and will power for your body and mind to adjust. Just like adjusting to fasting.
However any eating plan that reduces calories is superior than eating too much, no matter when you eat it.
Hmmm … while I agree that eating breakfast works well for me I stress it isn’t about calorie reduction. 20 or 30 years ago calorie reduction seemed to work well for me, now it doesn’t. I haven’t been restricting calories for the last 10+ kg of lost weight so it probably would work again for a few months, but at least for myself, sticking to a reduced calorie plan causes my body to fight back. (I generally eat back what I didn’t eat while fasting.)
18 months ago when I was using strict calorie restriction I had reached a point where I was working out like crazy, feeling horrible, losing strength and putting on fat. Things were really messed up. What snapped my body out of that was cutting out 2/3 of my refined sugar consumption. In fact I replaced foods and ended up much higher calories per day and started losing fat. A great deal of my fat was the visceral kind which is really harmful.
A side affect of cutting sugar is my almost constant hunger died out. After a lot of studying trying to figure out what had gone on, I made a lot more changes in my diet and started fasting. Cutting sugar alone took my weight from the mid-90kg to under 90kg. The combination of fasting and eating well above my so called TDEE has actually brought my weight lower but I’m putting on muscle again.
Now again when I was much younger I didn’t seem to have issues with calorie reduction, it just seemed to work. I think that is where a lot of confusion comes in, it seems simple and it seems to work. However, on the grand scale it is a horrible failure and the growing worldwide obesity problem is proof of that.
The other thing that confuses the matter is people often point to someone that is huge and eating like 2000 calorie meals as well as snacking. Of coarse if you eat way too much food, pretty much any type of food you will get fat, that is just how our bodies work.
In America the average dietary intake is over 2700 calories a day, yet on the average people only gain a few pounds a year. That just shows the simplified calorie math is bogus. There is energy balance going on, there are just a lot more variables than the amount of calories consumed.
Calories are a factor, they just aren’t the only factor. When I wasn’t able to work out for a few months, my weight went up and at least part of it was likely due to it takes time to naturally reduce consumption when the expenditure goes away. However it also could have just been because it was an extremely stressful period. Hormones have huge impacts on us. (If you don’t believe just look at the insane amounts of food thin teenagers can consume. I know I have a 16 and 13 year old.)
I strongly find myself in agreement that eating with your bodies hormonal rhythm is important. I’m just not sure how much of the rhythm is natural and how much is a trained response. On the other hand when I’m eating I stopped worrying about the calories. For me it doesn’t work even though it did earlier in my life, and it is also not really possible to do very accurately. Even meal manufacturers that have great equipment and labs often prepare meals with more than 20% errors in calorie counts. No way anyone on their own is going to do better. It isn’t just about weight you have to know the what is actually in the food and even changes in the weather change what is in the food. The other problem is that without a test lab setting, TDEE is absolute guessing. The calculations can be off by hundreds of calories. In my case I had a DEXXA scan and those numbers were much higher than calculators give me. DEXXA scan is just another, probably better estimate. To really determine TDEE requires a lab setup. I’m sure there are huge variations between people and even in a persons own life over the decades. So people are trying use error prone estimates to count calories and setting levels that are probably way off.
My current thinking is modest calorie restriction is probably not harmful. Extreme calorie restriction is probably harmful unless it is done by a natural process like extended fasting.
Personally I find these factors more important to maintaining my weight:
1) Limiting refined sugar in my diet
2) Doing some HIIT several times a week. It doesn’t take much in my case.
3) Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, like 10 servings on NFD.
4) Not overeating. Yeah if I way overeat I will gain weight. For me this means eating slowly and stopping when I feel full.
5) Not eating anything when I fast and doing at least a light workout at the end of my fast before breaking it.
6) Sleeping enough, at least 6 hours a night.
7) Having a good 12 hours between last meal of the day and first meal of the next day.
Those are the things that currently work for me. I’m sure the list is different for different people. I’m also sure calorie restriction does work for some people, it did work for me when I was younger.
Just as an aside, I don’t really care amount my weight, I only care about how much fat I have. People don’t see your weight they see your fat. So even now when I’m in a period of slightly elevated weight it doesn’t mater because I’m still fitting into my slim clothes. It is the fat, not the weight that matters.
A lot of people say skipping breakfast helps them with weight. I’ve seen enough variations in my own life that I believe them. It is probably the right thing for a group of people. I’m just not a member of that group that benefits from it. However I’m sure many people would fine my breakfast a little hard to swallow. Cornflakes is an easy breakfast but just not one that I like.
Hi everyone. I did well on 5.2 three years ago but hubbys death and Lupus flairs knocked me off track. Steroids are a great drug but do give you an appetite and put weight on ☹️ I am not a natural breakfast person but have eaten a good sized breakfast for decades now. I agree that it makes you hungrier. My problem is that I am on masses of prescribed drugs morning and evening which are essential to normal life. I have to eat in the mornings to take meds . Any thoughts? Anyone else with same problem?
Thanks I’m looking to lose 20lbs by beginning of December. 😁
I can be persuaded of the logic of eating breakfast to match your body clock and I can do it. I just find it easier to skip breakfast. Before I started the restricted time regime I had a tendency to lose a fair amount of weight whilst fasting, then put about half of it back on between fasts. No breakfast on any day has put a stop to that. My weight now remains static, or declines slightly between fasts. As we keep saying – whatever works for you.
I agree with dykask that eating a lot of fruit and vegetables helps. Fortunately at this time of year my garden is producing so many that I am also supplying the neighbours! The exercise of working my veg plot is useful
Diverdog- your hormonal balance and my hormonal balance are probably the opposite. I have had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis for 20yrs – commonlyknown as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I fall into the subgroup of those who probably have a bit of Mitochondrial Dysfunction i.e. my body does not make enough energy in every cell. Conversly I also have ADHD, born that way, so I live in the weird space between the body and brain chemistry of both conditions. Deficient in neurotransmitters from the ADHD , and a degree of Hypothalamic Dysfunction (HD)from the ME/CFS. HD has affected my body clock and I no longer have a 24 hr body clock, now having a 2 hrs on/2hrs off pattern around the clock. Despite this , all my life I have not been at all hungry for several hours after waking.
If you think of the sleeping patterns known as larks and owls, I bet you’re a lark, and I’ve been an owl since a small child. People with ADHD are often owls and wake up s.l.o.w.. Then we start to ramp up and keep going faster and faster till bedtime when our brains are whirling around the most and we have sleep disorder, having great trouble getting to sleep, waking in the night, not being able to get back to sleep, ad infinitum. From a young child, except in fast growing couple of years in teenage, I hated being forced to have breakfast after waking up. My “natural” breakfast pattern was a small breakfast eg a boiled egg and a small piece of fruit never before 10am and preferably 11am. As an adult I refused to force feed myself to suit other people.
I once tried the large breakfast, middling lunch and small dinner thing for a few weeks. It worked Ok if the breakfast wasn’t before 10am, but no way could I give up having food after lunch or mid afternoon. I have a hunger dragon. I rarely eat sugar or processed food and I hate cooking and had to force myself to be constantly in a kitchen to raise my family.
There may be research re breakfast suiting hormonal balance, but I’m absolutely sure that’s not the way my body works. I’ve come across too many stories onnthe forum of people freed from the tyranny of breakfast by 5:2. They report relief at not having to eat breakfast and feel freed from being forced to eat when not hungry just like I did, so I don’t believe I’m an isolated exception.
Merry me, did you miss the word “most people” in my statement? I’m sure there are exceptions to every rule. Although we are all genetically very similar, we are not identical.
My intent was to say do what works for you, but for most people eating early in the day offers some real benefits. It’s not just advertising hype by the breakfast cereal cabal. I’m not suggesting that you just aren’t doing it right.
As for sleep patterns growing up I liked going to bed late and sleeping late when ever I could and I was lean. I worked as a DJ for many years with the same pattern of being a night owl and getting fatter. I changed jobs and had to become an early riser and I stayed fat! Most of the time I was fat I ate no breakfast because I was lazy and got up as late as possible. I got lean by reducing the number of calories I ate and exercising consistently still not eating breakfast. Since I started to eat breakfast and get strong sun exposure I wake up earlier and go to sleep earlier. I also sleep less and feel more rested.
Of course there are huge numbers of people that have sleeping issues. Most of them are self inflicted. But again there are people with organic of genetic issues to deal with.
I’m glad no breakfast works for you and I’m sure there are others that are like you as well. I hope you continue to make good progress.
What has not been mentioned thus far is the effect of shift working on the body, and where breakfast fits into that cycle. About 50 years ago I started my working life with a shift pattern of 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm, 10pm-6am, with the occasional 6pm-2am thrown in. Shifts changed weekly, usually with 8 hours off between them. As a single man living with others, I often found myself going to bed at about 6.45am, rising at 1pm and eating the main meal, lunch, with the day people. Early evening I had a tea type meal – something with fries or sandwiches and cake. Somewhere around 1am I had sandwiches. On the early shift I would rise at about 5am, have nothing until about 10am then have the full bacon, eggs etc, followed by the main meal at about 2.30pm. I spent my working life in the fresh air, hanging around the streets and otherwise not taking too much exercise, which on a cold winter’s day gets you hungry but doesn’t burn the calories. Which may explain why beat cops are fat. At the age of 25 I opted for a military career, where in the early years you sleep at every opportunity and eat everything in sight at every opportunity and burn so many calories in exercise that you remain thin. Later in your career you get less exercise and get fat, until you discover 5;2 much too late in life.
I’m not a breakfast eater and never have been, other than when I was gaining weight and there was ice cream in the freezer!
I agree that calories are not the whole story, but imprecise as they are, I believe they still play a big part. I gain weight when my calorie intake is up and I lose when it is down. For me, the timing doesn’t really matter, nor does what I eat. I can eat Snickers Bars and lose weight if I limit how many of them I eat by calories. That said, it is MUCH more difficult to limit the amount of food intake if I eat sugar and processed foods that are made with it or corn syrups. I am ravenous when the sugar high wears off.
One curious thing that always puzzles me: I have never been more than about 25 pounds or 11.5 kg over my goal weight. Even at my highest, I’ve been just over the line into “overweight” for my BMI. When dieting calories definitely matter. But when overeating, I would eat constantly while reading or watching TV in the evening, going into the night, and eat all high sugar, high fat things like ice cream and potato crisps, toast with butter, candy, frys, etc. And that was after eating a full dinner. I had to have been eating well over 3000 calories per day, maybe more. I got very little exercise. I sit at a desk most of the day. Yet my weight never went above 156 pounds or 70 kg. I ate like this for a year or more at a time. My thyroid function is normal, I take medication for it and am tested yearly.
It’s almost like I have a high weight set point that my body doesn’t want to go over and it won’t pass that line, no matter what I eat. But still, I can’t lose weight without fasting and counting calories. So what do you think?
I can relate to that. It is almost as if my body decides “OK This is what I weigh” and it takes some persuading to change. It is reluctant to go up or down. Fortunately, as I have lost weight over the last four years the body’s idea of what I am has moved downwards. Kicking and screaming perhaps, but it has moved.
Penguin, it’s the high weight thing that perplexes me. I can lose weight pretty dependably by lowering calories. I suppose I would get to a low point where my body wouldn’t want to lose more, but I’ve never discovered that. I usually stop when I think I’m looking too thin.
CalifDreamer, “looking too thin”. I was with you until you wrote that. Looking too thin is something I have never experienced.
Penguin, I’ve lost enough weight to where I was looking too thin on low calorie (WW, Dr Fuhrman, etc) in the past, but after a while I gained it back. The diets weren’t sustainable. Since the 5:2,is easy for me now, I’m pretty sure it will be sustainable. I don’t feel deprived.
16 Jul 17
It’s interesting that we tend to focus on one aspect of a fat loss plan and tend to discount others. Of course it’s not just us but almost everyone that wants to lose weight. Eat fat, don’t eat fat, low carb, no carb, no sugar, fast, don’t fast, eat breakfast, don’t eat breakfast, eat only cabbage etc! LOL
We all want a magic bullet to make the fat go away.
In fact there are many factors that contribute to how much fat we lose and how healthy we are. Some key ones are:
Total calories consumed
Leaky gut / inflammation
Carbohydrate sensitivity / Insulin responsiveness
Body comp / % of muscle
Prescription drug side effects
For example ~70% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, magnesium and zinc. These are vital for 100’s of enzymes that activate or deactivate genes and other key processes. Just about everyone eats foods like dairy, eggs, wheat and corn oils that may be inflammatory to them. (I was tested and dairy is a no no for me) An inflamed body is a very unhappy body that can be resistant to fat loss. After I cut out the dairy many cravings and joint aches went away.
Some of these things are easy to fix; IE get your vitamin D checked and take the pill! Others are more challenging.
5:2 and it’s variants are a very good start to better health and weight loss but I urge you to take a more holistic view of what you can do to improve body composition and increase healthspan
As @driverdog just listed there are many variables involved with how much fat we have. It gets even more complex because our metabolism changes based on many of those variables. For example:
Eating more -> can increase metabolism
Eating less -> can decrease metabolism
In my case I seem to have a threshold on refined sugar, less than 20g/day I don’t have problems, more than 50g/day my middle expands. Others have noted the meal timing doesn’t seem to make a difference to them, but it does to me, although it is less important than the amount of refined sugar I consume.
That is the problem, many variables, many dependent interactions, and many differences between people. No wonder it is a struggle to figure out what works for oneself. Someone figures out what works for them, shares it and for most others it doesn’t work. This causes a lot of confusion.
People on prescription drugs likely have it much harder and may have to work with a doctor. Some drugs require certain eating patterns. I’ve managed to stay off of drugs and I’m lucky to have found a doctor that has worked with me. A decade ago he thought I needed to start taking prescription drugs to control my blood pressure. However he agreed to work with me on diet and exercise. It took years but I’ve still off the drugs and my last blood pressure check was 114/72 vs 140+/90+ when we started. I’m glad driverdog put that in his list because it probably has huge impacts on many people and I’ve been lucky so I don’t think about it.
Another point that came up … there are a lot of different sleeping schedules. Some make it easier for no breakfast. Even in my case I typically have breakfast 2 or even 3 hours after I get up. I think an important thing is trying to have at least 12 hours between that last meal and the first meal.
Another thing one could put on the list is “motivation”. I was much more motivated when I was obese vs now. If you have motivation it is easier to make the harder choices that make the differences. Now that I’m at a fat level that people don’t think I’m fat, I’ve lost a lot of my motivation and I’m sure that has had an impact on my continuing fat loss.
17 Jul 17
A few days away and lovely smoked salmon breakfasts each day. The rest of the meals were fish, olive oil, salads… 4 lbs heavier.
dykask interesting you say about your motivation when obese. I wonder also if there is something going biologically too. I notice my initial weight loss some years ago I have been able to maintain, but the extra stone I keep losing and regaining places me between the over weight and higher healthy BMI range. I don’t look obese but just look bigger. When I lose some weight these days, I find that my appetite increases and often (as my name implies and my previous posts indicate) I’ll overeat/binge again and regain it all. I have thought that was to do with motivation but also wonder if something biologically is going on.
I also find when very overweight people are sympathetic to losing weight, when the BMI sits within a healthy range I personally really need support to stay there – I’ve realized I can’t do it on my own, but that’s the point where others in the house say “you’re fine and start buying bread, cereals, cakes again…. I like to blame others as you can see 🙂
So there are so many factors that come into play.
What do you all feel about denying yourself foods? I try not to deny any foods if I fancy it, have some, However, this doesn’t work well with certain foods i.e I have some and want more! I know on a previous forum people suggested avoiding high sugar foods and I certainly know not to keep biscuits next to me at work (a stressful day and they would all be gone).
Again, if having no breakfast buy lunchtime I crave something nutritious.
12 Aug 17
Fruit and fibre, and special flakes. I had a friend who said he kept buying a box a day because he had high cholesterol wanted to be healthy, when he started eating he would polish off the whole box. Thinking breakfast is healthy he kept trying to just have one bowl but felt he always wanted more. He said he always felt hungry and never satisfied and when he started eating cereal first thing, he felt his appetite wanted more. He gained weight. Yet I have other friends who can have one small bowl a day, stay slim and satisfied.
Just thought I would share as too about to go sweat with a cereal breakfast eating bunch.
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