Do you skip breakkie?

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

I used to skip breakfast every day.  I don’t seem to be able to eat first thing in the morning.  I physically can’t move my mouth so soon after waking up.  That meant I’d usually be hungry mid-morning and fall in to the trap of snacking sugary, carb laden treats rather than something that would keep me satisfied until lunch time.  I have only started regularly eating breakfast in the last two years or so, but even then it’s usually a couple of hours after waking up.

In an article in December’s Top Sante magazine the debate of whether skipping breakfast is any better or worse for weight loss seems still up for debate.  It records that more people are skipping breakfast putting it down to time restrictions, or jumping on the latest intermittent fasting fad.  It seems the benefits of fasting and skipping breakfast are no more than eating a good breakfast and cutting out the morning snacking.

A trail in 2014 investigated whether eating breakfast versus skipping it over a 16 week period had any impact on weight loss.  It concluded that there was no improvement in weight loss associated with eating breakfast relative to skipping breakfast. Further studies tested the belief that skipping breakfast lead to more snacking late in the day and that eating breakfast helps improve satiety for the rest of the day.  Again, they concluded no consistent evidence one way or the other.  Researchers did find that those who eat breakfast tended to follow a healthier lifestyle generally, exercise more, got to bed earlier, consume more fibre and smoke and drink less.

The article reported that those who skip breakfast tend to have high blood sugar, acid and blood pressure levels and lower HDL cholesterol.  They are more likely to have higher body weight, greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and increased chances of clogging arteries.  This can result in a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, regardless of whether they have history of poor health or not.

In a different trial lean and obese participants cut out breakfast for an extended period. Those that ate breakfast had to eat at least 700 calories by 11am with a minimum of 50% of those within two hours of getting up.  It seemed that eating breakfast resulted in a drop in fat burning genes in the lean individuals.  That’s because the body switches to burning the food that has been consumed, rather than body fat.  When those participants then changed to skipping breakfast, their body fat burning improved.  In a fasted state the body moved to burning body fat to fuel their day.  Therefore if you are lean and active, some fasting may improve your ability to burn body fat.

With the obsess group of participants when they ate breakfast it resulted in a drop in fat burning genes and decreased the activity of genes involved in insulin resistant.  Eating breakfast in this group improved their ability to take up carbohydrates and glucose control.  Eating breakfast helped this group. For this group skipping breakfast increased inflammation which worsens glucose control. It worsened blood glucose response to lunch.

So, it seems that if you are overweight, the right kind of breakfast appears to be important for protecting against Type 2 Diabetes and other adverse health effects of high blood sugar.  If you’re active and have a healthy body weight occasionally skipping breakfast can support metabolic health.  Essentially, an individualised approach is important, context matters.

As someone who fits in the overweight category, I eat oats based pancakes and half a grapefruit for breakfast a couple of hours after waking on the days I’m at work.  It usually keeps me satisfied until lunch time.  It hasn’t helped me lose any weight, but at least I’m not trying to fill up on cake and biscuits instead. I don’t tend to eat breakfast on a Friday when I’m at home.  Saturday’s is a bit of a bad habit of bacon buttie, but then no breakfast on Sunday.

Do you eat or skip breakfast?  What’s you go to breakkie?


One thought on “Do you skip breakkie?

  1. I can happily live without breakfast. I do have breakfast though, but like you, probably not for 2-3 hours after I wake up. I prefer savoury breakfasts, veggie omelette, boiled egg, bacon sandwich and the like. I find cereal doesn’t keep me full until lunch. Luckily I have the luxury of being able to make a savoury breakfast most days 😋


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