Ah, the most important meal of the day—-breakfast.
The meal where eggs, bacon, and toast run rampant, where omelettes are the king all breakfast foods, and where sometimes you sneak in a cheat meal under the guise of gluten-free pancakes and syrup.
But, for the last 4 years, I didn’t eat breakfast ever, until last month.
Before I tell you why I started again, it’s important to tell you why I stopped in the first place.
There’s an eating method called intermittent fasting, this method popularized by Martin Berkhan (leangains.com) that I subscribed to for a long period of time with a lot of success. The basic premise is that you have an eight hour feeding window, then sixteen hours of not eating; the idea being that fasting makes it easier to burn fat, and eating in eight hours make it harder to store excess fat.
And for a long time, it worked really, really well.
Then, things started to get busy, and it stopped working. One day i’d be up at 430am, the next at 8am. Some nights i’d be up until 2 am working on things, others i’d be passed out on the couch by 10pm.
There was no consistency, and it was killing my meal times.
Intermittent fasting works extraordinarily well when you have a consistent schedule, and are asleep for a good chunk of your fast. It also works well when you’re not a huge eater, like having the ability to put down 2000 to 3000 calories in a meal full of quality food choices. Both of these problems made “IF” as it’s called, really difficult to sustain. I started missing my window, always feeling hungry in the morning, and couldn’t keep up.
So now, I eat breakfast, as long as it subscribes to a few of my “rules”
Rule #1: No Carbs in the Morning
Unless I’m about to start training, or just finished training, I don’t have carbs in my morning. Eating a nice dose of healthy fats, protein, and a little vegetable makes me full, clear, and ready to take on the day. It also has the nice side effect of helping me get leaner and burn fat. Win, Win.
Rule #2: Nothing massive in calories
This helps keep me from having a 4 egg omelet with cheese, avocado, bacon, and a side of cottage cheese. Healthy? Sure, until you look at the 900-1100 calorie bomb you just had in one sitting. Not the best for body recomposition goals.
Rule #3: No Skimping Out on Breakfast
If you’re going to eat breakfast, eat. If you’re not, don’t. Don’t be half way in and half way out. Inconsistency is the whole reason I stopped Intermittent Fasting—I’m not about to jump off it just to be inconsistent here.
So, breakfast, no breakfast, there really isn’t one superior answer, except to stick with what you can do long term without being miserable. If you are cranky and hungry without eating, definitely eat, breakfast, and eat it every day. If you’re not hungry ever in the morning, wait until lunch, and then eat appropriately.