What Happens When You Don’t Eat Breakfast
It’s one of those straight-line ideas that seem to make lots of sense for weight loss: if you don’t eat breakfast, you’ll be eating less food overall and you’ll lose weight.
We all love the idea of fast, easy ways to lose weight and what could be simpler than skipping a meal you don’t have time for anyway? It’s like weight loss with zero effort.
Except there’s a good chance you won’t lose weight, and, when you consider all the other things skipping breakfast might do to your body, it’s far from easy.
1. Can Increase Unhealthy Cravings
When your body doesn’t get the fuel it needs when it needs it, it can put your appetite into “hyper-drive” to get energy. That can trigger cravings for high-energy, low-nutrition sugar and other simple carbs, which are the arch enemy of weight loss.
2. Can Cause an Energy Crisis
Starting about an hour before you wake up and lasting an hour or two after, your body releases proteins and hormones to help you wake up and start your day. When it goes through that process without energy from breakfast, it can cause your energy levels to plummet later.
3. Can Trick Your Body into Storing Fat
Your body is really smart. It knows it needs a certain amount of energy and nutrition to keep all its systems running tickety-boo. When there’s any threat to those levels, even before there’s actually any negative effect on your health, your body can set off defense mechanisms that start storing fat, just in case it needs it later.
4. Can Increase How much you Eat Overall During the Day
You know what it’s like when you’re absolutely starving. You’ll eat just about anything and it’ll be gone before you know it. Not eating breakfast can spike your appetite so that you’ll look for the shortest route to the most food, like hitting the fast-food outlet for a high-calorie burger and fries – and maybe even a chocolate shake because you’re absolutely starving. And eating it quickly can mean you’ll still be hungry, and want even more food, after you’re finished.
5. Can Make You ‘Hangry’
That hilarious Brady Bunch Snickers TV commercial about getting a little hostile when you’re hungry is based in fact. Hunger makes it more difficult to control your emotional responses. That’s why you really can be hangry if you skip breakfast.
6. Can Slow Down Your Metabolism
This is another one of those powerful reactions your body can have when it senses even a hint of a threat to your survival. Eating breakfast helps add fuel to those jump-starting proteins and hormones that your body releases in the morning, which revs up your metabolism and burns more calories. Skipping breakfast tricks your body into thinking that something’s wrong. The first thing it does is slow down your metabolism to burn fewer calories to conserve energy.
7. Can Cause Brain Fog
Even though it doesn’t beat like your heart, or do the work of your muscles, your brain uses a lot of energy. In fact, your brain uses more energy than any other organ in your body; up to 20% of your body’s total energy consumption. If there’s any dip in that energy supply, like from skipping breakfast, it can affect your brain’s ability to do its job, like think clearly, concentrate and remember things.
So not only does skipping breakfast not necessarily mean you’ll lose weight, it can actually lead to weight gain, and a few other nasty symptoms too. To learn more about safe, healthy ways of losing weight and keeping it off, talk to the nutritional counsellors at your local Herbal One Centre. They can develop a program specifically for your needs and offer the help and support you need to make it a success.