T Nation

How Important Is Breakfast?


#1

I pretty much always skip it despite what I’ve been told from being young. Is it that important if I eat enough the rest of the day? And if so would a protein shake with some oats in be enough?


#2

It’s probably healthier in terms of longevity not to eat breakfast.


#3

I don’t think they say to eat it just for the sake of it.

If you eat it, it helps you not overeat later and helps your body keep its natural fasting and eating rhythm intact. Most people who skip it tend to eat lots of food later at night past dinner time which isn’t good.

Eating a good big breakfast will help your strength gains too. If you have a shake it might not be enough calories as breakfast is recommended to be 25-30% of daily calories total.

You could have extra stuff with the shake like banana’s and a granola bar just for more calories.


#4

Could you explain why please?


#5

Those are good points you make, thank you. I do tend to eat a lot after my dinner in the evening and it’d probably give me more energy in the day

It boils down to me being lazy and wanting to sleep the absolute longest I can, I often wake up 10 minutes before I leave the house.


#6

Intermittent fasting does a lot of the same things that a low calorie diet does in terms of gene activation and hormones and should have many of the same health benefits. People who eat very low calorie diets live longer and so should people who intermittently fast. One way to intermittently fast is to not eat until the afternoon.


#7

That’s something I hadn’t heard before. Thank you.


#8

How important is it for what?

For dropping fat? Not very important. Forms of intermittent fasting seem to work well for cutting.

For adding size? Kind of important, because it gives you more time through the day to get your calories, but certainly not mandatory.

For health, meh. I wouldn’t discount what DD said. I’d just put it breakfast in a “take it or leave it”-category instead of saying whether it’s “important” or not. You could probably make the argument that a macro-dense breakfast with greens, healthy fats, and quality protein might, in the long-term, be as healthful as the low calorie/IF approach.


#9

About 3-4 hours, I usually wake up at about 9am and eat around 12-1.

I’d say my main goal right now is getting stronger, I should have been more specific. I’m also trying to get into good eating habits which will last me a lifetime.

Thank you for your answers.


#10

You’re essentially inadvertently using IF then, which uses a “feeding window”. I personally eat between the hours of 12 noon and 8pm the majority of the week. This has kept me more likely to stick to my diet for some reason, but if you look up IF, people talk about an increase in mental clarity, focus, and energy that they feel when eating like this. I can testify to that experience for myself. I have lost nearly 40lbs on it as well.

Once I reach my goal weight, I am going to start trying to do a lean bulk for strength building, so I will be eating at a surplus. I am very interested too see how i feel eat the same pattern but trying to go up, not down!


#11

If you work manual labor, very important.

I don’t do well without breakfast and four hours on the line. (I’m a chef)


#12

Very much going to second above. It really does depend on YOU, i for example work a desk job and my lunch is at 12 every day so it makes it simply for me.


#13

Just wanted to note that in the subtext of what I wrote I would assume all other things being equal. So given the same overall food/nutrient/calorie intake, doing some fasting is probably beneficial for longevity. That said, if fasting leads you to binge on donuts at 1:30 when if you’d eaten a healthy breakfast you could have stuck to a healthy lunch, fasting would be decidedly unhealthy. Specific effects of fasting aside, overall food/nutrient intake is more important.


#14

There is nothing inherently wrong with that schedule for eating. The only thing is that if you want to gain weight and can’t, you may want to consider increasing the length of your feeding window (starting to eat earlier) so you can get in more calories. Although getting in more calories in less time is also trainable, and you can get used to eating large amounts of food in less time if you work into it.


#15

Sorry for the multiple posts here, but I also just wanted to note I only really eat 1 meal a day and once I’m finished with my current cut I plan to try to bulk with only 1 meal. We’ll see how it goes.


#16

Thank you everyone for your replies, they’ve given me something to think about.


#17

Aren’t you in Keto too?


#18

I don’t specifically know, but I do eat very low carbs and moderate protein (I eat a fat based diet).


#19

I sometimes do this as well and don’t have time to make my usual 6 scrambled eggs + sides lol. If I miss I try to eat within 2 hours of waking up and have most of my lunch earlier so more calories is in earlier.
I did IF as well and for leaning out its good but not strength I found.


#20

Theres no way I can skip breakfast. I eat at 5:30 in the morning(5-6 eggs and potatoes with toast) during the week and usually by 8:00 on the weekends. Ill usually eat again by 9:00 during the week. I guess that still counts as breakfast…2nd breakfast anyway. Then Lunch around noon.Protein shake around 2-3. Dinner is usually pretty late after my wife gets home around 7:30 PM
Breakfast is very important IMO. sets the stage for the day.