T Nation

Skipping Breakfast is the Way to Go? WTF


#1

http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/nutrition/logic-does-not-apply-part-2-breakfast/

I'm interested in getting some opinions on this article. I've always laboured under the assumption that be it bulk or cut, you get that breakfast down your gullet as fast as you can once you wake.
This is...well, a paradigm shift if true.


#2

I was under that assumption for a long time too. I have been doing IF for the past 2 weeks and it seems to be working. I don't eat my first meal until 1:30 in the afternoon.


#3

I mean if your bulking or trying to get big, eat breakfast. I could see how it would help you lose weight. Shit eat less, lose weight. That's obvious.


#4

For the longest time I forced myself to choke down breakfast, thinking all my muscle would melt away if I didn't. Bullshit. For the past few weeks I've been doing 16/8 fasting, my first meal is around 1-2pm. I'm getting leaner, and I'm making strength gains. Check out the intermittent fasting thread here, also look up Leangains to learn more.


#5

At least 3 people would die every morning if I didn't get to eat until 1:30pm.


#6

And that is my PWO meal too. So I train on an empty stomach (well, there are BCAAs in there).
I actually find it easier and more satisfying to have larger meals and go to bed full. Just me. It's not for everybody, but for those of us who try it and like it, it is an alternative.


#7

Started skipping breakfast when I read the carb back-loading article. The whole thing works with my natural tendency to want not to do anything when I wake up (namely cook) and also to eat more as the day rolls along. I'm happy, alert, workouts have been productive, and surprisingly enough, my muscles haven't evaporated into thin air.


#8

Same here. When I wake up I have two requirements:
1. Don't talk to me
2. Give me food within 30 minutes.


#9

Breakfast is my personal favorite meal. It always has been.

As for the article, what it suggests to me is that fasted AM cardio has benefits over fed AM cardio, as many a bodybuilder could tell you.

I believe some similar benefits can be obtained via a lower CHO breakfast, as has been suggested my various studies, as well as trainers and nutritionists. In fact, with the right low CHO meal, you could have much of the protein-sparing, muscle building affect of breakfast, without the same level of fat oxidation blunt one might get from a high CHO breakfast.

The fact is that some of the literature Kiefer sites is showing differences between crappy breakfasts and no breakfasts at all. I must agree that with the option of having a couple pop tarts, or opting out of the meal entirely, one might do better on a cut with the latter.

That being said, if one is trying to increase muscle, why then would one skip ANY meal?

My 2 cents.

MID


#10

Because it may be more metabolically advantageous to eat those calories at another time in the day.


#11

If you read more of his stuff, he states that skipping breakfast is not a long-term strategy and is only used for fat loss. A more moderate approach he recommends is having a small breakfast of protein powder (a particular blend) and something like heavy cream to slow it down. When focused on gaining mass he says he doesn't skip breakfast, for the exact reason you're stating--you need all the meals you can get. I'm sure he would in fact suggest a low-carb breakfast, just as you are.

In light of all the other things he's been saying, I took it more as a shot at breakfast being the most important meal of the day and needing to therefore be large (and carby).


#12

This is going to turn into a "don't fuck with my breakfast" thread.

This should have been posted in the IF or Carb-Back Loading thread. You've been here for 2 and a half years, not cool OP.


#13

This is what I have done for the past 2 years and I love it. I have never been able to tolerate a large breakfast (a small one barely) and if I manage to get one down I am not able to eat again for 4 hours or so. I now just make a shake of 2 cups of whole milk and 2 scoops of whey with a banana. With this I can have a full meal within 2 hours and every 2 hours after that consistently. I'm still gaining weight and strength. I don't care what someone says is better, this works for me.


#14

I agree that for fat loss it may be metabolically advantageous, however, it has been well-established that heightened insulin sensitivity is present upon waking (see refs below). This sensitivity decreases as the day progress, though this could be attributable to diet/the affects from feeding (though hormonal fluctuations that are independent of feeding have been suggested to interact here).

Even if feeding was the main cause of reductions in insulin sensitivity, it would still suggest that the first meal of the day (no matter the name of the meal) would have a highly anabolic affect on one's tissue, espeically if that person weight trained and had skeletal muscle protein degradation and/or depleted glycogen.

One may be missing out if attempting to build muscle and skipping breakfast OR (depending on the extent to which insulin sensitivity is dependent on factors independent of feeding) by having their first meal not containing CHO with PRO in higher amounts.

If one were to consume a similar meal later in the day (even with differences in athlete insulin sensitivity taken in to account), the literature I have read suggests that it would be more adipogenic and less anabolic to skeletal muscle.

MID

REFS:

DIURNAL VARIATION IN INSULIN SENSITIVITY
T. Gibson and R. J. Jarrett 2003.

Diurnal variations in peripheral insulin resistance and plasma non-esterified fatty acid concentrations: a possible link? Morgan LM, Aspostolakou F, Wright J, Gama R. 1999

Diurnal variation in glucose tolerance. Cyclic suppression of insulin action and insulin secretion in normal-weight, but not obese, subjects. A Lee, M Ader, G A Bray and R N Bergman

A Daily Rhythm in Glucose Tolerance A Role for the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Susanne E. la Fleur, Andries Kalsbeek, Joke Wortel, Madelon L. Fekkes and Ruud M. Buijs


#15

Interesting post. I'm mostly going off the literature I have read, and the fact that I am a staunch breakfast man, but I do wonder if people have been too dogmatic about Bfast.

The first study that really sent people into a whirl around the dogma of breakfast was a correlational study that found that those who ate breakfast tended to be leaner, along with other positive correlations of health. Of course, the moment the media got a hold of this it became gospel.

The truth is, correltational studies are some of the most commonly publicized, but the most misrepresented by the media and misunderstood by the general population. As we all know, correlation is not causation, and so you have to look at other possible causes before you assume anything (and you can never assume causation) from such a study.

I am open to the idea... Just a bit solid in my own experience.

For instance, I didn't have breakfast for three hours after waking today (getting my labs done), and was shaky, starving, and irritable. Even if the majority of the literature disagreed with my view of breakfast being important, I would not deviate from eating it immediately upon rising.

For everyone else, do what works for you and more power to ya.

MID


#16

Need more people doing this ^^^^^

Great!!!


#17

I agree with the above; in fact, if I hadn't read the beginning of the article where he specifically talks about "not eating breakfast", the author could more or less be arguing for a super-low carb breakfast (the kind that many of us enjoy on a daily basis for those of us who are either carb cycling, AD'ing, or Paleo dieting) as opposed to no breakfast at all.

He mentions specifically that the insulin spike early in the morning is problematic; I don't know about you guys, but that insulin spike is a problem pretty much all day with carbs (hence the logic in limiting them) with exception to post-workout.

That's just how I'm seeing it, anyhow... I won't be quitting my high-fat high-protein breakfasts anytime soon; it's all doing exactly what it's supposed to.


#18

The reasoning behind skipping breakfast and the insulin spike is because not only is muscle sensitive and ready to uptake the nutrients. Fat is also primed in the morning. But as the day goes on, like you said, both become less sensitive. But where "we" win is, we train hard priming only the muscle to be insulin sensitive. So you eat the majority of carbs post training to take advantage of this.


#19

Holy shit my head is spinning.

FWIW I do not love breakfast and almost always skip it. The only time I really eat a breakfast is on the weekends and it consists of eggs and bacon and one peice of toast and I'll be damned if I eat it before 10:00 and I wake up at 7:00, so thats three hours right there. Recently I have been eating 2-4 raw eggs in the morning along with my coffee (splenda so no carbs).

This is very interesting and I'll have to do much more reading on this now.

V


#20

Damn, I read the article a few hours too late and had to go regurgitate my breakfast so I could still be down with the latest and greatest research. Ahhhh...feeling much better now.

In all seriousness, though, I have often wondered about breakfast. Personally, the period between 6-10 in the morning seems to be the only time of day when I am NEVER hungry. I always thought that from an evolutionary point-of-view, the body should probably be set up to run around and look for food in the morning, since our caveman ancestors couldn't just walk over to the fridge and start making omelettes.

(That's just an off-the-cuff statement...I don't actually have literature or references to prove that they didn't have refrigerators)