I have a reputation for being a known skipper of breakfast.
I would wait until 2pm until I had my first meal and during the time of “fasting” I would drink water and coffee. But…
I recently went on my honeymoon and during that time I stayed at some hotel and each place I stayed at had FREE breakfast.
I was on my honeymoon and the breakfast was free…
What’s a guy to do?
So I did what almost every guy would do in that situation: I ate the breakfast. Ooooh, and it was goood.
Omelettes, pastries, yogurts…heck they even had a chinese instant noodle section in one of the buffets.
I ate that too.
3 weeks straight I ate my breakfast pretty much upon waking up.
Here’s what I learned…
3 BIG Lessons From Eating First Thing in the Morning
Lesson #1 – After the first week I started to get hungry first thing in the morning. After the 2nd week I was ravenous.
My hunger started to correlate with the times I ate it. It would literally grumble as if I was depriving it of nourishment.
This is a far cry from how I normally am. When I’m at home I’m not thinking about food in the morning. I get up, I do my morning ritual and get on with my work day.
I can usually last until 2-3pm until I have my first meal.
But after eating breakfast first thing upon waking 7 days straight?
My body craved food first thing in the morning. Not because of the need of energy but just for the need of eating.
After the 2nd week it was as if my body NEEDED to eat breakfast. It was like a caged animal who hadn’t eaten in 3 days. It was ravenous.
Key Takeaway – We train our hunger or we let our hunger train us.
What we do on a regular basis is what our bodies will be accustomed to. If you fast it in the morning regularly it will respond by not being hungry.
If you eat breakfast first thing in the morning regularly then it will respond by being hungry first thing in the morning.
What is more convenient for you?
I don’t know about your situation but I know mine and having hunger as the first thing I think about in the morning is a large inconvenience.
I would rather be thinking about slaying dragons (ie. being productive and effective) than have a need to fill my stomach in the morning with all sorts of nonsense.
Lesson #2 – I gained weight as a result.
Even though I had breakfast first thing in the morning I still had room for my regular meals during the day.
This means that in addition to breakfast I was taking in with breakfast I was still having my regular lunches and dinners.
This added an extra 400 to 500 calories to my daily meals.
Do this 3 weeks straight with physical activity limited to surfing, snorkeling and swimming and you can be sure those calories would be coming in the form of fat.
When I came home and stepped on the scale, unsurprisingly, I gained 4 lbs as a result of my eating habits on vacation.
Key Takeaway – If you add one more meal to your current meal schedule then you will gain more weight.
I know, I’m being captain obvious but adding an extra meal to anyone’s diet will usually lead to weight gain.
Why add an extra meal if you don’t have to?
Lesson #3 – Eating first thing in the morning lead to less energy afterwards and lots of bloating.
It’s funny because the old ways tell you that “a good day starts with a good breakfast.”
What a crock of shit.
In my case, I found myself to be a bit lazier and more lethargic as a result of eating first thing in the morning.
What most people don’t realize is that digestion takes up a lot of energy. When we eat our bodies use energy to digest our foods.
Also, fasting is more energizing than people give it credit for.
This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.
Imagine that you are a caveman and you were in charge of hunting for the tribe.
IF your brain slowed down due to having zero food in your stomach that would result in a pretty shitty hunt and our families would probably starve.
But that’s not what happens.
In a fasted state, our brains actually work the same, if not better.
Dr. Mark Mattson, professor of Neurology at John Hopkins University, found that fasting has been shown to increase rates of neurogenesis in the brain.
Neurogenesis is the growth and development of new brain cells and nerve tissues. Higher rates of neurogenesis have been linked to increased performance, memory, mood and focus.
When we are fasting we set off a host of neurotransmitters in our brain that make us more focused an alert.
But we don’t get to enjoy these benefits if we’re stuffing a blueberry danish in our mouths first thing upon waking.
Key Takeaway – Having an empty stomach in the morning can lead to better performance.
I know some really smart people. I work with a lot of them too.
When I put them on a breakfast skipping protocol ALL of them report feelings of energy and enhanced focused.
Over a period of 7-14 days they don’t even think about it anymore. It becomes a natural part of their day.
I know I’m kinda shitting on breakfast but for good reason:
If you’re not a professional athlete, construction worker or anyone else that has a physically demanding job…
If your work is of the mental nature and you sit for long periods of time..
If you want control over your hunger, perform better and have more focus in your line of work…
Then you probably don’t need breakfast first thing in the morning.
Breakfast is a largely a choice we make. Usually the choice is not made for more energy but for the simple act of pleasuring the mouth. It’s not something that we need to do but something that we make excuses for doing.
And for people like myself, who workout from time to time but spend most of their days sitting down, it’s largely an inconvenience.
Skipping your breakfast is easy and has its benefits.
Give it a shot for at least 7 days straight, drink lots of water, and see how your body and hunger adapt as a result.
Unless you’re getting free breakfast on your vacation or honeymoon then it’s something that you can avoid 😉