For the past year, I haven’t been eating breakfast. This was a massive transition for myself since I grew up eating breakfast for 18 years prior. So, what was it that made me switch?
There are several internet personalities that I loved watching, like Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Alex Becker. They are prominent entrepreneurs starting promoting this diet known as “Intermittent fasting.” You put your body into a fasted state (A state where you don’t eat any food) for 16–18 hours every day. I gave it a try, and honestly, I’ve never felt better. Here’s why:
Why Is Skipping Breakfast Not Good?
The digestive process is huge in the body. It draws a ton of energy to break down food, burn food, and give your body fuel. This is the energy that could be used for your brain to think and to work through issues that you’ll face in the morning. (Quick disclaimer: I would recommend intermittent fasting for an office employee or a student, not a construction worker. If your job is highly physical, eat breakfast). Because my body doesn’t have to divert energy into breaking down food, I feel much more alert, focused, and have less “brain fog” early in the morning.
But wait, the food you’re eating will give you more energy. So isn’t it worth it to eat food and use the power for breaking down food, so that you’ll gain more energy?
There are two reasons why this line of thought doesn’t work. First off, the digestive process takes around 6 to 8 hours to digest food and stop using energy entirely. If you take a standard intermittent fasting diet, which is not to eat food between 6 pm and 11 am, that means your body will stop diverting energy to digestion around 2 am. From there, you have the time you wake up until lunchtime to be running at full capacity.
Secondly, and most importantly, it’s not like the body is running on fumes when you’re in a fasted state. There’s a reason that the organization has fat reserves. Once you run out of an immediate source of energy (food), your body doesn’t just stop working. It will draw on your fat, and you’ll burn the same number of calories as you would if you were eating.
More To Know
The idea of long-term metabolism damage doesn’t hold up for one big reason. Let’s go back 40,000 years when the first homo sapiens were alive before ample food and preservation. At this time, humans acted as animals did, and it means that humans didn’t have a breakfast time, lunchtime, and dinner time, and it also means that humans would often have to go 16, 24, or more hours without having food. Also, humans were continually moving to lift and climbing while in a fasted state, something that nobody today has to do.
So what does this mean? It means that for at least 35,000 years of human evolution, we regularly fasted, and we were okay. It’s only in the last 5,000 years that human civilization advanced enough that the majority of us were able to eat right before bed and again right in the morning.