Should I Eat Breakfast or Intermittent Fast??
Learn to listen to your body for the answer.
Intermittent Fasting is all the rage, but we’ve also been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You can find studies that support the value of both, so which is it? Well, like everything in nutrition, it depends. We are all bio-individual, meaning our bodies function uniquely and nutritional requirements vary from person to person. There is no one right way to eat or one-size-fits-all “diet”. I encourage you to learn to listen to your body, experiment to find which one works better for you and be flexible and willing to mix things up when your body asks you for a change.
How do I listen to my body?
IFing might be beneficial for you if while doing it you experience the majority of the following:
- increased energy
- increased mental clarity and focus
- weight loss (if that is a goal, not good if your BMI is already under 20)
- ability to go through your fast without much hunger
If, however, you feel the opposite, your body may be telling you that it is not a fan of Intermittent Fasting:
- less energy, sluggish
- brain fog, inability to focus
- no weight loss or weight gain, even with reduced calories
- relenting hunger during your fast
- dizzy or lightheaded
It’s important for anyone under an excessive amount of stress (emotional, physical, mental, environmental, etc.) to consider a more routined eating schedule so as not to further stress your body. Not knowing when its next nutrients will arrive can signal your body to actually hold on to fat stores for later use.
If you eat a nutrient-dense breakfast and feel satisfied, energized, can go until lunch (4-5 hours) without snacking, then your body is saying “thank you!” to the boost of nutrients you gave it to start the day.
However, it’s not just about when you eat but what you eat. Starting the day with sugary, processed foods like cereal and milk (25-35 grams of sugar), a bagel, even yogurt with granola and berries, can spike your blood sugar and result in energy dips and a need to eat again in an hour or two.
It’s not just about when you eat but what you eat.
Fuel your body with nutrient-dense, whole foods and listen to how your body responds. The goal is to be able to go 4-5 hours with sustained energy and clarity as well as a balanced mood. My next post will be an assortment of delicious breakfasts that are easy to make or prep ahead and will have you full of energy until lunch…stay tuned!