Skip Breakfast: Store Fat

The Squad August 21, 2012 2

You have plenty of reasons to skip breakfast: You’re sleep-deprived, you’re too busy to make something, eating first thing in the morning unsettles your stomach.  But regardless of your reason, if you skip it you’re going to put on more fat.  “When people skip breakfast, their levels of insulin, a hormone that stores fat, rise at the next meal they eat,” says Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., a nutritionist in Los Angeles.  So if you skip your first meal, you’re more likely to store more of your next meal as fat.

Also, when you wait too long between meals (skipping breakfast means 12+ hours between dinner and lunch) your muscle is likely to cannibalize itself in order to get the essential amino acids your body needs to function.

Enough of the excuses: Breakfast is key if you want to slim down, add muscle, and succeed at work.

The good news is you don’t have to eat before you leave home. “As long as you don’t train in the morning, there’s no detriment or risk of muscle loss if you lag on consuming breakfast,” says Alan Aragon, M.S., a nutritionist in Westlake Village, California. So bring something to work with you (try these muscle-building ideas), eat it when you’re hungry, and reap these benefits of a better body.

From Men’s Health, here are 3 reasons why you need breakfast:

More Muscle
If you want a lean, muscular body, you can’t skip breakfast. Since your tank is empty, your body is highly receptive to nutrients—so fill up with the right ones to jumpstart protein synthesis and muscle building.

In the a.m., your body is in a state similar to the one you reach post-workout, Aragon says. “Muscle protein synthesis is low in the morning, so if you can spark that, you’re contributing to your overall goal of maintaining or gaining muscle tissue.” And more muscle means you burn more calories throughout the day.

A mix of protein (such as yogurt) and a small amount of carbohydrates (a piece of fruit) will give your muscles energy and help you maintain what you’ve worked so hard at the gym to achieve.

Less Fat
Seventy-five percent of the guys in our Belly Off! Club eat breakfast every day—and they’ve lost 50, 70, and sometimes more than 100 pounds.

Eating in the morning makes you less likely to overeat during the day since your blood sugar will remain steady—as long as you don’t overdose on carbohydrates. Another reason to favor protein and fat: You’ll boost your metabolism and feel fuller longer—meaning you’ll stay away from the snack machine.

But breakfast does more than just prevent a grumbling stomach during your morning meeting.  Have something to eat, and and as we pointed out earlier you’ll keep insulin levels low so you burn fat instead.

Why not make some eggs? In a study in the International Journal of Obesity, men on reduced-calorie diets ate either two eggs or a bagel for breakfast. Although both meals contained the same number of calories, those who ate eggs lost 65 percent more weight after 8 weeks.

Better Concentration and Productivity
While cereal companies have funded most of the studies on breakfast’s impact on students’ academic performance, a morning meal is good for your brain. Several other studies show the regular consumption of breakfast improves performance, attention, and concentration.

Think about it: You’ve fasted all night long—your brain needs fuel to comprehend all those spreadsheets and red-flagged e-mails your boss sends. But a bowl of Reese’s Puffs isn’t the best thing to grab. Anything that tastes like dessert will only lead to a sugar rush—and then a crash. And who needs that at 10 a.m.? If you want cereal, stick with muesli, Bowden says. Try it with yogurt, berries, and nuts for a great mix of protein, fats, and carbs.


  1. Doug August 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    The article mentions “not too many” carbohydrates a few times. How much is too much? My morning meal is a smoothie of a cup of strawberries, a cup of blueberries, one peach (or a navel orange, depending on the season), a cup of almond milk, and a scoop of whey protein. This is by far the bulk of my day’s carbs/sugars. Is it bad to load up on them all at once in the morning, or is it OK because you spend the rest of the day burning them off? This approach has proven to be the best way for me to load up on the vitamins, fiber, and other good stuff in fruit – other than a pre-workout banana, I don’t really see fruit fitting into the rest of my day. (It’s too hard to store at work, for example.)

    • The Squad August 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      Doug, that’s a loaded question. Everyone’s carb intake is different, so I wouldn’t ever dare addressing it in such a general fashion. The only thing that I would directly say is that though you’re good to eat the natural foods you’re eating, be wary of eating so many sugars. If the bulk of the carbs you’re eating are fruits, I’d be willing to bet you’re not eating enough complex carbs for ongoing energy. Fruits are good, but only when part of a fully-balanced nutrition plan. If I were you I’d throw into that some granola or oatmeal.

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