These findings contradict the longstanding belief that abstaining from breakfast sets you up to overcompensate later in the day. What’s more, simple calorie reduction may not be the only benefit of ditching an a.m. meal. Other research has shown that fasting in the morning can prime your body to burn more fat. “You’re already burning body fat for energy when you wake up in the morning, since your body has used up all its carbohydrates overnight,” says Julian Whitaker, MD, founder of the Whitaker Wellness Institute and author of The Mini-Fast Diet. “If you eat, you disrupt this fat burning and your body starts using the food for energy, so you end up storing fat, rather than burning it.” To maximize this morning fat burn, Whitaker recommends working out on an empty stomach. Your sweat sessions will be fueled by stored body fat, rather than carbs, he says.
But that doesn’t mean forgoing breakfast is the right move for everyone. “If you’re at a healthy weight and you prefer eating breakfast, then by all means continue to do so,” says Whitaker. “But if you’re trying to lose weight, delaying your first meal can be an effective way to save calories and burn more fat.”
Whether you choose to eat breakfast or omit it, one thing’s for certain: Making smart food choices is a surefire way to shed pounds and stay fit. Here are 4 Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas.