It’s no secret that intermittent fasting is advisable for a plethora of benefits including weight loss, gut health, improved digestion, better sleep and focus.
The optimum time to fast is between 12-16 hours which means you may have to adjust your eating patterns. As such, many often ask is it necessary that you skip breakfast when intermittent fasting?
If you eat late in the day for example your last meal is at 9pm then if you fast for the minimum time of 12 hours, then your next meal should be at 9am, which is most likely past breakfast time.
And if you’re fasting for even longer, such as 14-16 hours to maximise on weight loss benefits, then the earliest you can eat is between 11am to 1pm, which is closer to lunch time.
Also, if you’re finding yourself not feeling hungry, then skipping breakfast is a good way to get back in touch with your hunger signals.
If you find yourself not feeling hungry at breakfast then it could be a sign that your insulin is not working as it should and is expecting calories at a different time of day.
If on the other hand you find it hard to miss breakfast and find your energy levels dipping without your morning meal, then you might chose to finish your last meal at say 6pm which would allow you to have breakfast between 6am-10am.
Some people find that if they skip breakfast then they can overeat later on in the day due to excessive hunger which is not ideal when fasting.
The key when intermittent fasting is really to ensure that you give your body a break from eating for at least 12 hours, which doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to only have two meals during the day.
It’s quite feasible that you have breakfast at 6am, lunch at 12 then dinner at say 5.30pm so you finish your last meal by 6pm.
Finishing your last meal by 6pm may also help you sleep better too, giving enough time for your body to digest its meal before bedtime.
Studies have shown that eating late into the night can lead to a higher calorie intake and eventually lead to a higher BMI.
So, should you skip breakfast? Work out when your last meal of the day is and don’t eat until 12-16 hours later – if that means you have to skip breakfast and your body feels ok doing that, then yes.
If on the other hand you find yourself feeling ravenous and low in energy, then simply finish your last meal of the day earlier so you can start your first meal at breakfast time.