I Have Not Eaten Breakfast In 6 Months
By Erik Walker
Pretty much everyone struggles in some way with body fat. If you don’t, well the rest of us…clear throat… hate you. You freaks can stop reading and go back to your bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast. The rest of us normal people can keep reading. The thing is, people who are serious about cutting fat can do it, but they have to find what works for them. And truth be told, there actually is one way in which EVERYONE can cut fat. It is extremely effective, it is extremely healthy, and it is extremely hard to do:
Only eat things that are green or at one time had a face.
Simple and will work for anyone. ANYONE. But who can do it? No pizza, no sugar, no grains, no BEER!?!? So if you are serious then try it – only green leafy vegetables and meat. But who is that serious? If you are, then please contact us and write a motivational article to get the rest of our asses’ acts together. We want to hear from you. Again, the rest of us normal people can keep reading. The thing is, most of us are not that committed and not that serious about fat loss. I can follow the above plan for about 10 days. And then something will come up and suddenly my fat loss goals take a back seat. Clearly we have to come up with an alternative, and last August I discovered mine. The good news is that I cut body fat while still eating pizza, sugar, grains, and even beer (just limited). The better news is that while working through an injury and eating over the holidays—both of which typically cause me to fatten up—I have managed to keep my body fat percentage at or below 10%. And I have even grown stronger in the process. What I discovered is an athlete’s dream: Carb Back-Loading. I have done numerous versions of it since August with one consistent MUST DO: absolutely NO breakfast.
“I do realize that the gurus across all folds, from medical doctors to bodybuilding coaches believe that breakfast is essential, preaching it with zeal. Sometimes, it sounds as though death may occur from skipping breakfast after some of the harangues I’ve heard, but the facts don’t agree and don’t lie.” John Kiefer
Here is why skipping breakfast works (I’ve tried to keep it simple): First, there are two hormones you need to understand: insulin and cortisol. Insulin makes muscle and fat grow, and cortisol breaks muscle and fat down. Let’s focus on breaking down fat first. To burn fat, you want your cortisol levels high at times when fat and not muscle is more likely to be broken down. Well at what time might that be? The morning. The body’s cortisol levels elevate through the night and are at their highest when we wakeup. So we are burning fat at our highest level in the morning. Our metabolism is working at its fastest! This is great news, right? And guess what stops this process? The body’s release of insulin. What causes the body to release insulin? Food (also known as breakfast). Here’s where things get tricky. Not all food releases insulin, but all carbs do. The ABSOLUTE WORST thing you could do to stop the fat burning process is eat carbs in the morning. Oatmeal anyone? Now for those of you who know how insulin works – you realize that fat does not spike insulin. So couldn’t you eat bacon? The answer is yes, but I would advise waiting for about two hours. The body is burning fat so efficiently in the morning, and it is best not to mess with your natural fat burning processes. This is precisely why so many people have had success with intermittent fasting. Hold off on breakfast for a couple of hours, and when you do start eating your meals—breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc.—make sure you are eating high protein meals—chicken, eggs, almonds, bacon, etc.—and lots of green leafy vegetables: hence all those things that are green and/or once had a face. Some of you may say, “That’s great Erik, but I need carbs to fuel my workout. I need to fill my glycogen stores!” Insofar as this is true, and in a future article, I’ll discuss how many people—women especially—hold on to glycogen (carbs) for very long times. You can actually replenish your glycogen stores in the evening when guess what is happening? Muscle building! Spiking your insulin post workout, when your muscles are ready to build, will A) increase muscle building and B) replenish your glycogen stores for the following day’s workout. You don’t actually have to wake up and fuel up—your body is naturally ready to burn last night’s carb-filled dinner during the following day’s workout. So save your carbs—or your breakfast cereal—for dinner when your muscles are ready for the big insulin spike. If you want all the research and science I highly recommend you purchase Carb Back-loading 1.0 by John Kiefer.
When it comes to successful fat loss, I am not sure if the practice of Carb Back-Loading will work for everyone. It works really well for me and the science makes perfect sense. And honestly, I think Carb-Nite Solution (another fat-burning book by Kiefer) may even be a better solution for most women, but that is a question for Kiefer and not me. What I can tell you is that skipping breakfast is the ONE ELEMENT that not only works for me, but scientifically, it works for EVERYONE. It’s simple, it’s effective, and no matter what your dietary plans are, it is the one easy sacrifice for effective fat loss that EVERYONE can do.
RANDY GLASS says
Great write up about skipping this once thought of key meal at the start of the day…..I have not had Breakfast either since last summer. I start each day with a cup of coffee and add MCT oil to it ……..this gives me the fuel I need to get to work. Most people will be surprised that after a few days…you will not need the carbs that you think and you will actually be more mentally alert at the start of your day. I usually don’t have my first meal until around 11am. Like Erik….I suggest that you give it a try at least (I know for some, coming out of your comfort zone will be an issue to overcome)…..but what do you have to lose? Again, great writeup Erik.
Thanks! Before reading CBL 1.0, I will admit I had my doubts. I had been told by so many that you have to “start your metabolism”, if you don’t eat breakfast “your body will eat muscle”…all the fake science perpetuated throughout the fitness world… Anecdotally, I have experienced just the opposite. Before I hurt my arm all my lifts were going up – clearly I was not losing muscle.
And thanks for including your breakfast of coffee and MCT oil. I have not tried MCT oil. I first started by drinking coffee with whey and coconut oil (my accelerator shake recipe). I would typically drink just black coffee for about the first hour and then drink the accelerator shake. But with teaching it was always a pain to make the accelerator so I slowly switched to just coffee. And like you I don’t have my first meal until late – currently 12:20pm, which is later than I’d like but often I eat almonds or a high fat snack around 11am to hold me over. It is amazing how fast your body adjusts to the no breakfast – thank you coffee!