In today's post I address the age old debate of whether or not you should eat breakfast. Many people swear by breakfast and many people swear by intermediate fasting (skipping breakfast). So how do you know which one is right for you? In the article below my friend Tyler talks about why you need breakfast and why you should include it in your daily regime. 

Is breakfast really that important?

        By: Tyler Urtel  

We’ve all heard our mother say it “don’t leave the house without breakfast”, or “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” but is mom really right or is it all just an old wives tale. Always listen to your momma, there I said it, she’s usually right and knows what she’s talking about. Mom happens to also be right in this situation as well, with the never ended rat race and highways full of gunners late for executive type jobs all we seem to grab when we leave the house is that giant cup of coffee. We’ve slowly traded filling our bodies with nutrients in the morning to filling them with stimulant to suppress not only our appetite but our nervous system as well. Hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading this you will think twice before disregarding breakfast and your momma.

            When we sleep our bodies go into a maintenance mode and slows down, as they slow down our metabolism also slows leaving us in a parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system response. There are two different types of sleep when we lay our heads down at night REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, during a subdivided stage called SWS (slow wave sleep) it is believed that the metabolism is least active. Just as there are two different kinds of sleep there are two different physiological biochemical processes that occur while we sleep, anabolism referring to the building up of cells and catabolism referring to the breaking down of cells within the body. These two process work right along side with regulation and balance in the human body. When we sleep our actual metabolic rate slows to provide less energy to actual bodily function and more energy to maintenance that the body may need to recover from anything it was put through and couldn’t readily repair at the time due to regulating wakefulness.

            I could write a completely different article on normal metabolism itself but for time sake (yours and mine) I’ll leave it at this; once nutrients are consumed the pancreas releases a chemical called insulin which signals cells both muscle and adipose fat cells to absorbs glucose through something called glycolisis turning that glucose into pyruvate and then ultimately energy through the Krebs cycle and electron transport chain. This energy change or energy production is what brings insulin spikes back down within set point and below threshold.

            Now that we have covered the physiology behind metabolism it is only appropriate to talk about what happens when we skip breakfast.  We talked about how our bodies go into a parasympathetic maintenance mode while sleeping it is only important to wake that response back up with nothing more than nutrients the body needs directly following a long slumber. The actual response of waking up is believed to be the turning point from our parasympathetic nervous system and our sympathetic (running from a bear) nervous system. Imagine what our bodies go through all night long maintaining what we put them through during the day, our bodies are tired they need nutrients. The analogy that our cars don’t run if they don’t have gas holds true to our bodies as well. They don’t run if they don’t have nutrients (gas). Simpley because the process that happens during the night as maintenance does not equate to running five miles doesn’t mean our bodies didn’t work hard and deserve to be fed. Onto that high powered executive pumping his veins with the strongest coffee he can get his hands on after he skipped breakfast because he was late for that important meeting. The caloric value and nutrient value of coffee isn’t exactly the highest but coffee as a stimulant in the form of caffeine is, imagine waking up just one side of your body after a long sleep or maybe just your head awakes while the rest of the body sleeps. This is essentially what we are doing to our bodies feeding it a stimulant without nutrients were putting our nervous system on overdrive while the rest of our bodies are stuck like molasses in Siberia during the winter with no nutrients until the middle of the day when the damage is already done.

            Skipping breakfast has also lead to a much more serious aspect than slowed metabolism. Type II diabetes is skyrocketing with the American lifestyle and skipping breakfast might have contributed. Insulin resistance is serious and America is number one with 18 million diagnosed.  When breakfast is skipped a resistance is built up to deal with that void in turn requiring more insulin than the time before to bring the individuals blood sugar back below set point. Insulin resistance was once a small short-term effect but with Americans terrible lifestyle habits it is now a chronic condition. The reason insulin levels are higher in those who skip breakfast is similar to that of the high-powered executive drinking coffee overloading his nervous system. The pancreas is overloaded after lunch due to the fact that it already compensated for the lack of nutrients that morning after coming out of a parasympathetic response into a sympathetic response. This skyrocket cannot be regulated by the body effectively and leads to insulin resistance simply because there is too much insulin for the body to handle.

            Whether it be to follow a healthy lifestyle, live longer for your kids, lose weight to feel better/ look better, or avoid the seriousness of type II diabetes I’d hope you take away from this article that skipping breakfast is disrespecting your body and your momma.

-Tyler Urtel


Pretty interesting stuff right? .However it is time for me to convince ya otherwise. 

 I don't think skipping breakfast is bad for you nor will it mess anything up in your body in a 24 hour window. At the end of the day I believe total calorie consumption is most important.  The reason I posted the article was for you guys to see both sides and to understand that their are not set guidelines for losing weight or being healthy. It is about what works for you. For instance, I DON'T EAT BREAKFAST! Instead I drink it in a tasty blend of coffee and coconut oil with a handful of almonds.   I understand that  technically I am breaking my fast with the almonds and coconut oil but it isn't your typical American breakfast. The point I am trying to get across is that you do not need a huge meal in the morning to start your day. You do not have to do what everyone else is doing. Just cause oatmeal works for one person doesn't mean it will works for you.  You would be surprised by what works for you.

A coffee with some grass fed butter or coconut oil will do just fine. Some days I just drink a black coffee and I feel great all day. Honestly, I hate eating a big meal once I wake up. I do not believe in the one size fits all approach.  It is going to depend on the type of person you are and what works best for you.  I agree breakfast can be very beneficial for certain people, but we need to understand that skipping breakfast or not eating a huge meal will not damage your body. It might actually improve your health and help shave off those last couple of pounds

Overall, you need to try both and see what works best for you. It has to fit your lifestyle and make you happy. If you enjoy eating breakfast then continue to eat breakfast but if you are stuck at a plateau then mix it up and try skipping it for a while. See how you feel and go from there.

Oh! One more thing Before I end this I need to clear something up. Sugary coated cereals are not good for you, please just skip them if that is what you are going to eat in the morning. Cereal should be a dessert not breakfast!  If you are going to eat breakfast make sure it is high in proteins, healthy fats and moderate in carbs ( my magic number is under 30 grams).

Examples of some tasty breakfast ingredients 

  • grass fed butter
  • avocado
  • almonds, pistachios, cashews
  •  no nitrate bacon
  • coconut oil
  • free range eggs
  • olive oil
  • greek yogurt (with fat! should be low in sugar)
  • protein shake or smoothie

If you don't like any of these then click


Have more questions on breakfast? Click the link to learn more