The Down To Earth PCOS Nutrition Podcast

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Episode 6: Do I Need to Eat Breakfast?

Hello again, everybody! Welcome Back!

About 60% of my clients tell me they skip breakfast. And, I’m cool with that, MOST of the time. I definitely see how breakfast can help with weight loss in some cases, and prevent progress in others. So, I decided to center today’s episode of Slim and Satisfied around breakfast—what we can do to make our breakfasts work for us, what are some signs that you shouldn’t skip it and what science is telling us about breakfast specifically for weight loss. Specifically, I describe a review article that was recently published and showed that eating breakfast doesn’t help people lose weight. It also showed that people who skip breakfast are not hungrier than those who skip it nor did they consume more calories later in the day. Interesting findings!

However, there were some issues with the studies reviewed in this article and I describe what those are. Then I speak about the practical applications of these findings. I admit that if we’re just looking at weight and weight alone, if you’re currently skipping breakfast and are staying at a healthy weight, are still feeling satisfied, and are fulfilling your nutritional needs, it’s wise to continue to do so. Similarly, for weight loss, if you’re creating a calorie deficit (check out Episode 4 below where I talk about this) and are still being healthy and eating a good quality diet, losing about 1-2 lbs per week, you’re good to go without a morning meal. That being said, if you’re considering cutting breakfast as a strategy to lose weight, it’ll likely backfire. Very few people are able to skip breakfast and lose weight consistently. I explain exactly why.

Prolonged morning fasts can actually make insulin resistance worse. I explain in this episode that when we sleep, the body uses our glycogen liver storage as an energy source. Once these are depleted, the body will use fat as an energy source. When we break down fat, the body releases free fatty acids into the bloodstream that can be used for energy. However, studies show they interfere with the action of insulin in our body. This means we won’t be able to get sugar into our cells efficiently, and even further, once we do eat our next meal, the body releases more insulin, overlapping with the insulin left behind. Too much insulin leads to increases in fat mass, especially in the stomach area.

We finish off by answering the big question: What exactly is the best way to have breakfast and lose weight? I offer some guidance on the composition of your breakfast, give you meal ideas and discuss how this can impact your weight loss.


Key takeaways from today’s episode

  • Adding breakfast without adjusting the rest of your daily calories will not help you lose weight
  • If you’re currently eating breakfast and gaining weight, don’t omit it.
  • Breakfast containing at least 20g of protein and 10g of fiber can be beneficial for weight loss, reducing insulin resistance, and controlling blood sugar
  • If you use a fasting strategy, aim for 14-16 hour fast that begins with finishing dinner around 6 p.m. and resuming eating around 9 a.m. the next day
  • Consider making breakfast the largest meal of the day

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