Eat Your Breakfast!

The last post talked about how proteins and fats are sometimes used as energy instead of carbohydrates, and I might have mentioned water a couple of times as well. So I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about some dieting stuff!

This is important. Really important! When people decide not to eat breakfast in the pursuit of losing weight, it can have the opposite effect.

Carbohydrates are our main source of energy. When this runs out we turn to proteins and fats and the biggest source of protein in the body is: muscle. Coincidentally the part of your body that uses the most energy, and therefore eats away the most fat and carbohydrate is also your muscle.

So here is how it works:

Lets say you have dinner at 8 pm, skip breakfast the next day and eat lunch at 1pm. In total you have gone 17 hours without food, essentially starving yourself. In those 17 hours the carbohydrate stores have run out and the body quickly turns to eating the proteins in muscle (if you had breakfast than your body would use that for energy instead). At lunch time your body uses some of the new energy and stores the rest (as it thinks it might be starved again) as fat and carbohydrates.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and if you have been eating less overall you probably would have lost some weight. A large amount of this would be muscle weight though. As you have less muscle, your body burns less energy. So as soon as you start eating more, rather than having enough muscle to burn off the excess food, your body has to store it. A few weeks later and you’ve put on more weight than you have lost and your not as fit as you used to be, making it harder to lose the weight properly.

Proper diet: Eat healthily, 6 times a day. Cut down slowly so you can monitor your weight loss and instead of cutting out meals, cut down portion sizes. Doing extra exercise on top is not necessary but makes everything much faster, healthier and easier.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m a great believer in breakfast, but I’m not sure that without it you start burning protein instead of carbohydrate. Doesn’t burning up fat kick in first?

    I ought to be sure of the answer to this, but I’m not – will try and check it out.

    Reply
  2. Your right, fat is the next port of call, but it doesn’t take long till protein becomes the main source.

    Fat is a vital source of energy, but is easier to break down than protein. So whilst the body would preferably break down protein (as it is less essential than fat as a source of energy), it takes a bit of time to get started. Even so, 17 hours is way more than enough to get that far.

    You leave the ‘fed state’ after a couple of hours and enter the fasting state where you burn fats, it only takes a little bit longer to start using proteins. That might be part of the reason why people recommend we eat little and often, to try and maintain the fed state.

    Reply

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