We’ve recruited personal trainer and wellness extraordinaire, Max Lowery, to bring you an article every week in January that’s guaranteed to help you on the right path to achieving your fitness goals.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… Isn’t it? This well-worn saying stems from cereal companies getting you to buy their degraded products back in the early 90s. Their marketing campaigns were so successful that virtually everyone I talk to about the subject regurgitates the same statement. I stopped eating breakfast 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. It’s become a part of my lifestyle and I could never go back to eating breakfast again. Not only do I stay under 10% body fat without counting macros or calories, I have more energy than ever and most surprisingly, I’m less hungry.
I stopped eating breakfast 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back since
How, and why, does it work?
Essentially, when you skip that first meal, you’re extending your overnight fast from 9 hours to 16 – 18 hours. It’s a method of Intermittent Fasting I have developed as part of my The 2-Meal Day program.
Why should you do it?
We seem to have a phobia of empty stomachs in the western world. Let me tell you this: just because your stomach is empty does not mean that you are hungry. What I call real hunger is something that occurs every 16 – 24 hours, not every 4 hours. This effectively mimics the way we ate for thousands of years when we ate sporadically, rather than grazing on food all day.
In fact, having an empty stomach, or being in the ‘fasted state’, brings about some amazing changes in your body. Fasting forces you to start burning stored body fat for energy, rather than utilising the sugars your body extracts from food. Not only will fasting help you burn fat and stay lean effortlessly, it also helps keep you on one stable energy level all day long. Fat is the preferred fuel source for day-to-day activities and most of our vital organs, but if you constantly eat throughout the day, your body will use the food for energy rather than tapping into your fat reserves.
What if you feel hungry?
The 11am mid-morning energy slump is not normal; neither is feeling lightheaded when you skip a meal. Our bodies are naturally fat burning machines, but clever marketing and an abundance of ‘food-like’ products have made us dependent on sugar to produce energy.
Not only will fasting help you stay lean and improve your energy levels, you will also feel less hungry. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but eating in this way normalises your ‘hunger hormones’: Ghrelin and Leptin. This is one of the most empowering effects of following The 2-Meal Day: you stop being a slave to meal times and become completely self-sufficient.
You may also be wondering how you could you possibly sustain your gains eating in this way. Fasting has been shown to increase levels of human growth hormone (HGH), one of the major factors involved in preserving and increasing muscle mass. The combination of fasting, sprinting and strength training have completely transformed my physique. I am stronger, fitter and faster than I’ve ever been.
So, what are you waiting for? Give it a go. Of course, it may be difficult at the beginning, it can take some time to get used to eating in this way; this will depend on your current diet and age. Once you push past this initial stage you will start to reap the benefits.