Breakfast is sacred: T or F?

I decided to investigate for myself.  Image:  Portrait of a little Boy, Jacob Willemsz. Delff (I),  1581, Rijksmuseum. Used with permission.

I decided to investigate for myself.
Image: Portrait of a little Boy, Jacob Willemsz. Delff (I), 1581, Rijksmuseum. Used with permission.

Let’s keep talking about hunger. And weight loss.

After a dozen or so clients told me they were using Intermittent Fasting (IF) to manage their weight, I stopped recoiling in horror, I stopped telling myself stories about how not eating would HAVE to trigger compulsive eating and that I should never endorse it, and I decided to investigate for myself.

I didn’t do a lot of reading, I didn’t mention it to my trainer, I didn't get medical supervision: I just started skipping breakfast. I had my coffee black or with a tiny amount of cream. Just to see what would happen. I am here for science, and for you.

I last ate breakfast the first week of July. I’m writing this the day I send it, the second week of September, and I still haven’t eaten breakfast. That’s a lot of skipped breakfasts.

Here’s what happened in the first month:

1. I got really hungry. I mean, really, really hungry. Most days I was DYING for lunch. I was fully expecting this result.

2. I lost no weight. Nothing. Not one $&%*ing pound for the first month. Surprise! I was NOT expecting that result.

3. I experienced the most gloriously open and free mornings. I had NO! IDEA! this would happen. I was NOT AT ALL expecting that result.

Turns out, breakfast was a real bump in the road for me. It was very hard to get going after breakfast, and often breakfast would expand for a long, long time while I resisted changing gears and starting work. The freedom of getting up and simply beginning the day without sitting down for a meal is just totally notional, it’s in my head, and yet: It’s made all the difference. I still can’t believe how good it feels. This result alone is enough for me to continue skipping breakfast.

Which I no longer think of as skipping, because I no longer consider breakfast to be missing. So I guess that’s another result: a new normal.

As for weight: I had expected to lose about 86 lbs (kinda kidding but you know: drama! I thought there would be a visible, dramatic result. I mean: 500 calories a day is what I was skipping. To believe the arithmetic, that should result (500* x 7 = 3500) in the loss of a pound a week.

(*FYI, I don’t count calories. But I DO DID eat the exact same breakfast every day - two lattes, yogurt, granola, and a spoonful of raspberry jam on top - and that makes it easy to figure out.)

On the other hand, I was in Oakland the month of July, taking full advantage of the pizza culture there, because Marblehead “pizza” is heartbreaking. And by full advantage I mean pizza hand over fist. Pizza all day. Pizza morning noon and night except not morning. Everything but the cold leftover pizza for breakfast.

(Not that I left a lot of leftovers, NGL.)

Your results may vary. The clients I’ve talked to who do IF have lost weight. (Up to a point. Typically not as much as they expect and hope.)

And as for the hunger: You might say: Hunger is intolerable. Moreover, we are not meant to tolerate hunger. Hunger is a signal to eat, simple, The End. Hunger = I NEED FOOD.

That’s what I once said too. And now I don’t.

Let’s start there next time.

Meanwhile, I wanted to let you know that I’ve had some unexpected additions to the fall calendar, and it turns out that the only moment I can hold my Become a Normal Eater by Bedtime workshop is mid-November, right before American Thanksgiving. In the past, that has not seemed like a natural time to run a workshop. But maybe I’m wrong?

Please let me know:

If you want to do the online-with-live-meetings workshop but dear Heaven, not at THAT time, hit Reply and let me know.

If you want to do the online-with-live-meetings workshop, and American Thanksgiving is not at all in your way, let me know.

THANK YOU! I will talk to you next week from the road.

Max DanielsComment