Intermittent fasting is all the buzz right now. It’s been shown to promote weight loss, heart health, and cognition. Unfortunately, many of the studies singing intermittent fasting’s praises are flawed. They’re done on men – which do not have the same physiology as women. And, in the longterm, they can actually lead to problems – including a slow metabolism. You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I 100% agree. Breakfast is something simple you can do each day to fuel your metabolism (read more about what exactly the metabolism is here) and give you energy. And eating breakfast regularly can lead to lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Keep reading to learn why eating breakfast can increase your energy and how it’s actually the way to go!
How Eating Breakfast Can Increase Your Energy
Provides You with Glucose
Glucose is a form of sugar. And when we hear “sugar” most of us think – “oh, that’s bad. we don’t want that!” I even wrote a blog post all about reducing sugar.
This is one thing I had to unlearn and relearn recently.
You see, sugar is actually crucial to your survival. Glucose is literally what is needed to make energy. If we boil how energy is made in your body down to the most simple idea, it’s turning sugar into energy (or the molecule ATP). Yes, our body can use fat and protein as fuel to create energy. But it’s preferred source and the easiest source for it to use is straight up sugar.
I’m not telling you to eat spoon after spoon of white table sugar. But don’t be afraid to eat natural sugar and carbs (which are converted into glucose).
So since we need glucose to make energy, it’s a pretty big deal to eat breakfast in the morning – with some carbs in there. That right there will get your energy up more than coffee can do.
Glucose is also needed in the liver to convert the inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active form T3. Without adequate T3, your cells will not be able to make energy at a good rate. So, eating breakfast and providing your liver with glucose allows your metabolism to speed in this other way.
Balances Your Blood Sugar
We all fast. Whether you do intermittent fasting or not. It’s called sleep.
While we sleep, we don’t eat – that’s the definition of a fast.
Eating is important for several reasons, one being – it keeps your blood sugar stable. And don’t skip this just because you don’t have diabetes. Blood sugar is important for EVERYONE to consider – not just diabetics.
Your blood should have a steady amount of glucose, a form of sugar, in it at all times.
When your blood sugar drops too low, you might experience signs like:
- Brain Fog
- Low motivation
- Food cravings
- Weight gain
- Low libido
When you don’t eat breakfast in the morning, you’re not getting glucose, which can lead to these low blood sugar signs.
Eating breakfast, and eating one that is well balanced with protein, fat, and carbs, is important to keep steady blood glucose levels and keep your energy up.
It is critical to your body to maintain good blood sugar levels. That’s one of the main jobs it does all day long. Without your body working to keep your blood sugar stable it could eventually lead to death. So, your body has some help from hormones, including cortisol, to maintain homeostasis, or consistent levels of glucose in the blood.
Cortisol is a stress hormone who’s main job is to keep you going and keep you alive during times of stress. One way it does this is by raising your blood sugar when it dips too low.
It taps into your stored glucose, or glycogen, in your liver first. If you don’t have enough stored in your liver (which is very common for those with hypothyroidism), it will tap into muscle glycogen storage. It takes the glucose out and puts it in the blood to restore good blood sugar levels.
That’s great, but that rise of cortisol is not good long-term. We’re all dealing with enough stress in life. You probably have too much cortisol as it is. Raising it more can actually lead to slow metabolism and fatigue, among many other problems.
So, to keep cortisol from rising and rising, it’s important to eat breakfast. It’s called “breakfast” because it literally “breaks the fast.” Providing your body with nourishment soon after you wake up in the morning (within 60 minutes of waking is best) allows your blood sugar to come up without cortisol’s help, and your cortisol is able to go down. It’s no longer needed to keep your blood sugar stable.
So eating a balanced meal (carbs & protein included) is actually a form of stress relief. Pretty cool, huh?
Provides You with Micronutrients
Not only do you need glucose to create energy, you also need micronutrients – vitamin & minerals. Several micronutrients are needed for the process of turning glucose into energy.
Breakfast is needed to provide your body with those nutrients and get the energy making process going. When you skip breakfast, you don’t get these micronutrients and the energy making process (metabolism) is stalled.
The whole idea of intermittent fasting is to eat all of the calories you would normally eat within a shorter window of time. However, most people that skip breakfast end up eating fewer calories during the day. So, with that they’re also getting fewer vitamins & minerals.
That can lead to low energy and a host of other problems.
So, eating breakfast, and eating it soon after you wake up, is a big deal. It’s one small thing that can have a huge affect on your health and on your energy level.
What If You’re Not Hungry In the Morning?
I know, I know. You’re supposed to eat breakfast, but what if you’re not even hungry when you wake up?
That’s a really good sign that your metabolism is sluggish and you actually NEED to be eating breakfast. If you’re not eating enough or often enough, your metabolism compensates for the low fuel it’s getting. Metabolism slows and energy output slows. And your hunger hormone gherlin lowers. It doesn’t need to signal your brain that you’re hungry as much, because it doesn’t need as much fuel at your current speed of metabolism.
In order to get your metabolism going again, you’ve got to fuel it. And, at first, that can mean forcing yourself to eat even when you’re not hungry.
It doesn’t have to be a huge breakfast, especially if you’re just getting back to adding breakfast in. Take it slow. Start with something small and simple like an egg with ½ a banana. Then increase it a little bit.
Start adding in breakfast tomorrow. Fuel your metabolism and watch your energy rise!
Is breakfast something you struggle to get in? Are your morning hectic and you just don’t have time to sit down and eat? Or are you just not hungry in the morning? Comment and let me know!
And if you’d like more help in getting to the bottom of your fatigue and kicking it to the curb, feel free to schedule a free Fatigue Breakthrough Call with me to see if my program, The Fatigue to Freedom System, would be a good fit for you.