“Our very presence as a species is due to the fact that humans were able to endure long periods of time without food.” Dr. John Douillard, Lifespa.
Breakfast is overrated.
Ditto eating three square meals a day.
Same with eating six small meals throughout the day.
What’s more in tune with an ancestral lifestyle is the practice of intermittent fasting, or skipping a few meals every once in a while.
Intermittent fasting is bolstered by science. Studies show that skipping meals, even breakfast, is hugely beneficial to your body and your brain.
Skipping meals turns you into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine.
I’ve used this style of eating to great effect.
- It helped me lose 12 pounds.
- It helped me be able to maintain more consistent energy throughout the day (no more being desperate for a nap a 2 or 3 in the afternoon).
- It helped me overcome my chronic insomnia by training my body to burn fat rather than glucose. When your body knows how to burn fat, it stops waking you up every two hours to demand food and remind you that you’re dying because you’re not eating.
- It helped me get in touch with my hunger and address what I was hungry for if I was hungry for something other than food.
Other benefits (bolstered by science) include:
- Fostering neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells (1).
- Reduces blood insulin levels (4), which increases metabolism (and turns you into that fat-burning machine).
- Promotes autophagy, or the ability of our bodies to remove toxic cellular waste more efficiently and quickly (2), important for preventing Alzheimer’s and cancer.
- Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress (3), both of which are correlated with heart disease, accelerated aging, cancer, diabetes.
So, yeah…intermittent fasting rocks (with caveats, see below).
It doesn’t have to be a grueling slog of deprivation.
There are several ways to do this intermittent fasting thing, and none of them need involve living on green juice for weeks on end. No fun!
The easiest way I found was to skip breakfast.
You heard that right. Skip breakfast.
Try to calm that shrill voice in your head that says breakfast is THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY!!!!!!!!!
It’s not your voice. It’s the voice of conventional wisdom, which needs a serious overhaul.
Instead of your usual fare, try putting some butter or ghee and/or MCT oil in your morning beverage (Bulletproof coffee, anyone?). That will satisfy your hunger and keep you in a fat-burning state, aka ketosis.
I promise you won’t die and you will make it to 1 or 2 pm without physical cravings or hunger.
Or if you love your morning meal, skip dinner instead. I couldn’t do it that way. But you might be able to.
It doesn’t seem to matter which meal you skip (5).
The important thing is to
narrow your time frame for eating to a 6-8 hour window
sometime during the day.
If you eat lunch at 1pm, for example, try to finish dinner by 7-8 pm, and avoid snacking between those meals, especially if you have problems with insomnia.
Finally, you don’t have to do this every day to reap incredible benefits. But you may just find that you want to when you notice how amazing you feel.
You will know to your core that your are loving and appreciating and nurturing yourself in a way that makes sense to your primitive body, the body that really hasn’t evolved to eat 3 squares and snacks and power bars.
My body is happiest when it skips meals.
Perhaps yours will be, too.
Try it and see.
Then leave a comment at tell us about your experience.
Your experience helps everyone learn and succeed.
- If you have a blood sugar disorder like diabetes, PLEASE talk to your doctor before changing your eating patterns. OMG do not do this without consulting her first.
- There are differences between men and women and their response to intermittent fasting. If you’re a woman of reproductive age or of normal body weight, read this well-researched article to be better informed before you start skipping meals.
- How you eat is as important as what you eat. Both are important. The best intermittent fasting plan won’t cure the effects of eating crap.