You may have always heard never to skip breakfast, but some health-conscious individuals are finding that the old cliché may not be as true as we've been lead to believe.
PopSugar fitness editor Jenny Sugar recently wrote a tell-all account of skipping breakfast as part of an intermittent fasting routine, and it's incredible how much her body changed after making this one adjustment to her daily life.
Jenny says she originally signed up for CrossFit to try to transform her body, but admits that "after six months of burpees and barbells, my body hadn't transformed the way I thought it would." Her frustration mounted at the end of her eighth month when she still wasn't seeing the change she longed for, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.
As Jenny admits, the word "fasting" is still seen as taboo in the health and fitness community, so a solid bit of research was required before she dove in to the technique. "I decided to try intermittent fasting (IF)," she explains, "specifically the 16/8 plan, where I'd fast for 16 hours and eat for eight."
In practice, this meant Jenny would "stop eating around 7 or 8 at night, then wouldn't eat again until 11 a.m. or noon the next day," she says. Put another way? "...Essentially I'd skip breakfast."
The results were pretty pronounced even from the beginning. After just 12 weeks of IF, Jenny was amazed to see how much flatter and more toned her stomach had become. "I took a pic so I could compare it to three months ago and couldn't believe that the change was so visible," she says. And while she continued to do CrossFit throughout this time to build muscle, her body transformation didn't truly begin until she began skipping breakfast, lending credibility to the idea that IF can really make a difference.
Though it wasn't always the most popular choice; Jenny notes that "experts constantly talk about how not eating in the morning will slow down your metabolism," which flew in the face of her own results. Jenny has continued to stick with this schedule, even crediting it with transforming her relationship with food.
"It helped me get a handle on my obsession over food and weight loss and my sugar cravings," she explained, and made the two meals a day she did eat more delicious. "I eat two big, satisfying meals a day and I'm done. It's been liberating and so good for me mentally to not be so tied to food."
Thinking of trying IF yourself? The 16/8 plan Jenny used is the same one recommended by certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD.
Langevin warns that those who have struggled with disordered eating in the past should avoid these plans, which can trigger a relapse. But for some individuals, like Jenny, IF can be just the boost your body needs to make a significant transformation.