The science behind any form of Intermittent Fasting (IF) affirms its effectiveness on numerous axes of the health spectrum. It definitely can be a game-changer on the road to a thriving future. How to properly executive this, what it does, and how it can become a part of your (new) life(style) is part of my nutritional coaching practice.
Once we have mutually established that this may be the path for you, the question arises; “Which meal should I skip to get the best results?”
Well, it depends.
I take out all other aspects of IF such as snacking, checking in with hunger cues, types of IF, food to eat after breaking the fast, liquid intake and other facets of what entails IF. This is pure on what meal is best to forego.
From all the three daily meals during weekdays, breakfast, lunch and dinner, the average caloric intake is the lowest during breakfast. Approximately 15% – 20% of one’s total caloric intake happens when we’re ready to welcome another day with a meal.
Lunch follows, and dinners are overall the main contributors to adding nutrients to you. I emphasize here on weekdays as breakfasts during weekends can be more of a social gathering. It definitely has proven to increase the % caloric intake of the day.
From Mondays to Fridays, breakfasts are regularly a quick bite, a bowl of cornflakes, washed away with a coffee. Indicators that we are not really hungry, otherwise human instincts would suggest digging into a bigger meal, right? When the question “when to break the fast” comes into play, breakfast seems to be the easiest one, based on studies, findings, and some logical thinking.
Lunch is tagged somewhere in the middle. There is a correlation between hormones losing their effectiveness when midday arrives (the diurnal effects of the circadian clock). After a good 14-16 hours fasting, providing you have omitted breakfast and had no pick-me-ups in the morning, a sense of nourishment may flow through one’s mind.
On the other hand, dinner can be a social gathering. Going through the day with your partner and children over dinner can be a crucial aspect when your life’s non-negotiables are brought up. One side, I definitely will not leave aside when standing side by side with you on the road to get you thriving. Western society these days tends to gradually build up the volume of caloric intake over the day, starting with breakfast and ending with dinner.
Up to 50% of our daily need can come from the last meal of the day.
If IF is on (y)our agenda to lose weight, breakfast may be the easiest choice but may not be the most effective one. Adding the social aspect to the equation versus the total amount of calories consumed, we simply cannot ignore that family dinner can be an important part of our day.
Scaling down on dinner can be options worth trying out.
Or perhaps making wiser meal choices that leave one more satiated.
Or perhaps do something with lunch? It all depends on you, what your goals are, and your values.
There are options aplenty to explore when we are going for the IF path. This article merely takes on one ingredient of the total IF formula worth considering.
Fasting is not nearly as deadline as Feasting | J. Harold Smith