I’d be a rich man if I had a penny for every time I’ve been told skipping breakfast is a bad idea! It has been claimed that skipping breakfast leads to all kinds of health problems, but where is the evidence?

In a recent paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers carried out a meta-analysis on dozens of papers and found that evidence behind these claims was extremely suspect. The majority of papers interpreted results in a biased way to back up the general consensus that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, where in fact there was little or no correlation between consuming breakfast and body weight or health.

To top this off, I have experimented with fasting with extremely positive results. I certainly did not find skipping breakfast lead to weight gain or a reduction in health.

Everything I say is all based on experience – I’m certainly no biology major! In the past, I have fasted for 16 hours a day for 2 months straight and seen no reduction in strength whilst body fat was falling off! I was still able to squat the same weight for my 3 rep max at the end of the 2 months, which suggests that there was not a rapid drop off in the strength of muscle fibres. It’s worth noting that while I didn’t lose any strength, I also didn’t gain strength.

“I have fasted for 16 hours a day for 2 months straight and seen no reduction in strength whilst body fat was falling off!” 

I did notice a reduction in the size of my muscles; it is likely that the majority of this was a result of depleted muscle glycogen stores as the body can use both muscle glycogen and stored fat for energy. When I jumped back on a non-fasting high carb diet, I regained a lot of muscle fullness in a matter of days. It is possible that due to genetics my body prefers to burn fat when in a fasted state, and perhaps 100,000 years ago I would have run out of stored energy and starved to death!

Intermittent fasting is not some magical formula that is better than all other diets, I see similar results whilst on a paleo diet or a standard diet with cardio before eating – there’s not just one method to lose body fat. I believe that trying something out, and seeing if it works in the real world, is a great way to get to know your body.

I’ve seen great results with intermittent fasting and I know from experience that it works for me. Stick to a certain diet or workout for a period of time, monitor the effects on your own body and determine whether it works for you!