I have come to the realization that I do not like breakfast, and in the spirit of experimentation, I'd like to try to bypass it in favor of a heartier lunch.
I'm bored with the typical breakfast fare, and I rarely wake up famished, anyway. Plus, I love the idea of waiting for lunch and having a full and delicious meal, then perhaps enjoying another large meal for dinner. Additionally, the more I research it, the better I think this could be for my health.
However: I have a problem. I have an irrational fear of hunger. I think this is a residual effect of my history with an eating disorder, or the fact that I grew up in poverty and there was never enough food in the house, but somehow I've learned to fear my hunger and panic at the first sign of a grumbling tummy. Sometimes, I eat preemptively to avoid the potential for hunger.
How do I overcome this fear and learn how accept becoming hungry? Does anyone have any tips and advice on how to skip breakfast, and/or other meals? I'd like to utilize this information so that I may eventually learn how to IF, but I know that I'm not quite emotionally prepared for it at this time.
Unfortunately, I can't do coffee, nor can I do dairy in the morning, and coconut disagrees with me. I'm thinking about nursing a few mugs of green tea to keep my mouth and hands busy, but I'm not quite sure what is the best way to go about doing this.
Can I retrain my body to not desire food first thing in the morning?
Sorry for the ton of questions, but I'm excited and eager to optimize my health and overcome these silly insecurities.
Thank you! :)
You could try by having a rather big dinner with plenty of fat and protein, that would keep hunger away in the first hours you're awake? I currently IF (usually fast 8pm-noon next day), and sometimes I do feel hungry in the morning. Usually just ramming through my morning activities (shower, get dressed, pack gym gear and lunch etc.) helps me through the first "hunger" feelings of the day. Usually when I get to work the hunger is gone, but I personally need coffee/tea/plenty of water someties to "fight" it off.
Basically skipping breakfast, a large lunch (like you wanted) and a rather big dinner, you're basically pretty close to IF though. But don't stress about actually IF:ing (like feed or fast windows), first try to get comfortable with the no-breakfast issue and see what kind of tweaks workout best (lunch size and dinner size&timing) to support skipping it.
I'm sorry I don't have anything to help with the fear of hunger issue.
I usually spend most of the week in ketosis, and when I'm in ketosis I usually don't get hungry until lunch time or later. Similar effect for when my carbs are kept quite low, but not low enough for ketosis.
I think it is a matter of becoming or being 'fat adapted', a state where your bodies metabolism will quite efficiently bump up your energy by oxidising your fat stores - rather than making you feel hungry.
To work into it (assuming you're not fat adapted) try going low carb or VLC for 2 - 4 weeks. You may find during this time you just don't need breakfast anymore, because you're not hungry. Otherwise, after this period, try skipping breakfast and see how you go, as long as you don't have some serious metabolic derangement, the actual act of skipping breakfast will help you adapt.
If you do have some metabolic issues it would probably be best to rectify those first (probably via being low carb), otherwise you could potentially run into some hypoglycemic problems.
Besides all that, if you do proceed and if you are getting uncomfortably hungry then green tea should certainly help.
Hope this helps you some.
Your body releases hormones to signal hunger around your standard meal times. This means if you have been eating breakfast for a long while then you'll feel hungry in the morning due to this signalling. If you want to skip breakfast in favor of two large meals then try drinking some water to satiate yourself a little bit. Once you get to the point where eating just lunch and dinner is regular you'll feel much less hungry in the morning due to the same meal-timing pattern signalling. I also second the other comment of a large meal for dinner. Eating a protein/vegetable rich meal leaves me satisfied through lunch and sometimes later.
I would experiment with going longer and longer without eating (until you can make it to lunch) but definitely don't put yourself in uncomfortable situations. If hunger is making you irritable or you're having trouble concentrating don't keep fasting out of a goal of making it to the end.
Since you don't do coffee, tea is a good option. Make sure to drink plenty of water as well.
Check out www.leangains.com for more information or seach the tags #IF #intermittent-fasting or search the site for fasting related questions.
I hope that helps.
Everyone has answered the basics of the question well for you, so may I dive into the mental part of it?
Would it help you to plan the lunch meal ahead of time? Will knowing what time and what you are having help you? Or will it just make you feel more obsessive about the food? I personally do better with fasting when I know exactly when it will end and what the meal will consist of. Without that, I have a tendency to overeat the fast breaking meal.
Another option is to give yourself time to work this out. Push back your first meal by 15 minutes each week until you are at the time you'd like to start eating. I think your brain will have more time to get used to the situation if you take it extremely slowly.
Another thing you could do is to make a smoothie type item for breakfast or protein shake, so you are drinking it rather than eating. Or maybe even broth! It could help stave off the grumbly tummy issues until you can push back the time enough to where you want it.
I think the green tea is an excellent idea. I don't do well with a completely empty stomach.
I also second DACs idea of "emergency food", most of mine end up smushed at the bottom of my bag, never eaten, but I still like having the option.
I do think you can retrain your body and your mind not to eat breakfast if that's what you want. Don't be ashamed to take BABY STEPS. What matters most is what you accomplish at the end. <3
Perhaps having a snack with you at all times - like a little bag of nuts - would serve as training wheels: You'll probably never eat it, but you'll feel better knowing it's there, and eventually you won't need it anymore. I also have had an eating disorder, so I completely understand where you're coming from.
I get nervous about hunger during the day - some of it is irrational and also I know that I tend to overdo it. And there aren't many 'paleo' options near work. So I've worked out a strategy for skipping lunches (and saving money). What works for me is a couple tablespoons of coconut oil (VCO) around 11-11:30, then for lunch I'll take the elevator to the ground floor and walk up to floor 10, rest a bit (sometimes buy an egg - there's a concession there) before heading up to my floor, 16 (that second bit is new - I haven't worked up to walking to 20 yet...). That exertion really kills off the hunger, and if I "have" to eat I'll have the egg.
I try not to play games with 'will power' or 'fasting' or anything that even hints at noble deprivation - that always backfire for me.
This trick btw has really kicked up the ketosis. The VCO and the occasional egg keep me 'going' but I've definitely lost weight doing this (in case that's a priority).
Something similar might work in the AM - particularly some VCO first thing.
Added later: I just caught the bit about not liking coconut. Does that apply to the oil too? I personally really dislike coconut especially the dried stuff (ugh! shivers!) but I like the oil quite a bit. And if the oil doesn't work for you, what about good quality butter?
I have always been a breakfast eater, but on strict Paleo diet with fairly low carb, I just don't the same appetite in the mornings. I could eat if I wanted to but just don't need to. My biggest meal is dinner and I find I'm still a little full the next morning. I'm trying to lose weight, so this is an easy meal to skip, though I think having a few high fat calories keeps the metabolism moving and keeps you out of starvation mode.
Sometimes I will have tea or coffee with a few tsp of cream, and that satisfies my hunger to allow me to concentrate for the morning. One egg is another option is that is only about 100 calories and definitely kills my appetite until the afternoon.
Eat a large dinner close to bedtime. We usually eat within one hour of going to bed. Its the biggest meal of the day, too. This way, even if you sleep long like 9-10 hours, when you wake up you still have food in you, nutrients floating around etc. This gets us to lunchtime easily.
Then you get a big lunch and big dinner.
Seems like skipping breakfast is the most popular form of IF in paleo community. I am just curious. Has anyone has gotten better health by skipping breakfast? I am not talking about weight loss, cause that is the last thing I care about it. I mean health.