Should you eat breakfast or fast until noon?
If you want balanced hormones (sex hormones, stress hormones, hunger hormones) then the answer is yes, eat breakfast!!
If you don’t have an appetite in the morning, are fasting or drinking coffee first thing this could be a sign your body is running off cortisol. Cortisol is one of our main stress hormones along with adrenaline.
I do encourage my clients to eat in tune with their body, however, quite often in clinic I see people running off caffeine in the morning, skipping or delaying breakfast or fasting for too long, then having energy crashes later in the day or they have increased cravings, more binge eating, have weight loss plateau, irregular periods, no period at all, or other hormonal imbalances.
These are clear symptoms your blood sugar is out of whack, stress hormones need balancing & your nervous system needs some TLC.
This is because for some people skipping breakfast & living off caffeine first thing causes the body to rely on stress hormones cortisol & adrenaline to bring blood sugar back up. This causes muscles to break down, this means glucose is dumped from muscles into your bloodstream (to fuel your ‘fight or flight response’), this raises blood sugar levels (hello more insulin, another fat storing hormone, it also contributes to more inflammation & hormonal imbalances), this makes it very hard to lose body fat & balance hormones.
Also, these stress hormones impact your sex hormones, cortisol directly impacts progesterone & can lower it. This can lead to hormone imbalances like estrogen dominance, thyroid imbalances, fertility challenges, trouble holding onto a baby/pregnancy & also can contribute to metabolic health challenges.
I also see women skipping meals as a way to control calorie intake or generally to just eat less. If you skip a meal where are you making up for those extra nutrients & fuel in your day your body needs to thrive? If you under eat, consciously or unconsciously for a long period of time this can signal your body that you’re in famine. Your body think’s food is scarce, or it’s being starved, this can backfire for many women, so when you do eat food, your body will store that food as fat to preserve energy and fuel. Skipping meals and lowering your calories isn’t healthy or isn’t effective in the long run when it comes to weight loss and wanting to support your metabolic health, or when wanting to balance hormone. I’ve seen hundreds of times over the years women losing their period or their period becoming more irregular simply from skipping meals and not eating enough.
So, if balancing your hormones is a goal of yours, or you want more stable energy levels & less cravings start your day with a breakfast that supports blood sugar balance. Think quality protein (ideally 30 grams worth) , healthy fats & fibre to elongate blood sugar.