The first meal of the day is the most important meal of the day. But is it really when it comes to fat loss?
Despite the influx of intermittent fasters, skipping breakfast or any meal at that will not influence body composition (fat loss). The reason for this is although you are eating later in the day, your total calories for the day will matter most. Fasting for fat loss is a preference, not a need.
Your weight is dictated by your total energy balance. Meaning how many calories you are intaking compared to how many calories you are expending each day. If you are eating at your TDEE (total calories burned each day) you will maintain your weight, if you eat above you will gain weight and if you eat below you will lose weight.
Although improving your daily movement and weekly exercise, as well as macronutrients, can help with fat loss focusing on just these areas can be exhaustive in the long run. The best way to do this will be with a total calorie deficit (eating below your TDEE). A moderate calorie deficit is best at 200 to 500 calories below your TDEE (always start at the lower end of 200).
So how can you plan a calorie deficit for fat loss:
1. Calculate your TDEE by Googling the Mifflin St. Joer equation and comparing it to your current intake (track everything you eat for 4-5 days and create a median number). OR if you a woman, multiply your current weight by 13 or 14; if you are a man, multiply your current weight by 15-16. Compare this to your current intake as stated above.
2. If you are currently maintaining your weight and close to your TDEE calories, maintenance calories, you can start your deficit here. Decrease it by 200 calories. Please track your protein and fiber as well. Fiber is great around 25g for women, 35g for me. Protein is sufficient at .8-1g per lb of BW or goal BW if overweight. Adjust as needed.
3. With 2-3 weeks of consistency and tracking everything you consume, focus on your progress. Are you losing inches, weight or feeling good? Don’t change your numbers and keep going. If there has been no progress and consistency has been high along with tracking correctly- decrease by 50-100 calories.
4. Repeat steps 3&4.
5. Once you reach your goal or cannot decrease anymore without feeling restricted- start a reverse diet.
So what’s the verdict?
If skipping breakfast, ending your last meal of the day before dinner or fasting overall does help you stay within a calorie deficit – awesome! But if it does cause increased hunger, fatigue and less patience for making healthy meals at home please don’t do it.
Overall, the best thing you can do for fat loss is to focus on a calorie deficit while resistance training and consuming enough protein overall (research shows this is sufficient at .8-1g per lb of bodyweight or goal bodyweight if overweight). If fat loss is your goal, follow the steps above. You can absolutely reach your goal without fasting, especially if it isn’t for you.
Reach to reach your goals? Head on over to Tiffany Moule’s profile for a custom training and macro ratio plan!