If you're trying to lose weight, breakfast just might be the most important meal of the day, but not for the reason you might think. New research shows breakfast is an item that you may want to place on your not to-do list.
Granted, the NIH says breakfast "has been suggested to positively affect learning in children in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance."
In theory, the same might apply to adult entrepreneurs: Skip breakfast and theoretically your energy levels will be lower and you'll struggle with focus -- two barriers to performance no startup founder can afford.
And then there's the health aspect: Plenty of studies show that skipping breakfast correlates with obesity.
But here's the thing: Research also shows there is no causal relationship between skipping breakfast and gaining weight (or reduced energy levels, mental acuity, and overall performance.)
Many people who are overweight do in fact skip breakfast... but skipping breakfast isn't the reason they're overweight.
In fact, the results of over a dozen randomized trials show that people who skip breakfast don't eat a lot more at subsequent meals to make up for it: As the authors write, "No evidence supports the claim that skipping breakfast makes you gain weight or adversely reduces your resting metabolic rate."
People who skip breakfast don't feel hungrier in the afternoon. They don't feel less energetic.
And here's the kicker: On average, people who skip breakfast consume 260 less calories each day, which meant they lost a couple pounds a month.
And in the process enjoyed some of the benefits of intermittent fasting, an increasingly popular eating regimen -- especially among entrepreneurs -- that many people say helps them burn more fat, reduce inflammation, and improve mental acuity.
"Just" from skipping breakfast -- which, of course, isn't easy.
But it's also not that hard. You don't have to go all Jack Dorsey and only eat one meal a day.
Instead you can take the approach recommended by Dr. Don Brown: Enjoy your dinner -- don't change anything you eat -- and then don't eat again until late morning. In the meantime, drink plenty of water but don't take in any more calories. (Drinking plenty of water is not only good for you, it will also help stave off hunger pangs.)
Taking that approach means you will have fasted for around 12 hours, kicking your body into ketosis and forcing a metabolic switch from burning sugar to burning fat.
Over time your glucose levels will decrease, your serum insulin levels will decrease... and you'll lose weight in a sustainable way.
Both because you naturally eat less calories, but also because your body will burn more fat for fuel.
Try it. Follow my Two-Week Rule (you can do anything for two weeks) and commit to eating a healthy dinner and skipping breakfast for two weeks.
While you may find you eat a little more for lunch than you normally would... overall, you won't take in as many calories. And in the process you'll learn whether intermittent fasting is an eating regimen you want to explore -- one Nextdoor co-founder and CEO Nirav Tolia feels helps him operate at peak mental capacity.