Is breakfast really so important when trying to lose weight?
It depends a lot on the content of your diet. Look at your nutrient balance from last week. If your carbs are over 50%, you are on the low-fat, high-carb plan. That plan depends on eating 5-6 times a day, very small amounts, and distracting yourself so the hunger won’t bother you. High-carb dieters get into BIG trouble by skipping meals. If you get so hungry that you’re desperate and reaching for anything and everything, that’s why. The only way to eat that many carbs and still lose is to do it constantly throughout the day, no more than a serving or two at a time, so you are burning it off and not overloading your system with lots of carbs at once. I think this is why high-carb dieters say to eat breakfast every day.
If you can get your carbs below 30% (not really low-carb, but more balanced) you can start listening to your body and trust your hunger signals, and you won’t be fighting with carb cravings all the time. Also adding some good fats helps balance out the nutrients and keeps you satisfied much longer. So if you don’t want to be eating 6 times a day, add some fat to your meals and try to get under 30% carbs. This is HARD at first, but if you can stick with it for 2 weeks it gets a lot easier. THEN you can eat 3 times a day, and you’ll probably be fine with no snacks. After a while of listening to your body’s signals and figuring out where the new hunger level is, you can start skipping one or even 2 meals easily and safely.
So, if you eat mostly carbs, then *when* you eat them is crucial. Get started early and have small amounts, all through your day, and stop at dinner so you can burn everything off before sleeping. If you eat less carbs and mostly fats/protein, it doesn’t matter when you eat them, you can eat whenever you are hungry. Good luck.