Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, but is that really true when you’re on the keto diet? As with most things in nutrition, the answer isn’t black and white. While some people may benefit from skipping breakfast on keto, others will likely feel better eating a morning meal. Here’s a look at the potential pros and cons of skipping breakfast on a keto diet.
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Potential Benefits of Skipping Breakfast on Keto
Here are some of the possible upsides of skipping breakfast on a keto diet:
- Promotes fat burning: By skipping breakfast, you extend your overnight fast. This allows your body to stay in fat burning mode longer (start intermittent fasting on keto to maximize this benefit).
- Simplifies your morning: Preparing breakfast can add stress and take up precious morning time. Skipping it makes mornings easier.
- Supports appetite control: Eating fewer meals overall can help control hunger and cravings throughout the day (biohacking with keto uses this strategy).
- Aids weight loss: For some people, skipping breakfast leads to reduced overall calorie intake, which may boost weight loss.
Potential Drawbacks of Skipping Breakfast on Keto
However, skipping breakfast on keto also has some potential downsides to consider:
- Increased hunger: Skipping breakfast may lead to excessive hunger, potentially leading to overeating later in the day.
- Energy crashes: Without breakfast, you may experience fatigue, irritability, and reduced concentration during the morning.
- Less nutritious diet: Breakfast skippers often have a harder time meeting their micronutrient needs for the day.
- Possible muscle loss: Some research indicates that eating protein at breakfast helps preserve muscle mass while dieting.
- Higher cortisol levels: Skipping breakfast has been associated with increased cortisol, a hormone linked to stress and belly fat gain.
Tips for Skipping Breakfast on Keto
If you do decide to try skipping breakfast on keto, here are some tips to make it go smoothly:
- Drink coffee/tea: Beverages with caffeine can help curb your appetite and give you energy.
- Eat very low carb at night: Make sure your last meal of the day is low in carbs and high in fat to stabilize blood sugar.
- Try bulletproof coffee: Sipping on coffee blended with butter or MCT oil may help control hunger.
- Stay busy: Keep your mind occupied so you don’t obsess over food.
- Break your fast with a keto-friendly protein shake: Getting some protein and healthy fat can curb hunger and cravings.
- Consider a modified fast: Having a small snack like nuts or olives may help you transition to skipping breakfast.
- Listen to your body: Discontinue fasting if you feel lethargic, irritable or ravenously hungry.
Should You Skip Breakfast on Keto?
Whether or not skipping breakfast on keto is right for you depends on your body and lifestyle. Here are some factors to consider:
- Are you truly hungry in the morning? If not, your body may do fine without breakfast.
- Do you feel good when fasting? Or do you get headaches, brain fog, and serious cravings?
- Can you function well without breakfast? If not, you may want to eat to avoid fatigue and mental cloudiness.
- Are you active in the mornings? If you workout early, some pre-exercise fuel may be beneficial.
- Are you losing weight? If fasting aids your weight loss efforts, it may be worth continuing.
- Do you get enough nutrition without breakfast? Analyze your full day’s intake to spot potential gaps.
The best approach is to experiment and see how skipping breakfast makes you feel. You can try it for a few weeks and then reevaluate.
Pay attention to your energy, focus, cravings, and any other signs of hunger.
While breakfast is unnecessary for some keto dieters, others will likely feel and function better with a morning meal.
As with most things in keto, finding the approach that fits your body best is key.
Sample Keto Breakfasts to Try
If you decide that eating breakfast helps you feel your best on keto, here are some delicious low-carb breakfast options to try:
Savory Keto Breakfasts
- Scrambled eggs and bacon
- Keto breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese on a low-carb wrap
- Veggie omelet
- Leftover meat and veggies from the previous night’s dinner
- Keto breakfast casserole
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese roll-ups
Sweet Keto Breakfasts
- Keto pancakes or waffles made with almond or coconut flour
- Keto granola with unsweetened nut milk
- Chia pudding made with nut milk and zero-carb sweetener
- Bacon and egg smoothie bowl
- Frozen keto yogurt with nut butter and berries
With a little creativity, you can enjoy tasty low-carb breakfasts that provide lasting energy on a keto diet.
Pay attention to how different breakfast choices impact your hunger, energy, and focus throughout the day.
The Takeaway on Skipping Breakfast on Keto
While skipping breakfast may make sense for some people on the keto diet, it really depends on the individual.
There’s no universally right or wrong answer.
Try out fasting and non-fasting breakfast approaches for a few weeks each. Take note of how skipping or eating breakfast makes you feel.
If you run into problems like fatigue, mental fogginess or ravenous hunger, you may do better having a morning meal.
Listen to the signals from your body to determine the breakfast habits that optimize your energy, fat burning and overall health on keto.
Be flexible and make changes as needed over time based on your lifestyle and goals.