Don’t Eat Breakfast

One way to really tighten up your budget and generate a multitude of other life and money-saving benefits, of course, is to tighten up your diet.  Now overall, what and how much  you eat is the most important thing of all when it comes to meeting your physical and financial goals.  Simply put, if you eat more you will spend more, and if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.  And vice versa.  That is the crux of it all, simple.  How you get there is up to you really, but here’s a bit on some of my own findings.

The main way I make sure I don’t eat too much and therefore spend too much is by skipping breakfast.  In 2016 I heard about “Bulletproof Coffee” right in and around the time I heard of fasting as a modern practice and, in particular, intermittent fasting.  There are various benefits to fasting depending on the type, and high-fat diets such as the ketogenic diet are emerging as very popular as we move past the confusion created by the misnomer and double entendre of the word ‘fat’.  But above-all, to me, it was what allowed me to justify skipping breakfast as I have never had much of an appetite in the mornings, especially early.  I’m usually up well before the sun to either surf or work, and now that I know I can just add some fat (clean butter or ghee and coconut or mct oil) to my coffee and blend (if you’re so inclined to froth), I feel free to get out into the world knowing that the coffee will keep me going for hours.  The fat keeps you feeling satiated (full) and feeds your brain the much-needed energy it requires to function at its best.

The idea that waking up and filling ourselves with sugary grains (aka ‘cereal’) and empty carbs (aka ‘bananas’) first thing in the morning is dying.  Starting your day like this keeps your body running on these sugars and begging for another hit the minute it starts to run low.  Eating one or two meals per day, or sporadically within a window of 6-8 hours each day, allows your body to reach homeostasis in between meals.  Eating higher fat diets and only fats during your fasting periods allows the body to adjust to using ketones for energy from time-to-time instead of glycogen (carbs).  This way, when you do run low on fuel from your food later in the day or while entering your 4th hour of your morning out and about pursing the activity of your choice (remember, you’re going to be retired soon) you don’t get hangry, or desperately hungry enough to buy ($$$) a sugary snack to tie you over for the next 20 minutes until you get home and can enjoy your healthy, well-rounded, affordable lunch (that you’ve already paid for anyway when you got the groceries so don’t  waste).

Now, do you love breakfast way too much to skip it?  Is this all unfathomable to you?  That’s OK.  It’s more about demonstrating some little things I’ve found along the way that I find helpful and that suit me, but you gotta do you, and the point is to find out what works for you.  Maybe you skip lunch?  Or eat little in the afternoon/evenings?  Where I live, most of the people eat sparsely through the day and have huge meals at 9pm just before going to sleep, which isn’t recommended in most fitness and weight-loss circles, but that’s OK.  The bottom line is that if you live active, eat good food (and not too much of it) your general fitness will take care of itself and, by extension, so will your budget (or is it the other way around?).

The most important notion I am trying to get across is that it is important to question norms.  We buy diamonds for weddings because DeBeers made it a societal norm.  We smoked in cars with our children because it was a societal norm.  We ate three starchy, environmentally unfriendly and unsustainable meals per day because it was a societal norm.  We worked the majority of our lives to pay for things we didn’t actually need and couldn’t actually afford because it was a societal norm.  But none of these norms are based on sound fact and judgement.  And none of these norms are necessities.  And none of these norms need live-on.

All you really have to do to break free of these norms is to recognize them for what they are, develop your own path (the easy part) and execute that plan consistently (the harder part).  Money.  Diet.  Fitness.  Love.  Life.  That’s it.

10 thoughts on “Don’t Eat Breakfast

  1. Great post,

    I’ve also written on the benefits of intermittent fasting for diet and dollars.

    You may also want to try pushing yourself once per week to do a 24 or 36 hour fast and once per month work your way up to a longer block fasting window.

    I’ve bought the bullet proof ingredients bur haven’t used them yet. We don’t have a coffee machine in our current apartment, which is quite tight on space, while our house is being built.

    Do you use a coffee machine, a French press? Also, how do you like the bulletproof coffee?

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    1. I totally do want to try some longer fasts, but haven’t found the chance at this point, which is a lame excuse. While I am here at work, it’s kind of out of the question (and wouldn’t be much of a personal journey in this space while needing to also do my job), and so far while south in the Baja it has been hard to fit in. It has been on my list of things that I want to work in, especially when my life is less of this back-and-forth, but this is a good reminder of it and maybe I should stop making excuses and just do it sometime ASAP.

      Do you do a full fast? Or fat fast with fatty coffee? Or Broth? Fruit? I think the only way I could bull it off is with the fatty coffees to take the hanger away a bit, but never try/never know.

      I only used the bulletproof coffee once, and then realized I was being sold on a brand and that I didn’t need their beans to make the concoction. I still usually use their oils as they are the most common where I find them, but other brands of MCT oils are pretty plentiful nowadays, and I have even just used coconut oil in its place when necessary, and it seems to be all the same for me (little flavor change with the coco oil of course). I usually also add a tiny splash of vanilla, which is a great perk to living in Mexico where it is literally about 2000% cheaper than at home it seems (say $5 CAD for about 400 mL, which lasts months).

      I use an Aeropress at work, and a regular old drip coffee contraption at home, because the Aeropress I had there got messed up somehow. I love the Aeropress as it somehow makes the coffee very unbitter which is great when it sits in my Stanley mug for hours (I usually drink two of those full between about 6am and noon). French presses are OK too, but I find a lot of people leave the coffee on the beans for far too long. I often heat up the coffee from the drip machine on the stove as I like it to go into the mug as hot as possible so it will stay hot for hours (the hotter it is, the longer each cup lasts as I tend to sip it more than drink it).

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      1. I do a full fast, generally, from Sunday evening until Monday evening. I have coffee, but no calories in it.

        Once per month, I intend to do as a Sunday evening to Tuesday evening and eventually through Wednesday evening.

        Challenge is I’m training for ultramarathons, which makes no calories for days hard!

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      2. Ultramarathons!? Hot damn. Like the 75km type or the 250km type?

        I did a few Sprint triathlons a few years ago, and want to get further into that scene, particularly the XTerra Off-Road Triathlons. Surfing is a sport that lends itself to travel lots, but combining travels with completing some races in amazing places that I might not visit if I were strictly chasing waves is tempting. So far, still being a working stiff, the dates on the locations I have my eye on for now (Mexico, Victoria, Costa Rica) haven’t worked out, but it looks like at least a couple will work out in 2019. Running is my least enjoyed/least skilled portion of the races I think. Well I’m pretty unskilled at all three really…

        Have you tried doing the fast over the weekend instead? I feel like it would be hard to work (and yes, train extensively) in the middle of a fast but as you get used to them I suppose the effects are tempered (as they seem to be with the daily intermittent fast). Any time is as good as any other to push your limits I suppose.

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      3. I can’t do the full fasts on the weekends. Those are long run days. For example, while on vacation I am doing a 25km training run tomorrow AM. I will do an 80km, roughly flat, trail run in four weeks.

        This Summer, the week of my 40th birthday, I will do a 112km trail run in the mountains. It will hurt, for sure.

        I was doing triathlon when I was younger and did Ironman Canada in 2010. Injured in the process and took six years off, and got fat.

        Once house built, will add riding to the running. I hate swimming. My new discipline is running. I’ve been going for 460 days straight.

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      4. Very cool. Even Ironmans seem crazy long to me. A friend did a 250-ish km race in Manning Park this past summer after really no experience doing anything like it, although he is generally fit and trained well. A fine demonstration of what is possible, ‘step-by-step’ (pun kinda sorta intended but not fully).

        I love swimming, but have never done an open-water race swim, which I am sure is a different beast altogether. I;’m not particularly competitive but feel like it will be a good thing to keep me focused on fitness while time is abundant in my life, and of course, ‘oh the places I’ll go’ to attend the races (currently races on every continent but Antarctica I believe).

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      5. Not too sure but I could have sworn it was about 240km, while his partner was completing a shorter race (70 km i thought). Must be the same race though and im just confused, cant imagine there’s that many in Manning each year of such lengths. It was in August last year I believe.

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      6. Yes, Fat Dog 70 and Fat Dog 120 in Manning each year, both miles. Don’t worry, the 120 miler is 192 km and just short of Everest in elevation gain. It’s one of N America’s epic runs.

        They’re indeed in August.

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  2. Pingback: Costa Rica Surf Trip: A Travelogue and Budget – Freedom 33

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