The eternal question: Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
Depending on who you ask in the health and fitness industry, you’ll get a different response. Some ‘experts’ claim that it is – and that if you don’t eat a hearty breakfast, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Other ‘experts’ claim that breakfast really isn’t all that important, and that it might be better to do without it altogether.
So what gives?
If you’re looking to lose weight, I’m going to tell you what both groups of ‘experts’ will tell you: Breakfast CAN be the most important meal of the day, AND it’s really NOT all that important. Let me explain…
I believe that the best eating schedule is the one that your body tells you to follow. Mainly, if you’re hungry, you should eat – It doesn’t matter what time of day it is! It can fall right in line with a typical mealtime, or it can be at 3:30 in the afternoon.
When you’re hungry, you should eat. When you’re not, you should not. It’s really that simple!
Now that we’ve dispelled that, let’s say you’re hungry for breakfast – What’s the ultimate ‘Weight Loss Breakfast?’ For starters, you do NOT under any circumstances want to ingest a high-carb breakfast. So things like pancakes, waffles, cereal, granola, yogurt and oatmeal are all big no-nos! Why is this? Glad you asked!
When you’re waking up in the morning, your body is in a lipolytic, fasted state. A lipolytic state is one where your body is utilizing your fat stores as fuel. This tends to happen once all the excess carbohydrates in your system is used up. If you sleep for six or more hours, chances are this is the state you’re waking up in. You do NOT want to leave this state, particularly if you’re looking to lose weight.
When we ingest a high-carb breakfast, we take ourselves out of lipolysis and into glucosis, using the blood sugar that’s just hit our blood stream as our primary source of fuel. This takes us out of that fat-burning state, and if not deal with entirely (AKA if all of those carbs aren’t used up), the excess carbohydrate you ingested is stored as fat.
“But Peter,” you may be thinking, “I walk quite a bit during my commute in the morning!” Or, “I go to the gym within an hour of eating breakfast.” That’s cool, but study after study has come out in recent months stating how INADEQUATE exercise is for weight loss. Exercise has MANY health benefits and is key in the prevention of many of the chronic diseases the industrialized world suffers from, but it is NOT a reliable means of losing weight.
Weight loss is 80% nutrition! You can have the best exercise program in the world and you can be as active as you want, but if your nutrition sucks, your health and your waistline are going to suffer.
So what should you eat for a ‘Weight Loss Breakfast’ if a high-carb meal is out the window?
A high-fat, moderate-protein breakfast: Things like eggs, cheese, avocado, bacon and sausage, and preferably all scrambled in coconut or avocado oil. This is an incredibly nutritious breakfast that will keep you full for hours, that will give you endless amounts of energy and that will continue to keep you in a lipolytic state.
But what if you’re not hungry?
Simple: DON’T EAT! There are some folks who follow IF, or Intermittent Fasting, which has been shown to have numerous health benefits. Basically, these folks block out an eight-hour window each day to eat, and fast the other 16.
For example, many folks following IF eat from noon until 8 PM, and then don’t eat another ounce of food until the following day at noon. This isn’t easy for most people, but is a practice I personally like to incorporate once or twice per week.
Main Takeaway: If you’re hungry for breakfast, eat a high-fat, moderate-protein meal consisting of foods like eggs, bacon, sausage, avocado, nuts and seeds and coconut oil. If you’re not usually hungry for it, DON’T EAT IT!
Until next time!
Connect with WatchFit Expert Peter Weintraub.