Breakfast use to be referred to as ‘breaking the fast’ in early nutrition books.
There are many different levels I can answer this question. In considering ANY nutrition advice, one must first consider the context in which it is said. This is something that most people get confused with.
The same piece of advice can be totally wrong depending upon the person it is being said to. For example, eating meat in the morning can be a great piece of advice for someone looking to get fast results and looking to step it up. However, it can also be “too much” for someone beginning their journey into health and fitness. For this person starting the day with eggs or a green shake with a variety of different vegetables maybe just the thing they need to ‘ease’ them into a fitness lifestyle. Maybe in a couple of months they will be able to stomach meat first thing in the morning (again, not that they absolutely ‘HAVE TO’ to achieve their goals).
Ultimately you should never be scared of the food you eat. If you don’t feel confortable doing something there are always factors you can negotiate. It just comes down to your own level of commitment and what you’re willing to do in order to achieve your goals. Ideally, a meat-based breakfast is great because it will fill you up for longer, but then again, if you just can’t stomach meat, eggs are a great and shouldn’t been seen as a ‘lesser option’.
I don’t eat anything unless it’s absolutely delicious.
So why do you recommend meat in the morning?
The ideal breakfast is one that is high in protein and no, I don’t mean protein shakes with oats. Protein shakes hit the blood stream way too fast to be considered a sustainable breakfast. What I mean by that is that protein shakes can be converted to blood glucose via a process of gluconeogenesis. Additionally they are not real food and have a much faster G.I emptying rate. Again, first thing in the morning, you want to eat something that is going to stablise blood sugar. This is key and practically sets up the rest of the day in terms of food choices you will make.
Have you ever noticed starting the day with pancakes and ice cream usually results in fogging thinking and being lethargic? This then often results in poor food choices later in the day, “I’m tired and need energy, better grab a coffee”.
Barista: “Would you like a bagel”
“Sure, might as well, had pancakes with ice cream for breakfast”.
Maybe you don’t succumb to the bagel because your 100% gluten free, for you, maybe it’s the chocolate on the way home or the whole bag of nuts in the cupboard (and no a whole bag is not a serve).
It’s ‘flat tyre’ syndrome. Flat tyre syndrome is where you’re driving, puncture one tyre, then puncture the other three with a knife. “Might as well get four new tyres now”.
Makes no sense.
More often than not, once one bad choice is made, it opens the floodgates to more bad choices. This is always why we recommend eating food like chocolate, cheesecake and ice cream at night as the last meal of the day. Why, because you eat it then go to bed- the end. Wake up the next day and get on with your healthy lifestyle.
I’ve been doing this for so long that it actually tastes weird to have anything sweet during the day. Try it and see if it helps your compliance to sticking to a lifestyle conducive to optimal body composition. Remember the difference between a lifestyle and a diet is that you now “get it”, it’s a way of being and the only way off the treadmill that is ‘dieting’.
Don’t diet, eat for a purpose. My purpose is not just to ‘look good’ but rather to be an example and inspire others through health and fitness. Additionally to work and keep up with my lifestyle, I don’t have the luxury of being sick or having an ‘off day.’ The only insurance plan I have to maximise my body is to eat foods that build and nourish, not foods that destroy and create food addiction.
What you eat is so much more than ‘what you eat’.
Whoever said you are what you eat is right. There are many different reasons for eating and what we eat is often a reflection of values. Do you value food as a source of abundant energy and health? Or do you see it as a means to an end? Or do you have memories wrapped around certain foods and because those memories haven’t had closure your ingesting memories not ‘food’.
A little deep for a Personal Trainer? You bet!
You see, I actually want you to get your results, and if that means pushing you to deal with old issues, great! Its time to move forward.
(Note: Protein shakes are never ‘needed’. The only time to have them is post training, additionally, you don’t have to have them and they are certainly not for everyone).
Main reasons for a protein-based breakfast:
• The first thirty grams of protein you eat goes towards immune function. If you’re constantly getting sick, try a high protein breakfast. It’s also great for people who need “never get sick insurance”. If you’re a busy person like me, you want to make sure you have this well and truly covered as we don’t have time to get sick.
• Protein stabilises blood sugar which means you will have better energy first thing in the morning without the dips at “coffee o’clock’ one to two hours after breakfast. Coffee is not a substitute for a poor diet.
• A protein-based breakfast satiates appetite for much longer than a grain or cereal based breakfast. I mean have you ever noticed that people don’t tend to binge on steak or boiled eggs?
• What you eat first thing in the morning often sets up your eating behavior for the rest of the day. Ever noticed that if you start the day with pancakes, you have waffles for lunch and pizza for dinner and ice cream for desert? Eating a healthy meal first thing in the morning is telling your brain, yes, I am going to make good choices today until one day it becomes a habit and you cant help but make excellent choices.
A protein based breakfast is not a new radical idea, its only radical to western civilization who have been sold for the last 60 to 70 years that your “supposed to” eat cereal and bread in the morning. Remember, before the commercialization of food we only ate things that were hunted, fished, gather and plucked… grains and cereals were never on the list (no matter how hard weet-bix tries to convince you).
But I have no appetite in the morning?
This can be three fold.
1. You ate too much the night before
2. Your simply not use to eating breakfast
3. Your burning fat therefore have no appetite
In any case, don’t stress.
Enterprise Fitness trainer, Reece Adams has a good way of putting it, breakfast is just ‘meal one’. In other words, there are no special combinations of food that you must eat first thing in the morning, it’s just a meal as any other.
Let me say that again in another way, there is nothing particularly ‘special’ about breakfast except for the wheat industry’s propaganda brain washing the masses that your ‘supposed to’ eat grains and cereal. Remember, the food pyramid was created by the wheat industry to steer people away from eggs, bacon and butter in the morning to cereals, bread and margarine, all of which will not help you achieve optimal body composition.
How to pick foods for breakfast (or any other for that fact):
Step 1: Pick a protein
Step 2: Pick a green/s (with a colour, optional)
Step 3: Pick a fat to cook it in or add one. Depending on your goals, you might even do both, cook with butter and have a serve of Avocado.. Oh my!
And depending on goals and body type:
Step 4: Choose a starchy carb
Maximus Mark Ottobre
Owner and Director of Enterprise Fitness