Eat within one hour of waking up and make protein the foundation of your breakfast with 20-30 grams.
The most important meal of the day
Breakfast is your first meal after having fasted for 7-12 hours. Starting your metabolic system back up first thing in the morning is vital to the amount of calories you will burn for the rest of your day. Forgo this important habit and your body will be running on empty and screaming at you to go eat the refrigerator.
Protein should be the first priority when deciding what to eat for breakfast. Protein is going to help your body recover from the stresses (workouts) of the previous day by sending your cells and muscles the essential amino acids for repairing them. Without adequate protein we risk losing muscle mass, which in turn means our body fat percentages will be going up. Protein has also been proven to make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Carbohydrates are beneficial, but, of course, not all carbs are the same… choose high fiber, high nutrient carbs. Breakfast has been stereotyped as being a high carb meal with pancakes, pop-tarts, bagels, donuts, cereal, fat-free milk, syrup, and jelly being some of the main foods we think about. Those are all carbs that will cause a sharp spike in insulin, which will result in a sudden energy crash later. Plus, these high-glycemic carbohydrates make you crave more sugar shortly after. Value your body, feed it quality foods, and stay consistent.
What the studies show about breakfast:
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) last year analyzed a small group of 18 to 20 year old obese females. When the subjects ate a high protein breakfast (35 grams) versus skipping the meal or eating a low protein breakfast (13 grams), not only did they have increased fullness later in the day, but brain scans showed reduced activity in the area that controls food cravings. This resulted in a reduced intake of high-fat and high-sugar evening snacks.
The satiety that results from a high protein breakfast may have something to do with ghrelin, the appetite hormone that stimulates hunger. A second study in the AJCN, analyzed the effect of a high protein breakfast (58.1 percent) versus a high carbohydrate breakfast (19.3 percent) on ghrelin production in 15 healthy adult men. It found that after the meal the high protein breakfast decreased ghrelin secretion more than the high carbohydrate breakfast. They also found that the high protein breakfast reduced gastric emptying which may result in feeling fuller longer.
Summary of many studies- those who eat breakfast are
- Less likely to be overweight – almost 5x less!
- Burn more calories throughout their day
- Are less likely to binge eat in the evening
- Are more conscience of what they are eating the rest of the day
- Able to concentrate better, especially noted in children at school
- Plan ahead – cut veggies the night before. Keep the fridge full of healthy options.
- Have healthy bars or a pre-made shake ready in case you are in a bind
- Get a routine. Know the 1-3 different breakfasts that you like and are healthy, then learn how to make them quickly.
Here are some examples of healthy foods you can have for breakfast, remember to start with your protein, get some healthy fat, some veggies and a serving of carb especially if you are about to workout.
Eggs (best source of protein)
Greek Yogurt-Plain unsweetened
Turkey or Chicken Sausage
Organic Cottage Cheese
Any lean meat (fish, chicken, elk steak or lean cuts of beef)
Chia Seeds (4.7g per 2 T)
Nuts or Nut butters
Extra-Virgin Olive, Avocado, or Coconut Oil
Eggs yolks (2-4 per day is fine)
Fruit, esp. Organic Berries (1\2 cup= 1 serving)
High fiber bread
Vegetables (non-starchy) have as much as you can- broccoli, spinach, kale, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes
12 Weeks Total Recharge
Our 12 Weeks Total Recharge blog series is dedicated to help bring your body to a place of rejuvenation, a strong and lively place. Each week we will focus on a specific topic and provide key information to help achieve the best YOU. You can use the links below to view the previous and next post in the series or you can view all posts here.
Body Basics offers personal training, group fitness classes (including mobility) and nutrition counseling at our facility in beautiful downtown Boise. Contact us to discuss how we can help achieve your goals for a better you.