Start Your Day off Right
When clients come to me, the most common cause of them seeking professional help is to lose weight and to look better. They are looking for ways to increase both self-esteem and feel better naked!
Before we start training, adding supplements or modifying their entire diet I ask them about breakfast:
- Do you eat?
- What do you eat?
- When do you eat?
Why eat breakfast at all? Most people are too busy or not hungry in the morning. Why do something that doesn’t appeal to you, right? Wrong.
Why Eating Breakfast is Essential
One study looked at 10,000 participants from adolescents to people in their twenties and found that skipping breakfast proved to increase fat mass and also lead to poor lunch choices. Another reputable source, the Mayo Clinic, says that skipping breakfast can lead to a higher chance of obesity because of the increased insulin response to hunger. When insulin is secreted into the blood stream, fat is directed to stay put and be stored while carbohydrates are used for energy. Without getting too scientific this means that instead of using fat as your main source of energy you are using carbohydrates. This may be a problem if you are looking to increase lean body mass.
What Not to Do
So you get up and have a cup of coffee and a bagel for breakfast. Come on! The high dosage of caffeine increases your cortisol levels and has a catabolic effect on muscle tissue. Meaning, you are putting your body into a state of losing muscle! Unless you are going to workout within an hour of having caffeine, I highly recommend you cut it out or switch to green tea which has been shown to have a positive effect on increasing fat metabolism. Oh, and the bagel just shoots your insulin levels straight to the sky. You might as well be eating sugar right out of the jar. Again, you are both increasing insulin and burning sugars instead of fat for energy.
The Right Way to Start the Day
So what do you eat to get the day going and set yourself up to get lean? Focus on low-glycemic foods such as proteins and fats. Proteins such as eggs, chicken, and steak are great examples of foods that charge the body and keep you satiated. You also want to include nuts such as walnuts, cashews, and almonds. These are good fats that will help to slow digestion of food which keeps your blood sugar low or from spiking. I highly recommend the meat and nut diet to lose weight and set yourself up for success for the rest of the day.
Dr. David Jenkins is one of the pioneers of the glycemic index. He also published a study in the Diabetes Care journal. This study found that eating a higher protein and fat breakfast improved total cholesterol and LDL levels. A rotating list of ideas can be found here.
It is easier than you think to get lean and feel better about yourself. Start with breakfast and go from there. It won’t hurt you to try this for a month. Especially if what you are doing now isn’t working!
Rich Jacobs is a Board Certified Integrative and Functional Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in resolving gut, insomnia, low libido, fatigue and fat issues. He uses a holistic approach and functional lab work to identify root causes such as hormone imbalances or gut pathogens that could be impacting your health.