The WORST thing you can eat for breakfast is nothing at all!
Many women think that the later they can wait in the day before eating a first meal means the less calories they’ll eat. Tons of us strive to eat only lunch and dinner in a desperate attempt to lose more weight. But if we do this, we’re doing ourselves a huge disservice.
Ladies, don’t make this mistake! When your Mom said ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ she knew what she was talking about!
Why is the first meal of the day so crucial? What happens when you skip it? What’s the best type of food to eat in the a.m.? We ‘dish’ all about starting your a.m. the right way!
- Skipping Meals Doesn’t Help You Eat Less: Several studies have found that those who skip breakfast end up making up for it later in the day and THEN SOME. This is because hunger pangs tend to kick in before lunch time – when you feel starved, you may grab whatever is available, and it may not be the best choice. Not eating breakfast can also lead to you eating larger portions during lunch and dinner, or can cause binges in the evening after dinner.
- Eating Breakfast Helps You GET Slim: Skipping meals can cause your metabolism to slow down…waaaay down. When it doesn’t have food for many hours at a time, your metabolism tends to go into starvation mode. It stops burning fat for energy and begins to store the calories for later. So, think about it. What happens when we wake up from sleep? Our body hasn’t had any food in at least 8, but possibly even 10 or 12 hours. That’s why it’s super important to fuel up right after you wake up – to get your metabolism moving again!
- Eating Breakfast Helps You STAY Slim: The National Weight Control Registry follows those who are successful at long term weight loss to see how they are able to keep the weight off. In their studies, 80% of those who have lost at least 30 lbs and kept them off for at least one year regularly eat breakfast! Their success is due to the metabolism factor: keeping your body fueled throughout the day ensures you’ll keep your metabolism running smoothly. And that’s exactly what you need to lose weight AND keep it off!
- Eating Breakfast Helps Your Workout: Providing your body with a constant source of fuel throughout the day will give you strong energy all day long, and will make it easier for you to stick to your workout plan. You know how great it feels to work out on those days when you’re full of energy? That can be every day!
- Eating Breakfast Helps You Work: When you skip breakfast, blood sugar levels drop, and along with them, focus, mental acuity and motivation. No one likes feeling like they’re going to fall asleep at their desk. You may be surprised to find how much a good, healthy breakfast helps power you through the first half of your day!
WHAT MAKES AN IDEAL BREAKFAST?
Whether your goal is weight loss or building lean muscle mass, it’s important to include a lean protein source and a slow-burning carbohydrate in your first meal of the day. This combo will help you keep feeling full and energetic for the day ahead. Don’t indulge in that muffin, donut or pastry that are calling to you from inside the Starbucks display case! The sugar and refined carbohydrates in these sweet treats will send you on a counterproductive spike and crash.
Instead, consider one of these quick easy breakfast options:
- A yogurt smoothie or protein shake with fruit
- Whole grain cereal in milk with almonds on top
- 2 Scrambled eggs and a whole wheat English Muffin
- A veggie omelet with a piece of whole grain bread
- Oatmeal with a few raisins and walnuts
- Whole grain cereal with low fat milk and fruit
- A hard boiled egg and a banana
A concept called ‘Fasted Cardio,’ in which you perform cardio exercise in the a.m. BEFORE eating breakfast, might be helpful for weight loss, because the body will burn fat for energy instead of the carbs it would get from a breakfast beforehand. If you’re able to give it your all in the gym early in the morning without fueling up, it might be worth a try. However, it may cause many people to feel lightheaded or low energy. If you’re a morning exerciser, listen to your body to find out if training in this way is appropriate for you. If you do choose fasted cardio, consider a shorter workout time (20 to 30 minutes) and be sure to get a breakfast with protein and slow burning carbohydrates into your body as quickly as you can (within 20 minutes or less) after finishing your workout to boost muscle recovery and replenish energy stores.
20 -30 minutes after eating breakfast may be a better time to do a strenuous or prolonged workout such as strength training. You’ll need the protein and carbohydrate fuel from your breakfast to give it your all. Eat a good protein source after your strength training session to help with muscle recovery.
Did you know that the best way to boost metabolism is not only to eat breakfast, but to eat at least 5 times per day? That’s what we recommend in our Athlean-XX for Women Nutrition Plan. Our workouts are only 30 minutes long, but they’re challenging! Not only will you need the steady fuel to work out your hardest, the frequent meals will also get your metabolism running like a well-oiled machine! You’ll be amazed how good you look and feel after 90 days working out and eating like we do on Athlean-XX for Women. Join us on Team Athlean to see and feel the difference!