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The Most Important Meal of the Day

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Nutrition is a huge subject to say the least. 80% of the fat loss battle comes down to nutrition, and with so much misinformation out there, it’s no wonder people are confused about what to eat. Today we are going to keep it simple and talk about breakfast. Despite varying beliefs on what constitutes a well-balanced breakfast, the question of ‘why’ should be at the top of everyone’s list.

 

So where does the term ‘breakfast’ come from anyway? While we sleep, the body endures a long period of time (hopefully 7-9 hours!) without nutrients which leads to muscle breakdown. We call this time frame the ‘fast’. To minimize this breakdown, the body needs to replenish nutrients ASAP upon waking up. In other words we need to ‘break’ the ‘fast’ and, there you have it – breakfast!

 

When the body enters REM sleep, it burns many calories to prepare itself for the next day. Therefore, come 6:30am when that alarm clock goes off, your body is more or less running on fumes; the tank is empty and your lean body mass is crying for help. Those muscle glycogen stores are tapped and need to be replenished. Drawing reference to a previous article, we should all be aware of the ill effects of unsupervised muscle breakdown….right??

 

Here are some benefits of starting your day with breakfast:

  1. Having a lower BMI

  2. Consuming less fat through the day

  3. Meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption

  4. Having higher daily calcium intake

  5. Having higher daily fiber intake

  6. Having better performance (memory and attention)

 

The sooner we get breakfast the better. This meal should provide the nutrients necessary to maximize strength, regulate blood sugar and kick-start the metabolism. Of course you will eat at some point during the day, but your nervous system doesn’t know this. It’s thinking first and foremost about survival. The longer you go on an empty stomach, the greater the chance your metabolism will slow way down to conserve energy.   Do this consistently and you know what comes next: ‘bad’ weight gain.

 

Here are some disadvantages of skipping breakfast:

  1. More likely to be overweight

  2. Less likely to meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption

  3. More likely to consume unhealthy snacks

 

While these studies found that children and adolescents have shown that those who skip breakfast are apt to be overweight.

Also, think twice next time someone mentions they only drink coffee in the morning as a weight loss solution. He or she may tell you they don’t have time to eat breakfast. He or she may also say they’ve heard that caffeine will help ‘speed up’ their metabolism. While this may be true, it doesn’t remotely compare to the nutritional value of an actual meal. Any short-term speeding up of your metabolism through coffee will eventually crash and burn without whole foods present.

 

Are you making good breakfast choices?

You might think that a muffin and a cup of coffee ought to do the trick, but experts advise being more careful about what you choose to start your day.

 

Here are some suggestions for those on the go:

  1. High-fiber cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk or soy or rice milk substitute

  2. Low-fat protein shake with fresh/frozen fruit

  3. High-fiber toast or bagel with tablespoon of peanut butter

  4. Select protein bar and yogurt or a glass of milk

 

Contrary to popular belief, you need to eat more to gain less. Take the extra 5-15 minutes and make breakfast a priority every day; it will pay dividends in the long run. For coaching on TJF customized breakfast options (macro-nutrient combinations, calorie requirements for your body-type, anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant and immune boosting nutrients needed, etc.) please don’t hesitate to ask for my assistance. Get on track with breakfast and you will start to see and feel a big difference shortly, both at your waist-line and your energy levels!

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