I was watching the news last week when they showed a stat that scared me. It said that at least 10% of the population completely skips breakfast and another 20% eat less than 500 calories for breakfast. Those two stats seems crazy to me but that’s not what scared me. The next stat was, those who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese than those who did not.
To most people the thought is, “I am not hungry in the morning so I don’t eat, and that means I am eating less calories so I will eventually lose weight.” But obviously that is false because almost 24 million people in the US skip breakfast and are obese.
Science has shown that if you eat a meal in the morning it will help kick start digestion and fire up your metabolism. It should help you regulate your blood sugar and help you stay energized throughout the morning and keep you from making bad snack choices and overeating at lunch.
If you are someone who does not eat breakfast but just read that and are now saying, “I’ll just pick some breakfast up on my way to work.” Don’t do that either! You don’t know what they are making their food from, what they use to cook with and most of the time breakfast food from restaurants are frozen and the microwaved for you.
So what should your breakfast look like? Let me give you an example of what your breakfast should not look like first:
-Oatmeal or Cereal
-Fruit (Strawberries, Bananas, Mangos, etc…)
Most people would look at this breakfast and go, “But that seems pretty healthy?” And compared some breakfast choices it is very healthy. But our goal for breakfast is to help our bodies and to have us feeling fuller longer. But a breakfast like the one above is mostly carbs and that is bad for two reasons. First, although it looks like it could be a lot of food it is only about 400 calories, and for most of us adults we will go through that pretty quick. The second reason is that your blood sugar is going to skyrocket. I could go on and on about the glycemic index and how insulin is produced and how the changing of hormones throughout the day can affect energy levels as well as body composition but I’ll save that for another blog, but just know it is bad and is not going to help you in your weight loss or body composition change.
So what should a breakfast look like? It is my opinion (*someone who is not a dietitian) that your breakfast should be made up of mostly protein and fat. Some carbs are ok but I would keep them to less than an ounce and make sure they are not sugary carbohydrates.
Why mostly protein and fat? Well for one if you are someone who exercises protein in the morning is a must, and really at every meal. Eating protein helps your body stay in a state where it is repairing muscle and burning fat. So it’s important that we eat protein in every meal so that our body does not go into fat storage mode instead. How much protein will vary from person to person but if I had to give you a range 20-40g of protein is a good one.
When someone uses the word fat we automatically associate that with the word obese. But fat is a nutrient that we need and serves its purpose. For breakfast we want to consume fats because it will help slow down our digestion which ultimately will make you feel full longer.
I believe that people skip breakfast in the morning because they do not want to take the time to prepare something. They do not want to spend five minutes the night before figuring out what to make for breakfast and they do not want to spend ten to fifteen minutes making and eating breakfast in the morning, because the believe that those ten to fifteen minutes of extra sleep is going to better their day……
In short, make breakfast! Make sure it is not a sugary cereal, bread or grain based breakfast. Do not be lazy search the internet and find what you need and wake up a few minutes early because eating breakfast will help you for the day way more than ten to fifteen extra minutes of sleep.
I hope this helps and if you fall into the category of people who do not eat breakfast it is time to change!
Head Coach & Partner at BayWay CrossFit