It’s been long believed that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. We were taught to load up on carbohydrates and sugars so that we will be able to maintain our energy levels through the morning until lunch. Albeit, a logical idea for what we knew about nutrition at the time, today the science is saying something completely different. What we are starting to realize is that breakfast is not only not the least important meal of the day, if done wrong it could actually lead to some negative health effects.
5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid a Big Carbohydrate Rich Breakfast
1. A big carbohydrate rich breakfasts will completely interrupt the fat burning state you are in upon waking up and will switch your from a primarily fat burning state into a primarily sugar burning state which, is not the ideal state to be in if your goals are weight loss.
2. A big carbohydrate rich breakfast will cause a large glucose dump within your body. This will lead to massive spikes in insulin and unless you have room in your muscles or liver to store it, (which you will not unless you have worked out recently) will lead to that excess glucose to be converted into triglycerides which, will then be stored in your fat cells. Simply put, unless you are a very active person then a big breakfast high in refined carbohydrates and sugar will make you fat.
3. Due to the constantly rising and falling of insulin and blood sugar levels, you will experience drastic dips in energy if you are unable to eat regularly.
4. Since you will be switching from a primarily fat burning state to a primarily sugar burning state after this type of breakfast, you will be far more susceptible to intense hunger pangs later on in the day if you are unable to eat regularly. The reason being is because since you are in a primarily sugar burning state the only way your body can get more fuel is from you eating it.
5. Eating refine carbohydrates and sugar rich foods promotes overeating due to the low levels of satiation that these foods provide.
To avoid any confusion I will give you a list of foods that you should avoid at breakfast which include:
- Breakfast bars
- All types of breads
- Sugary yogurt
- Breakfast drinks
5 Reasons Why You Should Skip Breakfast
1. During sleep our bodies go into a fasted state. While in this state our bodies are burning up its own body fat for fuel which, is ideal state to be in if your goals are to lose weight or stay lean.
2. When you skip breakfast you start to develop superior appetite control with less hunger pangs because your body will learn how to utilize its own body fat for energy more efficiently. This will allow your body to access its own body fat as a secondary fuel source instead of mostly relying on glucose which it can only get from you consuming it externally.
3. You drastically reducing your chances of overeating which will help you lose or maintain your weight more easily.
4. You will experience more stable levels of energy due to the fact that your body will have developed the new ability to utilize its own body fat for energy.
5. When your body is not in a constant state of digestion it will start to repair and detox itself much more efficiently.
The Eat Different Guide to Breakfast
Since everybody’s body works differently, and everyone has different health goals that they are trying to reach, I am going to give you my three best options for breakfast. Every option has pros and cons and everyone will have different preferences so do some experimenting and see what one works best for you.
Option 1: Eat nothing, Otherwise Known as Intermittent Fasting
By skipping breakfast all together and opting for just water, you will be able to maintain your fasted state all the way up until lunch. The benefits of option 1 include:
- Accelerated fat loss: Since you haven’t introduced anything to interrupt your fast, your body will continue to burn fat for as long as you don’t eat.
- Body maintenance: Digestion takes up a lot of your body’s energy and attention. However, when there is no food to digest your body will start focusing on other areas such as, tissue repair, improving immunity, as well as DNA repair.
- Superior appetite control: After your body has adapted to the routine of skipping breakfast, you will develop superior appetite control.
Option 1 is your ideal strategy if your goal is maximum fat loss. The one thing I will say about eating nothing at all is that there is a transition period where you might experience some pretty noticeable hunger pangs. Eventually they will subside but if you are having troubles with them then I would recommend option 2.
Option 2: High Fat Coffee and Tea
This is my favorite option and my usual go-to for breakfast. By mixing fats such as butter, coconut oil, or heavy cream with your coffee or tea, you are combining the appetite suppressing ability of saturated fat with the energy and metabolism boosting ability of caffeine. Also, since you are adding pure fat into an already fat burning system, your body will remain in a primarily fat burning mode throughout the morning. Benefits of option 2 include:
- Easier appetite control: Adding saturated fat will decrease your hungry pangs.
- Increased energy and metabolism: Caffeine will rev up your metabolism while also providing you with an energy boost.
- Being able to remain in a primarily fat burning state throughout the morning: Remaining in a fat burning state will promote weight loss.
High Fat Coffee and Tea Recipes:
- 1 cup of brewed coffee
- Heavy 33-35% whipping cream (add as much as you like)
- 1 tbsp. of erythritol
- No blending required
Yerba Mate Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1-2 tbsp. unsalted grass-fed butter
- Blend together
- Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or both
Just as a side note, here is a really interested discussion with John Kiefer about the different health benefits between butter vs. cream.
Option 3: A High fat, Low Carb Breakfast
If you find yourself feeling very hungry in the morning or perhaps you had a big workout the day before and you want to make sure you’re keeping your protein intake high, then a high fat, low carb breakfast is your best choice. To understand the differences in how our bodies utilize fats compared to carbohydrates and sugars, imagine our body is like a furnace. When you consume fat, particularly saturated and monounsaturated fats, it is like adding a log into your furnace whereas carbohydrates and sugars are like adding twigs and paper. When you add fat you are able to get far more energy that will last much longer compared to the short lasting effects of carbohydrates and sugars that force you to be constantly refueling to keep your energy levels stable. Also, consuming a high fat breakfast will keep you in a primarily fat burning state which is important for managing your weight.
The Eat Differently Guide to Creating Your Own High Fat Coffee or Tea Drink
This is a guide of all the essentials you need to start experimenting and creating your own unique high fat coffee or tea drink. Personally, I have made some amazing drinks but I have also made some terrible drinks. However, the process was always fun. Make your own drink, take a picture, and share it on my Facebook page at Eat Exercise Live Differently and let’s see how creative you can be! All you have to do is click the link below and sign up for the newsletter.