Google+ Fitorium: Jump start your day with a perfect breakfast...or none!

06 April 2014

Jump start your day with a perfect breakfast...or none!

Good morning Fitorriors ! The way we start every morning has a major impact on how productive and happy our whole day will be.

I'm going to give you two scenarios here (in terms of nutrition):
a) you wake up, dress for work and decide to have breakfast;
b) you wake up, dress for work and decide not to have an actual breakfast (or you don't have the time to do it).

The Perfect Breakfast

If I were to give you an example of an optimal breakfast menu, it would definitely contain eggs. You should eat eggs! Whether you decide to eat them in the morning, after you return from work, when you feed your dog or when you're watching Game of Thrones  - is totally up to you.
Starting your day with proteins however, has additional benefits.

Check this out : <<Eating any breakfast was associated with increased feelings of fullness, a reduced desire to eat, and lower levels of ghrelin (a hunger-stimulating hormone) throughout the morning. But meaty, eggy breakfast was associated with these benefits over the course of the entire day. Participants who had a lot of protein in the morning also had reductions in their "cravings-related" brain activity, and increased levels of a hormone associated with satiety. They snacked less on fatty foods in the evening, as compared to those who ate cereal or nothing. >>

I will give you a complete example of a morning meal that I love to have :
- 2 boiled eggs (you could also make butter/ coconut oil omelets);
- some dairy (and this is where things vary: you can try different kinds of cheeses, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese - I'd say anything except milk. The conversation about milk is somewhat more complex. We will surely cover it in another post);
- some meat (be creative and find out what best suits you, BUT try to avoid extremely processed meats like salami and sausages);
- A LOT of vegetables (anything that comes to mind really : tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, parsley, avocado (of course), green salad, kale, spinach. Put them on a separate plate. You need to have a big full-of-color vegetable plate; 
- I love olives, so I eat some as well;
- Water or unsweetened green tea / coffee;

What's most important is to be versatile! Try new things ! Your plate should look different every morning. The principle  should be: have complete proteins (this includes all animal products and a few plant foods) and some fat. This is exactly what's going to keep you satiated until later on and this is also what your body truly needs, in order to function properly. Reduce carbohydrates to a minimum: this means eat veggies that have a lot of fiber and avoid eating bread, pasta, grains, sugar, rice and almost any processed foods, which will spike your blood glucose levels, after which you'll crash. Fruits are not your best choice in the morning. You'll be better off with the aforementioned !

Scenario number 2 - Skip breakfast:

If you decide not to eat anything or if you can't find the time to eat before heading off for work - we have a solution for you! 
You could try our  Fitocoffee! Here's the recipe:

- make your coffee like you normally would (it may be a good idea to invest in some organic coffee, as coffee beans are one of the most pesticide-sprayed plants);
- add a tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil;

Alex's note: Try adding 10g of protein powder (preferably isolate) for longer-lasting satiety.

You could mix them in a shaker so that the oil will blend with the coffee. I personally don't use the shaker. I just make my coffee as usual and I add the coconut oil after. :)

Why do we like it? Coconut oil is full of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which is directly metabolized by the body (it goes straight to the liver from the digestive tract). This - simply said- means tons of energy right-away. If you're looking to lose fat, skip the MCT oil as the body preferentially uses medium-chain triglycerides, because their easier to metabolize, than long-chain triglycerides, namely your own fat.
Having coffee and skipping breakfast is a wonderful idea if you're planning to lose some weight. Fat-burning is most intense in the morning, because we haven’t eaten all night. And..fasting is a high-fat meal…of your own adipose tissue. So it can actually be a good idea to skip breakfast and have you first meal (based on the same guidelines explained above) a few hours after the Cortisol Awakening Response (detailed below).

Of course we like our coffee unsweetened as sugar is one of the main culprits in everything that's bad out there (as explained in the next article). Especially in the early morning, when your cortisol level is at its peak as it's trying to wake you up (something that's called the Cortisol Awakening Response). At this moment it's not a good idea to throw some fast absorbing glucose+fructose (a.k.a. sugar) in the equation. That's even more important to keep in mind if you're struggling to lose weight. You can find out more about why it's a good idea to skip breakfast in John Kiefer's Carb Nite and Carb Back-Loading.

So there you go ! The two scenarios revealed ! Let us know what you think about breakfast. Do you always eat something soon after you wake up ? What are your favorite choices of morning traits ?

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