How Important is “Breaking the Fast?” I hope you realize just how important breakfast is. When you skip breakfast, you are making a major faux pas in the war on fat loss and overall, your body a huge disservice. You aren’t saving any calories in the long run, because you will overeat throughout the rest of your day. There is no benefit to skipping breakfast, at all. Now, you can shift your breakfast time, for instance, I’m all for performing your morning cardio on an empty stomach, and reaping the benefits of tapping into stored fat quickly due to low glucose and glycogen levels, but you should really make sure that there is time to eat some breakfast after your run and before you have to start getting ready for work.
In this scenario, you can do your work on the treadmill, elliptical, bike, jogging, etc. prior to eating breakfast and burn the calories already stored in your body from yesterday rather than burn off the breakfast you just ate. But, this is the only time I can think of that it is okay to “skip” breakfast, and you are not really skipping, just delaying. The best thing to do is to get up and within the first half hour of being awake, eat your breakfast. If you wait too long, your body goes into starvation mode, you gradually lose the hunger pangs and then all of a sudden it is noon and you become completely and rapidly ravenous And you eat double what you should, and that is not a good way to so things. They don’t say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” for no reason. Keep reading for some tips on how to get that morning meal taken care of, from a simple, on the run, in the car version to a lazy Sunday morning version. If you have 1 minute: * Grab a Luna Bar. These are specially formulated for women, and are packed with folic acid and calcium, both very important for women, and are rich in anti-oxidants. This option on the mornings when I meet with workout, because I going to the gym on an empty stomach before can make a lot of people feel like they might throw up. Conversely, eating the wrong breakfast too will make you feel just as crappy. Feeling a bunch of cereal and milk slosh around in your belly while you do your 100 crunches is not a good feeling. A Luna Bar leaves you feeling energized, but not too full.
* Pick up an apple or banana on the way out the door. Our yellow friends are abundant in many different vitamins and nutrients, especially potassium. Bananas are considered an important food to use to boost the health of malnourished children, and are considered one of the healthiest fruits. An average banana holds about 140 calories, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 602 mg of potassium, and 4 grams of fiber. We’ve all had bananas before; you know how you feel pretty full after one. And you know the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well get one for breakfast and you should be good. Apples are high in many vitamins as well, and very high in fiber, about 5 grams in an average sized apple, which translates to 20% of your recommended daily value. Fiber means you feel full. Letting you make good decisions come lunchtime.
If you have 5 minutes: * Dish up some cottage cheese with sliced tomatoes, fresh berries, fresh pineapple, peaches, cantaloupe…the possibilities on this one are endless. From slicing the fruit to rinsing your plate it is about 3-5 minutes, and you will appreciate your efforts come 10am. There are typically 90 calories in 1/2 cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese, and with the fruits you might add a few more calories. * Make a bowl of cereal topped with fresh fruit and low-fat milk. Go for high fiber, whole grain cereals and pick a fruit that you like to top with. You can throw a handful of blueberries on my cereal easily. * Toast a piece of reduced calorie bread (Sara Lee Delightful is a good one, only 40 calories a slice) and top with 1 tablespoon of organic peanut butter and sliced apples or banana. The peanut butter is a high calorie addition, but will stay with you longer and keep you satisfied until lunch, along with the high fiber bananas and apples, and your bread is a great source of fiber obviously, so you should be good for a while.
If you have 15 minutes: * Whip up an egg white omelet. And if it gets sloppy, you can call it a scramble. There are a million ways to make an omelet. You can do a California version with fresh avocado, turkey bacon, diced tomato, spinach and mushrooms. There is the Mexican style, with seasoned ground turkey, salsa, black beans, tomatoes, jalapenos and low-fat sour cream on the side. You can take the leftovers from last night and sautee them, and toss whatever that is into the omelet. I have made an Asian Omelet, in which you sauté red and green bell peppers, scallions, shitake mushrooms, Japanese Eggplant, snow peas, etc. in peanut oil, and then fold into egg whites. You see, not all omelets have to be ham and cheese. * Make a healthy version of the Breakfast Sandwich. Take the aforementioned Sara Lee Delightful bread slices and toast. While that is happening, take one Omega-3 egg and fry in a non-stick frying pan (no oil or butter needed), and on the other side of the pan, heat up 2 slices of turkey meat. Spread a whole-fruit spread on the bread when it comes out, top with the egg and turkey meat, and if you are feeling like it, can add a slice of reduced fat Swiss cheese. The whole thing should be about 200 calories without the cheese. The same way you can’t make a cross country drive on a quarter tank of gas, you cannot run your body on an empty or near empty stomach. You need to fill up the tank early in your day, because if you don’t, your body will tap into its reserve tank and that is your lean muscle, or worse yet even organ tissue.
Remember the body is always on the lookout for an impending famine, and it will do whatever it has to do to save body fat stores for the future. Don’t make the mistake that many make by trying to starve themselves and actually lead to becoming more and more fat.
To get more great nutritional information check out the Absession Nutritional Guide.