I disagree with the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Or at least I disagree with the conventional wisdom that you need to fill up on high carb foods like cereal, granola, oats, yogurt, milk, fruit/fruit juice, pancakes, waffles, and muffins first thing in the morning in order to provide fuel and energy for the rest of your day.
Instead of thinking as breakfast as the most important meal of the day, I believe we should look at breakfast as the most important decision you will make all day. For some people, that means eating a big meal of mostly protein, fat, and a low to moderate amount of carbohydrates. For others, they would be better off not eating at all first thing in the morning, and here’s why.
When you go 6+ hours without food, like you do when you sleep, your body will begin to burn your stored body fat for energy, which is an ideal time for you to maximize your fat loss. When you wake up, you can continue to burn fat for fuel if you don’t eat first thing in the morning, or if you have a breakfast rich in protein, or fat, or both. When you have carbs though first thing in the morning, it quickly raises insulin, which puts you into more of a storage-mode rather than a fat-burning-mode. So instead of taking advantage of a few more hours of burning fat, the carbs/sugar will prime your body to store fat for the next few hours. For most people, they will burn through the carbs/sugar from their breakfast pretty quickly, and will be hungry again within a few hours, leaving them ready for another snack and another hit of sugar before lunch even rolls around. And this becomes an endless cycle the rest of the day.
A recent study confirmed this theory. They looked at 3 different groups. One who ate oatmeal for breakfast, One who ate Frosted Flakes, and another that skipped breakfast altogether. The only group that lost weight over the course of the study was the group that skipped breakfast. The results may have been different had they looked at the effect of higher protein and higher fat options, but it definitely appears that going high-carb first thing in the morning is not the best choice.
If you are someone who claims to not be hungry first thing in the morning (which is very common), I actually recommend for you to skip breakfast. If you are a coffee drinker, I would recommend trying bulletproof coffee instead. If you don’t drink coffee, then I would recommend starting your day with an organic greens powder, which will provide a nice boost of energy, as well as the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof coffee is a great way to keep your body in a fat-burning mode for several hours, while simultaneously providing you with a ton of energy and focus. You know the movie Limitless? That’s pretty much how you feel after Bulletproof coffee. The combination of the caffeine from the coffee, and the fat from the coconut oil/butter will provide you with a high energy and clear focus for most of your day. To make the bulletproof coffee, all you need is coffee, grass-fed butter (I like the Kerrygold brand), coconut oil or MCT oil, and a blender or immersion blender.
Why the Organic Greens Powder?
Think of this like a multivitamin, just some extra insurance to make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs. This will also force you to drink a tall glass of water first thing in the morning, which in itself is a great thing to be doing. Sometimes I will add Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) to my greens, just to keep me fueled and full for a few extra hours in the morning. BCAAs are the building blocks of protein and can be utilized by your body in various ways to maintain muscle and fuel your brain with glucose.
What If You Are Hungry First Thing In The Morning?
If you are someone who wakes up hungry first thing in the morning, I would recommend eating a meal, just avoid the high carb/high sugar options that most people reach for. Instead, opt for high protein and moderate fat options like eggs, chicken sausage, or leftover meat and vegetables from the night before. A protein shake is another decent option for most, just make sure you find one that isn’t loaded with sugar or artificial ingredients. You can have greens like spinach in the morning, or you can stick with the greens powder that I mentioned before which tends to be more convenient for most people.
My Perfect Morning:
My perfect morning consists of Bulletproof coffee, Organic Greens Powder in a Tall Glass of Water, and my Miracle Morning routine.
When I make my coffee in the morning, I use about 8 oz of coffee (from our local Oceana Coffee Shop), 1 tbsp of Kerrygold butter, 1 tbsp of MCT oil, and then I blend it up in a few seconds with the stick/immersion blender. It honestly tastes better than any of those 1000 calorie specialty coffees you could get from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, but you will feel unbelievable for the next 4-8 hours.
While it isn’t 100% necessary, I would highly recommend getting quality coffee beans and grinding them at home immediately before brewing your coffee. I used to think people who did that were crazy, but the process and flavor difference has quickly turned me into the coffee snob that I once loathed in others.
It may take me an extra minute or two to make the coffee, but honestly I find the whole process to be extremely enjoyable, almost like a form of meditation first thing in the morning. I will also use the time that the coffee is brewing in the French press, to take the Greens powder that I mentioned earlier, and to take on some of the Miracle morning routines that I discussed in a previous post. Between the coffee, greens, and miracle morning habits, it has honestly been a game changer at the start of my day.
Also, if you want to dig deeper on the science and benefits of not eating in the morning, or fasting in general, I would highly recommend checking out this post on intermittent fasting.
Where to Purchase These Ingredients?
I purchase both the Kerrygold butter and Organic Coconut Oil at Costco (which has the best prices), but you can also find both of these products at stores like Whole Foods, Publix, and Fresh Market. The MCT Oil and Whey Protein we sell in our gym (CrossFit Palm Beach), but you can also purchase it online at the Bulletproof store or on Amazon, where you will also find the greens. Here are links to all of the above on Amazon: Coconut Oil, MCT Oil, Greens, BCAAs, and Whey Protein.