It’s a cold, fall day here on Long Island, and after nonstop appointments today, I’m finishing up the work day by writing this to you :-). Truth be told, this is my FAVORITE thing to do each day – It allows me to be creative, and to help YOU, whether it be through informational or motivational messages.
Today, we’re going to focus more on the information side, as we’ll be discussing the best breakfast foods for weight loss. This is an area that most of my clients and group members tend to struggle with in the beginning of their programs, so I thought it would be prudent to help educate you on the subject if you’re either in the process of losing weight, or are just about to start!
Before I get into what you should and shouldn’t eat for breakfast, here’s a little biology lesson on why some people retain weight, while others shed it quickly:
The hormone insulin has a great deal to do with why people gain or why people lose weight. Insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, helps to regulate our blood sugar levels every time food is ingested. When we eat or drink a high-starch or a high-sugar meal, snack, or beverage, a great deal of insulin is secreted in order to process the excess blood sugar. Whatever our body’s need at that point to function optimally is sent to the appropriate cells, muscles and tissues. Whatever is NOT needed at that point is stored as FAT!
Have you ever seen the Food Pyramid here in the States? If you’re not from the US, I’ve been told by international clients and group members alike that you most likely have essentially the same thing in your home country. Here it is in case you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about:
As you can see, many of us have been taught since we were children that the bulk of our food intake should come from starches – Particularly those that consist of processed and refined grains. These include, but are not limited to the breads, cereals, pastas, and rices of the world…
What happens to the average human being when he or she ingests more than half-a-cup of starch at any meal? Our blood sugar spikes DRAMATICALLY! What do our bodies do in response? They secrete insulin, and when this is done often enough over a long enough period of time, we can not only put on a great deal of unwanted weight, but we can also become insulin-resistant. Insulin resistance can lead to Type-2 Diabetes, which is a precursor to a myriad of chronic but preventable health conditions.
According to the CDC, one in two Americans battles a chronic condition like Type-2 Diabetes, with one in four suffering from two or more! Is there a correlation between the diet we’ve been recommended since the late 1950s-early 1960s? Hmm, I wonder…
In any event, here are four common foods that I would AVOID at breakfast:
1) Cereals (Hot or Cold) – Often incredibly processed and having been derived from one of the modern BROW (Barley, Rye, Oats, and Wheat) grains, cereals have absolutely NO nutritional value. Most are fortified with vitamins and minerals, meaning that the grains in their original form(s) didn’t have those ‘healthy’ micronutrients in them at the start of processing. In addition, many cereals are loaded with added sugars and processed chemicals that are NOT conducive to health, let alone weight loss! Unless you want a fat-accumulating nightmare that will only make you tired and hungry within a few hours of eating, I highly recommend NOT eating these!
2) High-Glycemic Fruits – I’ve seen a lot of people over the years grab a banana on their way out the door to work in conjunction with our next offender: Yogurt. While bananas are on the higher end of the ‘acceptable’ range of the Glycemic Index (rating of 48 out of 100), its Glycemic Load is at 11, which is also above the low range (0-10) that we’d like to stay in. When not ingested shortly before or after a high-intensity workout, this can be harmful to your waistline. Always consider both the Glycemic Index and the Glycemic Load of a fruit before eating it! If you’re not sure what these ratings are, simply Google it 😉
3) Yogurt – First off, if it’s low-fat or fat-free, stop right there! The most nutritious part of any yogurt is the fat. When it’s removed, the manufacturer has to add in something that makes it taste good. What do you think that is? SUGAR! Like with the High-Glycemic fruits of the world, if you’re going to have yogurt, have it shortly before or after a high-intensity workout, and make sure it’s of an organic, FULL-FAT variety.
4) Donuts and Pastries – Not only do these tend to contain copious amounts of BROW grains and added sugars, but these are susceptible to containing trans fat. Another quick biology lesson: When vegetable oils (often the ones being used to fry the donuts and cook the pastries) are heated beyond a very low and easily reachable point, its chemical composition changes, and the oil hydrogenates into something called trans fat. Trans fat is now ILLEGAL here in the States (though enforcement of this regulation is both lacking and difficult to enforce), but it still runs rampant in bakeries and coffee/donut shops on a daily basis.
So, what should you have in place of these four common staples? Here are my four main go-to’s:
1) Organic Eggs – Not egg whites, but the whole egg! The yolk is the most nutritious part of the egg, and is what makes the egg a superfood. This is due to the great compliment of healthy fats (the yolk) and protein (the ‘whites’) that a whole egg provides.
2) Organic, Uncured Bacon – While many supposed ‘experts’ cite the fact that nitrates and nitrites found in the preservatives of conventionally-raised bacon have been linked to heart disease and other negative health effects, the study that ‘exposed’ this inconvenient ‘truth’ has since been discredited. Nitrates and nitrites might not only be harmless, but BENEFICIAL to human health! I prefer organic, uncured bacon, because it’s often cut from pigs that were raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones. You are what you eat, so you don’t want to be ingesting animal meats that are loaded with that crap!
3) Avocados – Organic or conventional is fine, as avocados are a member of the Clean 15 list of fruits and vegetables you can buy conventionally without worrying about excess herbicide or pesticide exposure. Avocados are my favorite fruit, are high in healthy fat, and can help keep you satiated for HOURS long after you’ve eaten your breakfast. This helps you to avoid the stimulation of the Insulin Resistance Cycle that people experience after consuming a high-starch, high-sugar breakfast.
4) Organic, Grass-Fed Butter, or MCT Oil – Add a tablespoon of either into your morning coffee, and you have a variation of the popular ‘bulletproof coffee.’ The healthy fats in either additive can keep you in a lipolytic (fat-burning) state, which helps to reduce inflammation, enhance cognition, and keep you satisfied well into the afternoon! If you want to try MCT Oil, I recommend Onnit’s, which you can get by going here: https://onnit.sjv.io/c/438610/391212/5155
Hope you found this message about breakfast helpful! Now get out there and make a good breakfast tomorrow morning, eh? 😉
P.S. As I mentioned yesterday, I just opened up a NEW group on Facebook. This is piggybacking off the Holiday Jump Start Program I did for the past eight weeks, and is something that many of the group members wanted to continue going into the future!
This group provides members with daily accountability, a weekly group call specific to the members and their questions, and a lifetime’s worth of mindset shifts and lifestyle changes via both my coaching and my materials on fitness, mindset, and nutrition. It’s BY FAR the most affordable program I’ve offered to date, and may be just what you need to kick yourself into gear with the Holiday Season in full swing.
To learn more, and to join us, please go to www.weightlossbypete.com/group. Hope to see you on the inside! 😉