Ever since we were old enough to munch away on solid foods and knee height in comparison to the population, our parents have forced breakfast upon us! I would say that the majority of us were given cereal without consideration of the health benefits and purely based on the fact that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. TRUE! It is, eating breakfast, as opposed to skipping it, can aid weight loss.
Surprisingly though, since the acknowledgement that obesity has risen, people have actually STOPPED eating breakfast, associating ‘food’ with ‘obesity’ when in actual fact, the problem is that as a population we’re eating too much of the wrong foods and not as frequently as we should. Eating little and often will increase your metabolic rate, meaning you’re going to be burning more calories throughout the day! Those of us strapping young folk that eat breakfast are generally classified as being a ‘healthy’ weight in comparison to those that don’t.
So we’re talking high protein breakfasts, that’s where it was leading (excuse my wondering mind). But what is a high protein breakfast? It’s considered as a ginormous 35g and upwards. And how do you hit it? Easy! Consider these little beauties.
- 30-50g of oats with water, a spoonful of peanut butter, 0.5-1 scoop of chocolate protein and 2-3 whole eggs (scrambled, boiled, whatever takes your fancy)
- OR 2-3 whole eggs and 100g of smoked salmon, feel free to add an avocado in there to mix it up and throw some healthy fats in there
Don’t have time to prep and commute to London? Make time. Prep your food the night before, get up earlier; whatever it takes. No excuses when it comes to health.
What should you avoid? CEREALS. I can’t stress this enough. Add them to that god-awful list of processed foods, they tend to be high in calories and sugar (apart from wheatbix and other high fibre products). Cereal activates chemicals in your brain that slow you down and make you feel comatosed (carb coma), whereas a high protein breakfast will stimulate your brain cells and make you more alert! The glycemic index in cereals will spike your insulin levels, which will either be used as fuel or stored as fat. So if you’re going to sit on the tube straight after your munch Frosties or Fruit Loops, be prepared to add extra fat to your body. Think of it as a reward for sitting on your ass!
BENEFITS: that’s what you really read this article for, wasn’t it? Although high protein breakfasts may not necessarily result in weight loss, it can help to reduce your body fat mass! That’s the goal, isn’t it? To feel less fatty/tubby/chunky and see those abs you’ve been working for whilst standing in front of the mirror? High protein breakfasts promote a higher metabolic rate and keeps your fuller for longer. The only downfall of feeling fuller for a longer period of time, is you may dismiss the need to eat as frequently. Just remember not to leave it too long before eating! I, personally, like to keep to 3-hourly feeds, where possible. A higher metabolic rate means that you can eat more calories, while still burning fat and even dropping weight. BONUS! But don’t use this as an excuse to go out and be a fatty. EAT SMART.
Abdominal obesity is associated to insulin resistance which plays a vital role in the metabolic syndrome including hypertension, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes. High protein breakfasts have been found to help glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. A study (the one by Rabinovitz and co. in the reference section) focused on individuals with type 2 diabetes and found that those who ate a bigger breakfast (high in protein and fats) actually lowered their medication dosages and had lower glucose levels at bed time than those who ate a smaller breakfast (which was overwhelmed with carbohydrates).
MORAL OF THE STORY: eat your damn breakfast and make it high protein if you’re serious about cutting fat. Not only are you going to reap the benefits from making it high protein (fat loss and hopefully avoiding type 2 diabetes) and avoid those nasty carb coma’s before 9am (because who’s needs that in their life), but you’re also going to feel like you’re eating like a queen or king. You’re welcome!
Kulik, J., Foss, E. & Davidson, J. (2016). Acute Effects of High Carbohydrate Compared to High Protein Breakfasts on Resting Energy Expenditure, Glucose Concentrations, Satiety and Subsequent Caloric Consumption. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116 (9), A42. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.06.135
Leidy, H. J., Hoertel, H. A., Douglas, S. M., Higgins, K. A. & Shafer, R. S. (2015). A high-protein breakfast prevents body fat gain, through reductions in daily intake and hunger, in “Breakfast skipping” adolescents. Obesity, 23 (9), 1761-1764. doi: 10.1002/oby.21185
Poliquin Group. (2015). Skip The Carbs At Breakfast To Lose Body Fat – Go High In Protein. Retrieved from: http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1362/Skip_The_Carbs_At_Breakfast_To_Lose_Body_FatGo_Hig.aspx
Poliquin Group. (2017). Why Cereal For Breakfast Is One Of The Worst Choices. Retrieved from: https://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/PrinterFriendly.aspx?ID=1581&lang=EN
Rabinovitz, H. R., Boaz, M., Ganz, T., Jakubowicz, D., Matas, Z., Madar, Z. & Wainstein, J. (2014). Big Breakfast Rich in Protein and Fat Improves Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetics. Obesity, 22 (5), E46-E54. Doi: 10.1002/oby.20654