In our last post, we discussed the importance of eating nutrient dense, unprocessed foods instead of nutrient poor, processed foods a majority of the time as a way to be healthy. Eating this way with less carbohydrates than we are currently eating has been shown to be a very safe, healthy and sustainable weight loss strategy. The timing of what we eat, however, also has a large part to play in burning fat (a great way to lose weight), and this takes us to our current topic of how to burn fat in the morning.
It has long been assumed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and many people have equated this with a large breakfast, with plenty of carbs (cereal and yogurt can easily get us to 100g or more at one meal) in the form of yogurt, cereal, toast, muffins, oatmeal and fruit. One thing important to note about the sleep cycle, however, is that it puts our bodies into a fat burning stage. Therefore, if we don't introduce carbs when we first wake up, our bodies will continue to burn our stored fat, which is very desirable for most of us! However, if we eat a carb-heavy breakfast, our bodies will readily switch over to using those carbs for fuel, and STOP BURNING OUR STORED FAT.
What if, instead of having bacon and toast in the morning, we only eat the bacon? Leave out the yogurt and instead eat 2-4 eggs (our grandparent easily ate an average of 4-5 eggs per day and had better cholesterol numbers than we currently have on average) cooked in healthy fat. This healthy fat is key, as it will drive us to stay in the beloved fat burning stage.
Healthy fats include avocado, coconut oil, room temperature olive oil, naturally-fed animal fats, and ghee (clarified butter, which people sensitive to dairy can tolerate and benefit from), among others. Stupid Easy Paleo gives an excellent break down of healthy vs unhealthy fats. Another way to go for breakfast that is fast becoming popular for its potent effects is to simply drink "fat coffee." This means adding one of the aforementioned fats (usually ghee, or heavy whipping cream if you're ok with dairy) to coffee, preferably an organic coffee, as the beans are heavily sprayed with pesticides. The caffeine will get your metabolism going, and the fat will make sure that you don't get hungry until lunch time. I've personally had fat coffee for breakfast for nearly 3 years now (I'm drinking mine as I write this), and am amazed that I simply don't get hungry until around noon.
Finally, most of us would love to believe that a couple more sit-ups or going a little (or a lot) harder in the gym will get us the figure/size/shape that we want, but the truth remains that what we eat is the most important element in determining our size and overall health. Don't spin your wheels at any random gym, but instead find a Personal Trainer/gym where the instructors will listen to your individual goals and who understand fitness as well as nutrition, and can make a plan with you that makes sense for your lifestyle. Invest in your health - you're worth it!
Next time: Dear Lord, forget New Year's resolutions: Mardi Gras is finally over, and I need a plan!