Healthy Breakfast: Starting Your Day Off Right

Lots of people have been asking me recently what is the best thing to do for breakfast. There’s nothing wrong with eating the early meal, so long as you keep a few things in mind.

I recently asked the question on Facebook to get an idea of what people were doing for this meal. The post has more than 50 comments on it. The key is to try and avoid grains, and foods that are high in sugars, because they can cause your body to go into fat storing mode. Why this happens is because these foods spike insulin, which is a hormone that stores fat. Most fat burning or storing is entirely hormone related.

One participant in my survey responded that they typically ate the following: "A Larabar or Ezekiel bread with organic sunflower butter, or nothing at all until 1'oclock-ish." (Larabar is a fruit and nut bar.)

I would say the “nothing before 1 o'clock-ish is best and just make sure you drink 12oz of water right away when you wake up and keep drinking water all throughout the morning. Do that and your body will be more energized and be in fat burning mode rather than digestion or fat storage mode because of any food you eat. Next in line is the Larabar, and opt out the Ezekiel bread and sun butter altogether. Here's why: you want to keep your insulin levels as low as possible. When they are high you are storing fat and not burning it. Additionally when insulin levels are elevated you are not going to be at your full energy capacity body-wide.

What raises insulin levels? Carbohydrates mostly... anything sugar, grain, fruit, a high starch veggie, etc. Additionally when you consume a grain and fat, that combo gets digested in such a way that you will always store fat. This is because the roles of the carbs and fats get reversed. Your body will take the fat, in this case it is the sun butter, and use it right then and there for fuel. Your body will then see the carbs, in this case it is the Ezekiel bread grains, as potential fuel storage for later. Obviously that is not your goal, to store fat.

So all that being said, the best way to keep insulin levels as low as possible is to eat carbs that do not spike it very high. Those are most non-starchy vegetables. Also protein and healthy fats are in the safe zone too.

 

So to tweak this breakfast example a bit with your existing items, I would suggest leaning more towards a consistent fasting as long as you can go protocol. Next up, try your sun butter solely by itself. Lastly comes your Larabar if you really feel you need it. Because of the dates in it, your insulin will spike to an extent. That is why I moved the Larabar to last place in the breakfast options.

If you want to continue with the Ezekial bread, it may be better at night. When insulin levels spike, you get tired, so it’s only logical to do it right before you are to go to sleep anyway. I would recommend eating it more infrequently, however, because it is a grain and ultimately not healthy for you to consume.

Fruit is generally ok, but the carbs will spike your insulin levels. Just don’t over-eat fruits. People generally believe that fruit is okay to eat whenever because it’s healthy, but truth of the matter is that it still contains sugars that will be digested and absorbed like any other sugar from any other source. Because fruit has fiber the sugars will digest more slowly, but sugar is still sugar. I recommend no more than 1-2 servings of fruit a day. That means 1-2 pieces of fruit a day or 1 cup of loose fruit such as berries, grapes, etc.

A high-protein breakfast like bacon (pasture bacon is best- see Trader Joes) and eggs (true cage free/pasture eggs are best) is ok, just forget the toast. A banana with almond butter can also be good. Just remember that proteins and fat will give you the best energy levels throughout the day and not spike insulin levels anywhere close to what sugars or grains do.

Lastly, listen to your body. If you are not hungry, don’t eat! Drink water before you eat anything as we typically get thirsty before we get hungry and the brain signals for both are so close to the same that we often just grab a bite rather than a glass.