Waking up in the morning has turned into a horrible experience for a lot of us, and you might be surprised to learn that it’s because we’re still fighting energy deficits from the day prior, not paying attention to the signs our body is sending us.
Take a step back for a moment…how are your energy levels throughout the day? Are you the type of person who wakes up and immediately thinks “I need a coffee before I do anything else”?
Do you usually resort to a sugary, preservative-filled bite from your nearest coffee shop?…a bagel?…a donut? How about one of those nutrient-empty breakfast sandwiches? Now, how are you feeling at around lunchtime? If that was your breakfast, you’re probably starting to feel pretty sluggish by now.
Have you ever wondered why doing the things that are supposed to energize you the most end up causing you to energy-crash in the middle of your day – the time when you should feel your most productive? That’s because your body is starving for the things that it actually needs in the morning; instead, it’s depleted immediately after the caffeine and sugar has finished metabolizing in your gut.
It doesn’t have to be complicated!
The very first thing you SHOULD do when you wake up is drink water! Adult bodies are composed of about 60% water… so why not start with something that your body needs? If you really want to step it up a notch, then add 3g of Himalayan pink salt and a ½ of a squeezed lemon to help you replenish some key minerals and to get your body primed for the day.
To put it simply, the addition of salt into your morning cocktail will provide you with electrolytes and upwards of 60 trace minerals, which include: sodium, chloride, iodine, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bromine, boron, zinc, iron, manganese and copper… to name only a few.
Below are just three simple concepts when it comes to breakfast, (or your first meal of the day, for those of you who don’t function on a 9-5 schedule).
However, before we get into it (particularly number 3, below) I want to make a point of saying: if you are struggling from hormone imbalances or have issues keeping on weight, then fasting or skipping breakfast may not be the best route for you.
Otherwise, for those who are looking for optimal functionality and weight management, fasting instead of breaking-fast may be something to adopt…read on!
1: Stay away from sugar in the mornings!
Highly-processed and sugary foods, especially in the morning, are a NO-GO. If the first thing that goes into your stomach in the morning is filled with sugar, or heavy with preservatives, you’re actually better off skipping breakfast altogether. Sugar is the main reason why we get fat! When there is a constant level of sugar in our blood, or consistent spikes of blood sugar levels, the liver begins to convert it into fat, and this can lead to insulin resistance and eventually type-2 diabetes.
2: Fat isn’t just a macronutrient, it’s our friend!
With the recent resurgence and popularity of the “Ketogenic Diet” you can find a myriad of resources that can help you understand why dietary fats are a necessary staple in our diets and an optimal tool for brain function.
To be clear, there are bad fats, such as: fried oils, refined fats and trans fats, but the good fats to watch out for come in a variety of forms, including saturated fats, cholesterol, triglycerides and omegas. These good fats can be found in unprocessed meats, RAW dairy, egg yolks, fish, butter, olives and avocados.
Adding these healthy fats into our diets – especially at breakfast – will help propel our bodies to become energy efficient machines, which can lead to weight loss. Remember, fat is ENERGY and is burned off far quicker than sugar.
3: Skip breakfast if you’re going to be cheating!
As far as breakfast goes…we’ve been lied to. It is NOT the most important meal of the day, especially if your breakfast is full of simple carbs (sugar) and/or refined carbs (bleached bread and processed foods).
If you don’t have enough fuel (ie: food) in the morning to get you moving, your body will be prone to catabolism. What you NEED is to consume is REAL fuel so that fats to be broken down into fatty acids, proteins into amino acids and sugar/glycogen into glucose – these are designed to provide you with the energy you require to function physically and mentally.
Simple steps with profound impact
I encourage you to consider this new outlook on breakfast; I can assure you that if you’re prone to the carb and sugar-filled breakfasts, this may be the solution to your weight-management issues.
For myself and my clients, there have been countless benefits including overall health, mood and daily efficiency. For some people, following these three simple rules may just be the key to solving those energy issues.
Wes Van Hart is a personal trainer, nutritionist (and far more), located in Toronto. Wes is an advocate for constantly improving both physical and mental health, and as such, he is dedicated to advancing his knowledge base, certifications and ability to help his clients, no matter how that looks.
Wes was the very first FitIn affiliate, and is a regular contributor to the FitIn blog.