What to eat for breakfast to lose fat and activate beast mode

By Paul Milano

Summary:

In this in depth article you will learn and understand how what you eat for  breakfast impacts your hormones, your bodies ability to burn fat and your energy levels each day.

As well as figuring out the equation to maximize all these.


 

Do you really need carbs for breakfast? Solving the myth once and for all.

Nutrition and specifically breakfast is an institution to many people, it is a lot like politics and religion. Many believe fanatically in the choices they make of what they eat, with little wanting to change. One sacred cow of mainstream nutrition is the (silly) idea that you need to eat carbs at breakfast to fuel your day.

I have personally met many people who religiously think they need to eat carbs for breakfast, and lots of them at that. They claim they need it to fuel and give them energy for the day and man do people religiously stick to this belief without ever questioning why. I am going to question that in this article…

Have you ever stopped and looked at what most people eat for breakfast nowadays, or what so many parents are feeding their children? Even doing a simple google image search of “breakfast” this is all you will see.

  • Bagelsbreakfast
  • Cereals
  • Croissants / Pastries
  • Orange juice
  • Potato home-fries/ fruit plates
  • Waffles / Pancakes

 

Aside from the fact that there are minimal nutrients to be found in most of these types of foods, it is incredibly carb heavy , which is a problem if you are looking to optimize your energy levels for the day, optimize your body’s ability to stay lean and overall look and feel great, read on.

I used to be stuck in the fad that carbs were needed for breakfast. I would have my shakes every morning filled with bananas, fruits and some sort of oats thinking it was the best thing I could possibly do each morning. Now granted, this is an improvement over stuffing yourself with pastries and refined / processed items like bagels but is it optimal? Far from it, we can do better for ourselves.

I have noticed a great improvement in myself both in my energy levels and at maintaining a low body fat percent since I changed up my breakfast each morning (which we will soon dive into what I did).  This holds true even on the days where I have a cheat meal at night and stuff myself full of carbs, pasta or pizza (I’m Italian, if we don’t get the occasional pasta meal in watch out!) Having an optimized breakfast really sets a solid ground for your body for the rest of the day. Modifying your breakfast to lose fat and increase energy is one of their first places I start with my clients. Let’s get into some science on why you don’t need carbs for breakfast and what you do need to get what I and many other have dubbed an optimized breakfast…

Carbs in the morning wreck your hormones for the day.


 

quote1

I think we can all agree that each morning we want to wake up full of life and ready to take on the world. How many people can honestly say they feel like this each morning for the first couple hours? A number of other factors largely impact this (sleep, sleep quality, overall nutrition etc) but the proper breakfast can activate the right hormones in your body to allow this to happen. Alternatively, the wrong breakfast can activate the hormones that make you want to crawl back into bed and watch Dr Phil.  I strongly feel this is a contributing factor to why so many people drink multiple coffees over the course of the day.

What happens when we eat a carb heavy breakfast? One of the hormones / neurotransmitters we activate is Serotonin. This is basically the hormone associated with the chill out, “take it easy”, happy relaxing feeling. An increase in serotonin can then increase the body’s production of melatonin, which is a well know hormone known to induce and improve sleep (For more info check out this article). Now there are definitely positives toward inducing this, especially towards the end of the day when we get ready for sleep, but first thing in the morning?! We want to start the day with energy!

Two Hormones we WANT to activate in the morning:

  • Dopamine – A neurotransmitter / hormone that plays a major role in energy, interest and motivation.
  • Acetyholine – A major neurotransmitter in the nervous system utilized for memory, concentration and focus.

This sounds more like what we want to activate. I will outline the best foods that stimulate these shortly.

Carbs in the morning promote fat storage for the day:


 

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 On top of the above neurotransmitters there are a few other main hormones at play in the morning.

  • Insulin – The storage / transport hormone that moves glucose from the bloodstream into fat and muscle cells. Eating carb heavy meals call it into action, how much it is called varies on the type of carbs.
  • Cortisol – Known as the stress hormone, or catabolic hormone though it is not always a negative. It simply activates the process of breaking some material down for energy, in the right circumstances this is fat.
  • Ghrelin – The hunger hormone that regulates and controls your desire to eat
  • Growth Hormone – Stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration.

This is paraphrased from an amazing book by Gary Taubes, called “Why we get fat and what to do about it” but he goes to say fat storing and fat burning in our body works in cycles. We tend to store fat during the day as most people will eat lots of carbohydrates, spiking insulin and we tend to go into fat burning mode at night and are still in it when we wake up. However, when most people reach for that breakfast of bagels, croissants, cereal, juices (orange juice) it immediately kicks insulin into action and effectively shuts down our body from fat burning mode for the rest of the day.

Why don’t we want to spike insulin in the morning with a carb heavy meal? The following is from John Keifer who has done a multitude of studies on different diet and eating habits and how it effects the body at different times. He goes into great detail on the process and is an expert on the subject.

In 6 Steps – What happens when we eat carbs in the morning?


 

Full article

  • Here’s what happens with your hormones around 7 AM. Your cortisol levels elevate naturally through the night, eventually peaking.
  • Of course, the common misperception is that cortisol is catabolic, and without food, your body will start to eat its own muscle. This is incorrect. When something is catabolic, this only describes the process of material being broken down for energy. When cortisol acts without elevated insulin levels—without being constantly elevated the way it is during chronic stress—it triggers the breakdown of triglycerides into free-fatty acids (FFAs) for metabolization, and triggers lipolysis. In the morning, cortisol actually accelerates fat burning.
  • Your body’s main hunger control hormone is ghrelin. It’s released in a pulsatile manner throughout the night, and it peaks when you wake. This incites hunger, but ghrelin also potently stimulates the release of growth hormone.
  • As this happens, and growth hormone levels increase, your body releases more fat to be burned as fuel and decreases the destruction of protein for use as fuel. When you don’t eat carbs at breakfast (or more specifically, don’t spike insulin levels), your growth hormone levels peak approximately two hours after you wake up.
  • Let’s say you eat a breakfast containing 30 grams or more of carbs. Your insulin levels raise with the rise in blood sugar, and this starts you on a downward spiral. This early-morning release of insulin vastly reduces fat burning for the remainder of the day, which is big problem because your morning cortisol levels remain high.
  • As a result, this insulin release causes new empty fat cells to be created, and it lowers your levels of ghrelin and growth hormone. In other words, by eating a carb laden breakfast, you’re essentially wreaking havoc on all the positive things that happen when you wake up.

 The OPTIMAL Breakfast to perform and look your best:

 Knowing all of the above, we have learned that we want to activate dopamine and  acetyholine in the morning and limit serotonin and insulin in order to maximize energy, focus  and lose fat.

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The best blend for breakfast that I have found through my own personal use, that of others and based on the research above is to have a good blend of quality protein (ex. Grass Fed Ground Beef) and Healthy fats (ex. Avocados) with some green veggies –  Also dubbed “The Meat and Nuts Breakfast.”  Note that the carbs you get from green veggies (broccoli) are negligible and do not spike your insulin. Eating high quality protein and fat sources in the morning is also cited as keeping you fuller and more energized for the day and has also been studied to lower the amount of snacking done.

Awesome Sources of:
Dopamine Acetyholine
Red Meat,  Game Meat Eggs
Nuts Beef
Seeds Fish
Poultry + Seafood Poultry
Eggs Collard Greens
Spirulina Scallops

The above are meant to be used as a guideline, but you can easily play around with it.

Simple steps to start creating  a powerfully productive and charged lifestyle.

Download my FREE Book – By Paul Milano

breakfast lose fat energy

 

One of my favorite breakfasts:breakfast2

Grass Fed Beef Brisket + Avocado + Broccoli.
Do people look weird when they see you eating
this for breakfast? Hell ya. Do I care? Hell no.

This won’t show up under any “breakfast”
Search but for this looking to fuel their body for
optimal performance I encourage you to give it a
shot.

 

Other options include:

Salmon Omellete
Turkey + Almonds Nuts
Chicken overtop avocado and eggs
Pretty much any combination you can come up with!

 

For Vegan / Vegetarian Options:

Eggs
Tempeh
Scallops
Cottage Cheese
Organic Kefir

 

References:

Gary Taubes – Why we get Fat book and what do about it .  – Page 124
Carbs for Breakfast – http://www.inspiredfitstrong.com/2012/nutrition/carbs-for-breakfast-big-mistake/
Is it bad to eat carbs for  breakfast – http://www.shapeyourenergy.com/is-it-bad-to-eat-carbs-for-breakfast/
Cortisol rising at night and increased fat burning – http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/268/4/E595
Effects of morning rise in Cortisol – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8997217
Beneficial Effects of a High protein breakfast – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/97/4/677
High protein breakfast regulates appetite – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23446906
Meat and Nuts Breakfast Explained- http://www.strongandleanaustralia.com/blog/meat-nut-breakfast-explained
Carb Back Loading Article – John Keifer – http://www.schwarzenegger.com/fitness/post/carb-back-loading-step-1-breakfast
Serotonin and Melatonin. http://lewisford.info/melatonin.html
Why the Meat and Nuts Breakfast – http://jackgalloway.co.uk/why-the-meat-and-nuts-breakfast/
Top 10 food containing thryosine – http://fawesome.ifood.tv/health/393182-top-10-food-containing-tyrosine
Foods Rich in Choline – http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=50
Why the Meat and Nuts Breakfast – http://jackgalloway.co.uk/why-the-meat-and-nuts-breakfast/

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