I want to tell you why eating a solid breakfast is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself every day in regards to weight loss, energy levels, and overall health.
I Need Breakfast
I’ve experimented quite a bit with breakfast in my own life, and I’ve realized that I feel best when I eat a hearty egg-based breakfast every day. However, recently I had 2 instances when I didn’t eat my normal breakfast. One time was when I was super late for a morning appointment and I could not make a good breakfast. The result? I was not myself at all for the entire day. I felt headache-y, super low energy, grumpy and easily agitated.
The other time was when my husband punched me awake at 6 am to do some asinine workout video he told me I had “committed” to doing with him. I never committed to anything, just for the record. Regardless, there I was at 6 am fighting to stay awake after only 6 hours of sleep. Having never done any exercise beyond a push-up out of bed at 6 in the morning, I was in no state to be embarking on a 60-day “Insanity” workout program.
You may be saying to yourself, “6 hours of sleep? That’s how much sleep I get every night. Working out at 6am? I do that all the time.” Well, I DON’T. I like my 8 hours of sleep, my late nights, and missing sunrises every morning. So of course, having told all of my clients that they must eat something before working out in the morning, regardless of what time it is, I had a little bit of fruit and banana crepes as a pre-workout snack.
Really bad idea before jumping around at a psychotic pace for 30 minutes. The moral of the story is that I slept for almost the entire day. I was groggy, nauseous, grumpy and low energy. The second moral of the story is that without breakfast, I’m a wreck, and I’m willing to bet a lot of other people are, too.
Do You Need Breakfast?
It’s possible that you’re saying to yourself, “But I’m not even hungry in the morning – I must just not NEED breakfast.” But let me ask you this: do you feel tired during the day? Do you get headaches or really intense sugar cravings? Do you crash at around 3pm and “need” sugar or caffeine to stay awake?
If yes, then you probably need breakfast. That’s what used to happen to me, too, before I committed to breakfast (and subsequently started loving it).
But you might be the type of person who’s actually sick to your stomach in the morning – someone who can’t stand the thought of food. Or you might just not feel like eating. Well, in a non-pregnant person, nausea and a lack of hunger in the morning happen because your blood sugar got so low during the night that your adrenal glands started secreting hormones like cortisol. The cortisol stimulated the release of your stores of glucose into your bloodstream so that you could survive the night.
The other hormone that was secreted while you were sleeping was adrenaline, because that’s what happens when your body senses an emergency situation (super low blood sugar). The reason you woke up in the morning nauseous or apathetic about eating is that adrenaline, as you know, does not make you feel like eating. It makes you feel like vomiting.
Ever narrowly evade a car crash and immediately say, “I could really go for a Big Mac right now”? No, adrenaline makes your digestion slow down so that the emergency parts of your body (muscles, heart, etc.) can work better and faster. No matter who you are or what health conscious city you live in, it’s very likely that your blood sugar is so poorly managed by your diet that your adrenal glands have to manage it for you.
And you probably wake up in the morning and stimulate your adrenals to shoot out even more cortisol and adrenaline by giving yourself a ritualistic oral injection of caffeine… Do you know what that constant supply of cortisol in your circulation gives you? Among other things, abdominal fat.
Good health starts with breakfast.
If you eat a decent breakfast of protein, fat and complex carbs, avoiding any foods you’re sensitive to in the process, then you’re starting things off the right way, avoiding blood sugar crashes, and thus, excessive cortisol and adrenaline secretion. If you eat something super sugary or full of refined carbs like cereal, bagels, pastries, bars, fruit juice, doughnuts, etc., your blood sugar spikes, then quickly plunges back down and the hormones are secreted again.
If, after the good breakfast, you then have a good lunch (protein, fat, complex carbs, no foods you’re sensitive to), a good snack (you get the point) and a good dinner, you will probably wake up in the morning hungry like a normal person would after not eating for an entire night. It might just require a few force-fed breakfast sessions in the beginning to get you over the hump. But if you start small by just eating maybe a piece of bacon and some fruit in the morning (because who doesn’t love bacon), your transition will be surprisingly easy.
You’ll be eating big hearty breakfasts in no time.