Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It seems simple. Eat breakfast as it sets your body up for the day. My misunderstanding of how important this meal is is a major factor in the food cravings I used to have the rest of the day. A quick search finds studies such as this about the importance of breakfast. For some reason, my brain never focused on the “nutritious” part of the importance of breakfast, but I followed the rule to always eat breakfast.
Before last June, I would drink 20-30 ounces of coffee with 1-2 tbs of dark chocolate sauce and milk. Some days I at cereal. Some days I found a doughnut. Many days I ate a fiber one bar or brownie while heading out the door. As I type this phrase, “Fiber is important,” I can’t stop from rolling my eyes at my old self. I had no idea how food interacted with my body and I fell for the bright shiny packaging and tasty sweetened, yet nutrition lacking foods. But breakfast was the most important meal and I was eating breakfast.
All of that hallow food just made me more hungry, hence I continued to stuff my face with more hallow food throughout the day until I was at that 3,800 calorie mark or higher. I had no idea how much of a trap I was setting for myself. In January of 2015 I decided to start making smoothies instead. I thought for sure that would help me cut out some calories.
I started with a cup of spinach but then I added bananas, mangos, milk, yogurt, honey, pears, apples, and anything else full of sugar that I could put into it. When I started tracking food in January of 2016, guess what? I was consuming more sugar in those fruit packed smoothies than the days I ate 2 doughnuts. I was even more hungry throughout the day. Granted, I was consuming a lot of vitamins, but I was still climbing over 4,000 calories a day. I actually started getting fatter when I switched my breakfast to smoothies. Seriously, I was eating 5-7 mostly fruit smoothies a week when I ballooned to my heaviest weight of 267 lbs.
I’ve discovered that when I eat any kind of carbs is extremely important. Even now, if I start my day with a bowl of cereal, I’m more hungry throughout the day. For me, that has meant cutting out a significant breakfast most days. I traded the chocolate sauce and milk for 1-2 tbs of heavy cream with my morning coffee. Most school days I start with that and have 1-2 handful of nuts, a piece of dark chocolate, a handful of pumpkin seeds or some other high fat plant based food before 9 am. A year ago, some days I had consumed 2 fiber bars after that sugar filled smoothie by 9 am.
I’m not advocating only having coffee and cream for breakfast. I actually think this is an area I need to refine to take the next step in weight loss. But, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, therefore, it is better to eat little for breakfast than to eat food lacking nutrition. I was setting myself up to fall into cravings before my day even really started. Fast breakfast foods are not designed for best nutrition. They are designed for taste and to keep you coming back. My fiber bar binges were exactly that.
Changing to coffee and heavy cream for breakfast was the most important step for me as it allowed me to overcome a craving or 2 in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I feasted at night, especially at first, but I was still coming in around 3,000 calories on a night I ate a huge evening meal. Also, if you get light on breakfast, dinners are important. The beginning of your day will be fueled by last night’s meal. So what to eat for breakfast?
On weekends when I have time I eat eggs, bacon, spinach, real cheeses, but I still stay away from the carbs, even oatmeal, unless there is time for steel cut oats. During the week if I need more than coffee my favorite is to drink homemade bone broth. Yes it sounds gross, but 6 ounces of broth is plenty. Cheese and any kind of green leaves works well, too.
Anything made to be quick has probably been processed with heat that has striped nutrients out of the food. Stay away from those items. Items with labels like this one are to be avoided at all costs at Breakfast as they are hallow in respect to nutrition. Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin and Folic Acid are added because the product has been stripped of nutrients in processing. Our bodies do not use these synthetic vitamins and minerals in the same way as they would from natural food.
Breakfast is the most important meal. Keep the carbs out, especially processed and don’t be afraid of fat in the morning. A great meal the night before is enough to get you to lunch but if you need breakfast, make it count. Your food cravings for the rest of the day count on it.