The Low Calorie Breakfast Trap

low calorie breakfastThe average person is forced to make over 200 food decisions every single day of their life and it starts with the big “B” – Breakfast! 

But…what makes for a good breakfast?

Low Calorie Breakfast Is Not It

The low calorie movement is one of those “vampire myths”, because it refuses to die!  There are few things more damaging to your fat loss efforts as eating a low calorie breakfast, let me explain…

Your Friend…Cortisol

Cortisol gets a bad rap because it’s made out to be the cause of fat bellies everywhere, but did you know that cortisol is actually a fat burning and energizing hormone?

That’s right…when cortisol is secreted at the right time and in the right amounts it become a great ally in your fight against excess fat. The story doesn’t end there, however…

Your Enemy…Cortisol

Wait a minute…cortisol does have a dark side. When cortisol levels are higher than you need and when they remain elevated for extreme periods of time, it then becomes a promoter of fat storage rather than an energizer and fat burner.

It turns out that what you eat in the morning will determine whether you manufacture a healthy energizing dose of cortisol or an unhealthy, fat-storing dose of cortisol. 

A Low Calorie Breakfast Triggers Extreme Cortisol Levels

Here’s the bottom line…when you eat a good breakfast, you produce a healthy dose of cortisol, which results in fat burning and the jolt of energy that you need to tackle your day.

When you eat a low calorie breakfast, your body views this as a stressor and the result is an extreme spike in cortisol, which short-circuits fat loss and causes you to seek out a 5 hour energy drink by 2 pm. 

Forget About a Low Calorie Breakfast! Eat a High Calorie Breakfast!

I realize that this statement may seem counterintuitive, however, trust me when I tell you that your body is most receptive to calories first thing in the morning. In fact, I would recommend making breakfast your highest-calorie, and highest-carb meal of the day. 

Building The Perfect Breakfast

Although what makes up a healthy breakfast will be the topic of many a blog post, allow me to give you some simple guidelines that you can implement starting today…

  1. Excluding snacks, break down your calories as follows: Breakfast 50%, Lunch 30%, Dinner 20%. So if you are allotted 1200 calories in a day, and you get 300 calories in snacks throughout the day, that leaves 900 calories for your main meals. Breakfast will incorporate 450 calories, lunch will have 270 calories, and dinner will have 180 calories.
  2. Have the majority of your carbohydrates at breakfast, fewer at lunch, and no carbs at dinner except for non-starchy veggies. 
  3. Snack on protein or non-starchy vegetables
  4. If you have trouble eating enough calories in the morning, then add a protein smoothie to the end of your meal. This can give you an extra 200-300 calories.
  5. The average breakfast should have no fewer than 400 calories and, depending upon the person, could be as much as 800 calories. 
  6. Always taylor your weight loss program to YOUR results. Track and Tweak! Put these guidelines to the test. If they work for you then continue, if you find that you are starving after dinner, then tweak the program a bit until you have a system that works!

Leave comments about what you eat for breakfast below and on our Facebook page! Look to future posts for specific breakfast recommendations!

 

About the Author Dr. Ray Hinish

Dr. Ray Hinish is a nutritional pharmacist, certified personal trainer, & certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach. He currently practices in Baltimore, MD, where he owns and operates a wellness center and natural foods restaurant. His mission is to help folks to live their health potential so that they can pursue their passions with confidence and endless supplies of energy!

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