Clearing up the confusion: breakfast options for managing weight and increasing energy levels
Breakfast can often be a point on contention, particularly when it’s cold and we’re trying to coax ourselves out of our warm beds – and that’s before we even think about throwing a global pandemic in to our morning routine! Amidst this current health crisis many of us are, more than ever, trying to do what’s good for our bodies – and breakfast is one of the first opportunities we have each day to do this. So, do you partake in the green juice craze, fill up on a full-English classic or throw your hands to the wind, grab a coffee to go, and be done with it?
We all know the old adage; ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, but with so many different diets, recommendations and fields of thought out there, it can be hard to know what your best option is.
In reality, there is never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to diet and nutrition.
We each have different needs based on our makeup and lifestyles, and it’s all about finding the approach that works for you. That said, there are a couple of methods I’ve found over the years to be the most effective in maintaining my weight, whilst providing me enough energy to seize the day – every day. So, this month I thought I would impart my knowledge in the hope that you feel inspired to start your day the way you intend to finish it: happy, healthy, and energised.
First up? Let’s look at Keto.
A super popular eating regime these days, the premise of Keto is getting your body to use fat as fuel, rather than carbs. You “eat fat to lose fat” – sounds kind of backward, right?
Here’s how it works: When sugar (aka carbs) enters your bloodstream you’re unable to burn any of the fat stored in your body. By following a Keto plan, you remove carbs and sugars from your diet (leaving fats and protein), thereby allowing your body to go into a state of ketosis, and actually burn the fat you’ve been storing.
As if burning fat wasn’t enough of a motivator, the added bonus? One molecule of fat has six times the amount of energy as one molecule of carbs so, once your body switches to using fat as fuel (aka once it’s in ketosis), your energy levels will skyrocket!
Easy Keto breakfast option: poached eggs and avocado - hold the toast 😉
Next up? Intermittent fasting.
In some ways quite similar to the keto approach – intermittent fasting works to trick your body in to burning fat. And how does it do this? By avoiding the consumption of calories, usually between dinnertime and lunchtime the following day (actual fasting periods may differ person to person, but this is the general rule).
Intermittent fasting utilises the same theory as the renowned 5:2 diet: where five days of the week you eat as normal, but two days of the week you reduce your calorie intake dramatically, triggering your body’s ‘fasting’ mode.
Once in a state of ‘fasting’, your body burns your stored fat as energy, thereby releasing an abundance of said energy, making you feel lighter, brighter and more alert – for longer.
My third favourite method? Fruit cleansing.
Entirely different from the last two approaches, this field of thought focuses on reducing any pressure put on our digestive system, by only consuming fruit (and ideally only one type of fruit) in the morning.
By limiting the intake and variety of food, your digestive system can concentrate on breaking down just one type of amino acid, rather than expending energy trying to identify and break down multiple.
The outcome? Your metabolism speed increases, and your body has more energy to heal and regenerate, meaning you not only feel great - you look it too!
Fruit cleansing has been my go-to approach recently, with my morning routine being busier than ever, and I love that it’s a simple, no nonsense way of kicking my day off right.
Favourite morning fruit options: bananas, apples, melon, kiwifruit
Breakfasts don’t have to be daunting; they can be fun, easy, and nutritious – it’s just a matter of finding out what works best for you and your family. And remember, depending on your lifestyle you’ll need to adjust quantities and/or fasting periods.
A food plan should never be about depriving yourself. It should be about giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive and feel good – that’s what life is all about!