The Breakfast Effect
The Breakfast Effect!
Breakfast very well may be your client’s most important meal of the day. I have learned this first hand during my own fitness journey and while accompanying clients’ on theirs. Sure I found that sitting down to a solid plate of eggs in the morning reduced my hunger throughout the entire day, and that a bite in the morning lead to a lower body mass index in most clients; not to mention performance was on point when they fueled up first thing in the morning – but do you ever wonder as a trainer (who may not have a nutrition background) as to why that is? Well, I got the dish from Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer Michael Schmit.
The Hunger Hold Off Effect
Eating breakfast can reduce hunger and random snacking throughout the entire day; as it not only keeps you well satiated, but also helps stabilize blood sugar levels. “Starting off the day with higher protein intake (somewhere between or above 25-30g) will help keep you satiated throughout the day and keep your blood sugars more stable. If your blood sugars are more stable, you will have less cravings (especially for sweets!) later in the day. Adding in healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, or nuts will also enhance your total energy level.”
The Lower Body Mass Index Effect
Putting some protein on your plate in the morning may be the ingredient to lowering Body Mass Index, in other words shedding body fat. “As I tell my clients, ‘Eat how you want to look!’ Starting off the morning with lean and quality proteins will help build your metabolism by fueling your muscle mass. Protein is crucial for maintaining and building muscle tissue and will have little effect on fat storage. The more muscle, the higher the metabolism!”
The Increased Performance Effect
The better fueled you are, the better you’ll perform, right? Choosing nutritious breakfast will not only supply your client with energy for their next session, but also vitamins and minerals essential to cognitive functioning allowing for increased performance from the office to the gym. “Having a combination of quality proteins (eggs, lean meats, even fish for breakfast!), omega-3 fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados), and slow digesting carbs (oats, sweet potatoes) will help stabilize your blood sugars throughout the day, which will result in a more consistent energy level. If we start off the day like a typical American with cereals, breads, and fruits, which are carbohydrate dense, we can feel the effects of unstable energy throughout the day which can lead to fatigue and mental fog. The key is to have the right balance!
Fueling the Effect
As you can see, your client really should be waking up to breakfast in the morning. Keep in mind though, what makes up their plate will vary depending upon their fitness goal—weight loss, hypertrophy, or strength/cardio endurance. One staple ingredient in cooking up all three goals should always be a lean source of protein. Research shows that eggs boost muscle growth, strength and enhances fat loss! It appears that those who eat eggs in the morning eat fewer calories throughout the day and in turn resulting in a loss of body fat. And when it comes to hypertrophy especially, a study done by Texas A&M found subjects who ate three whole eggs per day while following a weight lifting program for 12 weeks gained twice as much muscle mass and twice as much muscle strength as subjects who ate just one egg per day or no eggs at all.
-For someone who may not utilize carbohydrates efficiently (high body fat, increased waist-to-hip circumference, elevated blood sugars and insulin), starting off the day with high protein and high fats will keep you more satiated and also eliminate fat storing effects of insulin (the primary hormone responsible for storing the carbohydrates you eat). Some individuals will need to slowly taper down the carbs in the morning until their body learns to function without them
- Jesse Westover