Weight loss really isn't complicated – we simply overcomplicate it. It's more of a numbers game than anything else in which you need to consume fewer calories than your maintenance level. This article will look at six ways you can improve your weight loss by implementing these very specific breakfast rules and tossing out a few myths.
1. Breakfast Does Not Mean You Need to Eat in the Morning
How many times have you been told that when you wake up in the morning, you need to have a solid breakfast to kickstart your day – as if it's one of the golden breakfast rules? Probably more times than you can remember, no? Well, while some information out there says you can boost your metabolism doing so, there are other methods you can implement into your lifestyle that may be a better fit for you if you're not a morning person or always rushed.
With so many people implementing an intermittent fasting (IF) diet plan, many people aren't eating their first meal until at least noon – and they're losing a ton of weight. Unless you're a bodybuilder who needs to fit in 6-7 huge meals a day to take in enough calories, it's not set in stone that you need to eat breakfast first thing. Breakfast is nothing more than "breaking the fast."
2. Stop Thinking Breakfast is Your Most Important Meal of the Day
Here's the truth… EVERY MEAL is the most important meal of the day. Having a solid breakfast because you're told it's important, but then hitting up McDonald's at lunch does not help you with your weight loss goals.
If you want to see any progress, you need to slap breakfast rules like this one out of your memory. All of your meals should be balanced with protein being your main priority and something to work the rest of your macronutrients around.
In fact, your first meal of the day is just as important as your last meal of the day – especially when it comes to what you have in it. A meal at 7pm that is nothing but carbs is a terrible idea just as much as having that same meal at 7am is a bad idea.
3. Make Protein Your Main Focus
Looking at a traditional breakfast, you'd think the breakfast rules mentioned that you had to have toast, cereal, fried potatoes, French toast, pancakes, waffles, or any type of heavy-carbohydrate meal you associate with a traditional breakfast.
While you can include some of those to a much smaller degree, you want to work them around your protein source. Again, "breakfast" can be at any time – it's merely your first meal after waking up. So, protein sources can range from eggs, steak, chicken, turkey, tofu, or just about any other protein source you enjoy eating.
From the protein source you choose and prefer, work healthy carbohydrates and fats around it. Protein is going to help you feel satiated longer during the day, which can help improve your weight loss results by mitigating hunger pangs. When you're hungry throughout the day, you tend to snack on foods you shouldn't be eating, and more times than not, you fall victim to putting yourself in a caloric surplus by the end of the day.
It should also go without saying, but protein is a significant contributor to adding quality lean muscle mass, which can further help improve your weight loss. So, if you want some new breakfast rules, make sure meals that are high in protein make the list.
4. Skip the Sugary Breakfast Foods and Beverages
We aren't six-years-old anymore, it's time to eat a real breakfast. That means no more Lucky Charms (sorry, we know they're delicious) and skip the donuts and pastries. That also means, push aside all of the sugary beverages like cappuccinos and the caramel double-shot expresso venti with extra cream and sugar (who knows if that's even a real drink, but you know exactly what we're talking about).
While hot and sugary beverages may be on your own list of breakfast rules, it needs to be changed. You don't need sugary foods and beverages first thing in the morning. It will spike insulin and leave you hungry in no time. Think about it, you can probably polish off a dozen donuts and still be hungry. That's because sugary foods are not satiating. To add to the punishment, the sugar will spike your energy level, and then it'll drop off just as fast, leaving you unenergized and unproductive.
If you truly want to focus on your weight loss, those types of foods and beverages need to be removed from not only your breakfast but all your other meals throughout the day as well.
5. Fiber is Your Friend
Fiber should be an essential part of all of your meals, not just breakfast. But be sure to add this to your breakfast rules. Foods like Greek yogurt, oatmeal (not the sugary-flavored ones), nuts, avocado, apples, granola, bananas, and berries are excellent sources of fiber, and some will even provide you with helpful antioxidants to boost immunity and fight free radicals.
When it comes to weight loss, the last thing you want to have is cravings. Fiber helps keep you full and needs to be prioritized. In addition, fiber helps keep you regular by increasing your stool's size and density and plays a role in maintaining proper bowel health.
6. But First… Coffee
Many would consider coffee one of the greatest breakfast rules out there. That said, coffee is truly a great beverage any time of day when you need to curb your hunger and boost your energy. Be cautious of when you drink it, though, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine as it can keep you awake at night.
One key when eyeing up your coffee mug is the skip the sugar and creamers. These add unnecessary calories, and the sugars will cause you to feel hungry soon after drinking your favorite cup of Joe. Try to drink your coffee black or if you must, add in a little Stevia. Coffee also contains powerful antioxidants that can help boost immunity and preventing oxidative stress in the body.
The added boost of energy from coffee can also help fuel your workouts and get you through a grueling sweat session – which clearly aligns with your weight loss goals.