So, if you are going to be starting a training regime that involves lifting, your foundation is your food & eating patterns – and probably the most important one of the lot is breakfast. Without this you will not have the physical capability to lift at your best that day – additionally you may well compromise the mental bit as well; the effective working of your neuromuscular pathways to lift safely, effectively & with determination. And there are many other reasons to have breakfast too:
Breakfast with Benefits
It kicks your life into high gear each morning; skipping it deprives you of nutrients, leaves you short of mental & physical energy, reduces your concentration, and sabotages any long term goal to lose body-fat.
Our brain takes about 25% of our total energy needs – skipping breakfast means it is short of fuel, and we’ll be short of brain power. Some interesting statistics:
45% of the population fail to eat a proper meal in the morning, and 46% said they lack energy on these days
43% admit to being less productive without breakfast, 36% said that they felt tired, and 28% stated they suffer from a lack of concentration
20% admitted they are unable to do their job properly
So for lifters in particular, here are some simple breakfast ideas; and remember too that these will work at any meal – with a little bit of tweaking they can be your pre & post workout nutrition too; if they are your pre-workout, consume about 1.5 to 2 hours before training; if they are your post workout, add some additional fast digesting carbohydrate, and eat as soon as you can post training.
Remember too that if you are training hard with lifts, then you need that decent protein count – circa 25-30 grams in the main meals you are consuming.
Chose healthy, real, simple foods – foods you enjoy. The food industry has conditioned us that breakfast should be cereal, often processed, with some milk, maybe some toast, & some fruit juice; but this often leaves us hungry.
Reality is we have a far wider choice of foods available – and I would certainly ditch the processed cereal & fruit juice from the carton…
Eggs, rye or wholemeal toast, add some tomato, add some rocket or any other green that appeals- and yes, eggs are back on the menu for most of us; I attach a recent piece from The Guardian in our interesting articles section.
Salmon, cheese or ham in moderation, on some rye toast, add a bit of salad & tomatoes.
Rye toast, with a good quality almond or peanut butter in moderation, and some sliced banana or other fruit or veg of choice on top
Porridge or unsweetened muesli (rather than processed cereal), with nuts & plain yogurt
And finally – one of the easiest – save something from the previous evenings supper! We have been conditioned that breakfast should be cereal or toast based – it doesn’t have to be; it just has to be nutritious – so if last night’s supper falls into that category, there’s a fab easy suggestion ready & waiting – and maybe just use a piece of fresh fruit or veg to give that extra morning zing of vitamins & minerals.
Going for these alternatives will give you a more satiating balanced breakfast than just cereal, fruit & fruit juice - and remember, if you just have fruit for breakfast, it’ll give you a selection vitamins, minerals & carbohydrate, but it does not contain anywhere near enough energy, protein or fat to even start your day – and the lack of fat means we won’t be able to use any of the fat soluble vitamins effectively – vitamin A, D, E, K
And if you just want a very simple meme: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper…
And here’s are a few interesting articles; some good stuff from the Boston Globe, an egg update, the concept of ‘Brinner (who has tried it?), and finally, and a little more indulgent, some breakfasts from around the world – we are not saying these are necessarily healthy, but they do give fun scope for a bit of variety & possibly a weekend treat…