Your first meal of the day is very important because it determines whether you start your day in a fat burning or a fat storing mode. Most people mistakenly start their day in a fat storing mode by eating a meal high in carbohydrates such as cereal, bread, fruit, and juice for breakfast and very little protein. Your body quickly converts all those carbohydrates to blood sugar, which causes your insulin level to spike and to store most of those calories your just consumed as fat. Once all that blood sugar is stored, your insulin level hits bottom causing hunger pains and cravings for more foods high in carbohydrates. This vicious sugar craving cycle can go on all day unless you do something to derail it.
On the other hand, having a breakfast in which you consume at least 21 grams of high quality protein such as eggs, low-fat dairy, and lean meats starts your day in a fat burning mode. When you eat a breakfast high in protein your body to start a process called protein synthesis. This is basically a biological process by which muscle cells are built and maintained and it is very energy intensive causing your body to burn fat as fuel to support it. Thus, this process increases your metabolism, and levels out your energy until your next meal, which means you burn more calories, and you don’t have sugar cravings.
I start my day by having a smoothie with a whey protein powder that is quick and easy to make. When using a protein supplement, whey based or otherwise, make sure it has at least 21 grams of protein per serving because this is the threshold where your body starts the protein synthesis process. Below is one of my favorite smoothies for breakfast, I call it my Blueberry Special.
- One cup of frozen wild blueberries
- One serving of vanilla whey protein powder (the one I use has 30 grams of protein per serving)
- One cup of unsweetened almond milk
This smoothie contains 250 calories, 3 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and 32 grams of protein. A quick and easy balanced breakfast that starts my day in a fat burning mode.