Meal skipping is commonplace nowadays - either we just don’t have the time or we forget because we’re too busy. But the importance of Breakfast in particular is overlooked and if you want to build muscle, boost your metabolism and burn fat, it’s the most important meal of the day. Without breakfast, you could go up to 12 hours without eating which can cause the body to go into ‘starvation’ mode where it actually breaks its own tissues down to provide fuel for the day and activities ahead. Unfortunately, the body often chooses to break down its own muscle and bone rather than fat in order to provide glucose and calcium for energy production purposes and so we tend to get weaker, lose muscle, our metabolism slows and fat is stored - pretty much the opposite of what most clients want ! Here are some tips and info about the importance of ‘When we eat’:

  1. Skipping meals, in particular breakfast can be detrimental to your health whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, overcome injury or just generally improve your fitness and performance. Restricting calories by skipping meals actually increases the levels of hormones which tend to increase fat storage !
  2. When you miss a meal, you go into ‘survival mode’ and your body has to go looking within itself for the nutrients required to function. This usually results in the body hanging on to its fat stores and often means that your body will catabolise (breakdown) your hard-earned protein stores (muscles) to get what it needs. This is generally the number one reason why people find it hard to actually build significant muscle gain or to burn excessive fat in the gym. Calorie cutting isn’t a healthy way to lose weight !
  3. Breakfast is still by far the most important meal of the day. Eat a balanced nutritious breakfast that suits your Metabolic Type®. Include some protein (i.e. organic bacon), fat (i.e. a free range egg) and carbs (i.e. some organic spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes etc) in the correct proportions for your type. Break the fast !
  4. A bad (unbalanced or processed) breakfast or no breakfast at all can lead to snacking, caffeine or sugar cravings which then starts an insulin-blood sugar rollercoaster ride which means your body will hold on to its fat stores throughout the day.
  5. Cutting calories by missing meals can eventually cause your metabolism to slow down for survival purposes and forces the body to look for nutrients within itself, breaking down muscle and bone to provide protein, glycogen and calcium to the blood (CATABOLIC STATE). It creates malnourishment and places a (nutritional) stress on the body that contributes towards your overall levels of physiological load.
  6. This excessive nutritional stress causes the body to release hormones which tell it to slow down and has a highly detrimental effect on the overall function of all the systems of the body. Long term, healthy weight loss isn’t about calorie restriction, it’s all about balance (particularly of hormones like insulin and cortisol).
  7. Overall, excessive stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (survival mode – fight or flight) and stops us from building muscle, increasing our metabolism and therefore being able to burn fat efficiently. It even has the capacity to shut down your digestive system thus making it even harder to absorb vital nutrients when you do eat.
  8. You should eat more whilst your metabolism and cortisol levels are high (in the morning) and after exercising. So, ideally, breakfast should be the largest meal of the day !
  9. The process itself of eating breakfast (digestion, assimilation and elimination) will kick-start and raise your metabolism further, keep your blood-sugar levels steady and allow for more energy (from fat stores) to be burnt throughout the day.
  10. Eat less as your metabolism decreases (in the evening) and when inactive or sedentary
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