When to Break-Fast

by Aimee Keiluhn
Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Anaylst



You have heard it a thousand times; “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Breakfast means just that: “to break fast.” After 8 hours of sleep, your body may want to refuel itself for your daily activities.

IF you look forward to breakfast, having a well-balanced meal consisting of protein, complex carbohydrates and a little fat is vital. Those people who NEED breakfast have a higher level of energy and do not experience the “crash” or feeling of sluggishness after lunch.

Slow burning carbohydrates such as oatmeal and whole grain cereals (not corn flakes or processed cereals) are excellent choices for breakfast. Oats are filling and are “slow burning,” which means that they are broken down, and converted to blood sugar slowly through the morning and will give you sustained energy. Add a piece of fruit, a scoop of protein powder and some non-fat milk and you have a terrific breakfast. If you have a little bit more time, you could scramble a few egg whites or egg substitute.

IF you are not hungry in the morning you may want to try a way of eating called INTERMITTENT FASTING. You fast for 14 hours per day and then eat your meals in a 10-hour feeding window. You will only be eating 2-3 meals per day if you are Intermittent Fasting.

The rule of eating breakfast has become so commonplace throughout the health and fitness community that no one questions it.

Briefly, Intermittent Fasting works like this: During the “fasted state,” your body doesn’t have a recently consumed meal to use as energy, so it is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body, rather than the glucose in your blood stream or glycogen in your muscles/liver.

The same goes for working out in a “fasted” state. Without a ready supply of glucose and glycogen to pull from (which has been depleted over the course of your fasted state, and hasn’t yet been replenished with a pre-workout meal), your body is forced to adapt and pull from the only source of energy available to it: the fat stored in your cells!

Your glycogen (a starch stored in your muscles and liver that your body can burn as fuel when necessary) is depleted during sleep (fasting), and will be depleted even further during training, which can further increases insulin sensitivity. This means that a meal immediately following your workout will be stored most efficiently: mostly as glycogen for muscle stores, burned as energy immediately to help with the recovery process, with minimal amounts stored as fat.

Intermittent fasting can help teach your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently. For many different physiological reasons, fasting can help promote weight loss and muscle building when done properly.




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