Food is Fuel!
October 3, 2016
No matter what time of day, we do need food to fuel us. Whether your goals are achieving optimal performance, weight loss, muscle building, energizing your life – prioritize food as much as you would your work, house chores, training session, or even competition/race.
Early morning breakfast in particular seem to pose an extra challenge. I often hear clients and friends say they don’t eat breakfast. I’ve heard every excuse in the book. Too tired to get up even 15 minutes earlier to eat, not hungry, food makes me nauseous if I eat too early, trying to lose weight so don’t need the extra energy, or simply just unaware that it was important.
First, breakfast is ALWAYS important. It kick starts your metabolism, similar to warming up your car on a cold day. This means you will boost your energy level first thing in the morning rather than waiting an hour or more. A side benefit to this is your body will start burning more calories at rest sooner – which can be beneficial for weight loss or maintenance. Breakfast before a morning workout is especially important as you need fuel for your empty tank (or body!). Yes, you will have some energy without putting any food in you beforehand. However – because you haven’t eaten anything for the past 7-12 hours this energy will come from your body breaking down internal stores of fat and muscle. This in turn will leave you feeling fatigued, and result in a decrease in strength and endurance. Making it much more difficult for you to achieve your goals.
Some tips for those excuses:
Too tired to get up even 15 minutes earlier to eat?
Those extra 15 minutes will go a long way. Do yourself a favour and go to bed 15 minutes earlier the night before so that you can wake up a little earlier and give your body what it needs for optimal fuel and an optimal workout.
It’s likely because your body isn’t used to eating at such an early time of day. You need to train yourself to eat something in the morning, just as you train yourself during a workout.
Food makes you nauseous if you eat too early?
Same as above – your body just isn’t used to anything in the stomach at this hour. Start simple and work your way up – a glass filled with half juice and half water, progress to a full glass of juice, next you can try introducing a fruit, then a fruit and yogurt, then maybe a small bowl of cereal.
Trying to lose weight so don’t think you need the extra energy?
You want to target fat loss, not muscle mass. Building or at least maintaining lean muscle mass is essential when trying to lose body fat as muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, and the more calories you will burn at rest. Also, if you workout, you will get a better workout if you do eat something beforehand – meaning you will burn more calories bringing you one step closer to your goals.
Unaware breakfast was that important?
Now you know! Pass the message on!