Are you struggling with your weight right now?
Do you want to shred the ugly pounds to pieces, and move on to a fitter, and more healthy lifestyle? In modern culture, the first meal of the day is considered the most important one you can have. It’s the meal that jumpstarts your metabolism and gives you the energy to then burn all the calories you need to lose via workout. It’s this meal that allows your body and brain to function at its best, as soon as you hit the road, Jack.
And unlike what some may say, you don’t have to skip breakfast in order to lose weight. That is sometimes considered counter-productive — especially if you work afterward. The more hungry you feel, the more you tend to desire scrumptious food… and suppressing your desires with a fast in the morning… may lead to binge eating later on.
This being said, keep eating your breakfast. And eat as healthily as you can. In this particular blog post, I want to show you some foods to avoid in the morning, if you REALLY, REALLY want to lose weight.
Fruit Juices and Sugary Drinks
Liquid sugar calories don’t make you feel full, and you won’t eat less food for it.
Instead, you end up adding these calories on top of your regular diet. Most fruit juices you find at the supermarket have very little in common with whole fruit.
Also, fruit juice usually has no fiber and doesn’t require chewing. Unfortunately, food and beverage manufacturers aren’t always honest about what is in their products, which sometimes leads to people believing certain beverages are healthy.
In fact, the fruit juice you find at the supermarket may not be what you think it is, even if it’s labeled as 100% pure or not from concentrate. After being squeezed from the fruit, the juice is usually saved in large oxygen-depleted holding containers for up to a year before it is packaged.
The main difficulty with this method is that it tends to remove most of the taste, so the manufacturers need to add flavor packs to the juice to bring back any flavor that was lost during processing. So even if you’re buying the highest quality juices at the supermarket, they are still far from their original nature. Some of the lowest quality ones don’t even resemble fresh-squeezed fruit juice at all: they’re basically just fruit-flavored sugar water.
My boxing coach always warned me not to buy beverages from the supermarket — especially if you’re really desperate to lose weight.
The “OMG SO GOOD” Pastries
Unfortunately, pastries are packed with unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined flour. They may also contain artificial trans fats, which are very harmful and linked to various diseases. Pastries are not very satisfying, and you will likely become hungry very quickly after eating these high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.
Then there’s the salt. A survey by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) revealed that a Starbucks’ cinnamon swirl, for instance, contained more than twice the amount of salt included in a rasher of bacon from a supermarket, while American-style muffins contained the same amount of salt or more than a regular pack of ready salted crisps.
One Costa (coffee shop in the UK) muffin had three times as much as a packet of crisps! A pastry, even a croissant grabbed from a cafe on the way to work, although quick, is not a healthy choice.
White bread is exceptionally refined and often contains a lot of added sugar.
It is high on the glycemic index and can spike your blood sugar levels. Most people know that white bread is a NO-NO, and one of the easiest swaps you can make for a significant health boost is ditching refined flour in favor of whole wheat. But it’s not just that loaf of Wonder Bread that you need to watch out for: think about your morning bagel ritual, a breakfast baguette, or panini all come with the associated health risks.
It’s tough, but you should consider changing your white bread.
If you like coffee, it’s best to stick to plain, black coffee when trying to stay lean.
Adding a little cream or soy milk is fine too. Just avoid adding sugar, high-calorie creamers, and other unhealthy ingredients. Coffeehouse culture has transformed coffee from a relatively low-calorie drink to a decadent premixed beverage that barely resembles an old-fashioned cup of Joe. Regrettably, all of this coffee creativity also comes with absurd amounts of calories from all the milk, cream, fat and sugar used.
What I usually do is prepare myself a Soy Cappuccino with no sugar. It’s enough to keep myself satiated.
Sweet Breakfast Cereals and Cereal Bars
Cereals can be packed with vitamins which have positive effects on the body, but many examples of the convenience cereals in supermarket aisles contain massive amounts of added sugar.
It’s a sign of the times that people are increasingly abandoning breakfast cereals, one of the earliest convenience foods, for more convenient on-the-go options, such as breakfast granola bars.
Even low-fat or healthy branded versions of these bars can be high in saturated fats, or sugar or both.
But although carbs have gained a rather shameful reputation amongst fitness enthusiasts. The biggest myth surrounding carbohydrates is that they make you fat and you should give up on them entirely. You may have often been advised to cut down on your carb intake but carbs are essential, and eliminating them from your diet entirely would take a drastic toll on your health. Many of the foods to avoid in the morning contain the same harmful carbohydrates you get from these sweetened convenience cereals. Instead, load up on the quality carbohydrates sourced from whole grains like oatmeal.
Processed meat like fatty bacon and salty, fried sausages may not be the ideal way to start your day if you are looking to lose weight or gain muscle mass.
The hidden sugars in the sauces that accompany them is another factor that should make you think twice before helping yourself to a serving of processed meat for breakfast. Eating too much salt increases the risk of high blood pressure, and therefore a stroke or heart attack. On average, about three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, the rest is added during cooking and at the table.
Low-fat, Flavored Yogurt
Good quality, homemade yogurt is loaded with calcium, protein, and gut-healthy probiotics, which are not only good for weight loss and muscle tone but for overall health too. But when it’s mixed with artificial flavors and sweeteners, it may do more harm than good. The added sugar makes you pile on unnecessary calories.
Instead of opting for packaged flavored yogurt, use plain yogurt and add fresh and seasonal fruits to spruce it up. Add seeds. Oatmeal. Other raw, natural ingredients that cream of fiber and protein. And no Granola, please. I don’t know why it’s allowed to advertise Granola as a healthy product… which is probably why a lot of fitness people eat Granola… but please take a good look at its components and then ask yourself if its good for you.
Anyhoo. Have you tried banning any of these breakfast nasties? If so, how did it go?
Please comment below and tell me your story.