Who doesn’t want to be a champion? I know I do. I want to feel that power of succeeding. I want to know I kicked fat in the face, and I won. I want statues to go up in my honor! (Obviously, I want to be a champion back in ancient Greece because I hardly believe anyone is going to put up a statue in the middle of town just for me… but hey, a girl can dream). Champions are a symbol of strength and accomplishment, but they need fuel to become strong. You also need fuel to lose weight (so it was a little bit of a bad tie but you get the idea right?). A lot of people take the “Eat Less, Move More” mantra a little bit too far. People come to fear food and therefore skip meals. This is a big no-no if you want to lose weight at a steady rate. By skipping meals, you are messing with your metabolism — even more so if you are becoming more active. Your body will get launched into starvation mode because it believes the only reason you could possibly be skipping meals is because there is absolutely no food around — it doesn’t matter what your eyes see and your nose smells, your metabolism is going into emergency shut down. Now you think, great! It will burn off this fat quicker when I exercise because there is nothing else to burn! Wrong. Fat is very easy to maintain and a wonderful back up energy. Muscle on the other hand requires energy to maintain. Guess what is going to go first? Your muscle. You don’t want that! Muscle helps you burn fat quicker! But if you aren’t giving your body fuel, your body has to get that fuel else where. Most people like to believe that the fat around the middle will be the first to go. Unfortunately, you are looking at saying bye-bye to the muscles in your legs, arms, everywhere.
So the best way to lose weight is to actually eat more! I know you are looking at me like I am a crazy person, but hear me out. I am not saying eat more “junk” food. Don’t think because you are exercising you can indulge in your favorite dessert. What I mean by eat more is by not skipping out on meals and eating more health consciously. Exchange your high sugar cereal for one with more fiber (I eat Kashi Go Lean Crunch/Crisp. 8g of fiber and 9g of protein. A serving size ranges between 3/4 c and 1 c depending on the cereal. Remember a bowl does not equal a serving! Measure it out). Eat MORE vegetables and fruits instead of breads. Eat MORE leaner meats, such as turkey, chicken, fish, very lean ground beef. You need to eat more to lose more.
Back to breakfast. You cannot skip this meal. I know you hear it all the time “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Do you know why people say it? Because it is true! Eating breakfast helps start your metabolism. It launches it right out of sleep mode. It gives your body something to do. I know you are going to say “But I am not hungry in the mornings.” That’s because your body doesn’t know when morning is anymore because you do not feed it. It has fallen into a routine, and your body is not going to change it for you. Your mind has to change it. You have to force yourself to eat in the morning. Preferably within the hour of waking up. If you have reached a plateau in your weight loss, eating breakfast may just be the kick start you are looking for (it won’t happen right away, though. Do not become discourage if you gain a little weight once you start eating breakfast — this is just your metabolism sorting itself out).
Now you have to eat a breakfast that is high in protein and also in fiber. Not sugar. We don’t want any artificial “highs” that lead to a crash later on the day. Look for anything over 3 grams of fiber, though I preferably go for anything over 5 grams (such as my cereal). Another way you can do this without relying on cereal is to make scrambled eggs or an omelet. I use Egg Beaters, which is just egg whites. It comes in an easy to pour container so you can measure out your serving. I spray my pan with Pam as to avoid the extra calories from oil/butter. I cut up a red or green pepper, or throw in some spinach and a slice of cheese. I toast a whole wheat English muffin and I drink a glass of water.
Egg Beaters 1/4 cup = 30 Calories (we normally use about a third of cup so we are looking more around 45 calories when we make it)
Red Pepper, chopped, 1 cup = 38 calories.
Baby Spinach, 1/2 cup = Around 5 calories (lots of food, very little calories)
Cabot 50% reduced fat cheese =70 calories
Whole Wheat English Muffin = 120 calories (you can also substitute for a slice of whole wheat bread for around the same calories)
So you are looking at a breakfast that is around 266 calories, has 6 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber (you should be aiming for 18 – 22 grams of fiber a day), and 22 g of protein! That is an amazing breakfast to have before a work out. The best part is all the vegetables make it seem like so much more food and is really quite filling.
Do not be afraid of food. Be mindful of it, but do not be afraid of it.
Let me know what some of your favorite breakfasts are (or if you have an absolute favorite breakfast but it happens to be high in calories, I can try to lighten it up for you!) Or check out one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE ( I capitalize because this site has seriously saved my life) sites for recipes that take your favorites and make it weight-loss friendly – Skinny Taste. Lots of options for everyone.
No more excuses. Eat breakfast! Become a Champion!