Is your breakfast a carb bomb?
Posted by Nicky Perks
Do you pay much attention to what you have for breakfast? Or do you just do what you have always done. Or maybe what the TV ads tell you to do to “get it all this morning”? In this post I am going to highlight some poor choices and some good choices that can be made when eating in the morning (especially if you are trying to lose weight). If you are a parent, then this article might help you make sure your kids are given the best start to their day too so that they can concentrate and feel energised at school. But if you suffer from bloating, fatigue or hunger 1 to 2 hours after your brekkie you may also want to carry on reading.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record….
I must just re-emphasise that if you are trying to lose weight, then the best way to do that is by reducing your carbohydrate consumption. If you continue to eat too many carbs in the day then your body never gets the chance to burn your stored body fat from your love handles or double chin. Your body will get enough energy from the carbs (sugar) you are ingesting at each meal. So basically your stored fat will stay exactly where it is – STORED in your fat cells. It has also been shown that the most effective way to get rid of belly fat in particular is to cut the carbs.
Let’s take a look at a typical breakfast :
- Fruit juice (small 150 ml glass)
- Breakfast cereal with milk and a chopped up banana, e.g. Cornflakes or Branflakes
- 1 to 2 slices of whole grain toast with jam and/or peanut butter and margarine
- Coffee or tea with milk and sugar
This breakfast equates to around 95 grams of carbs. ALL carbs convert to glucose (sugar) in the body. That is a lot of sugar in one meal.
Let’s say for argument sake that you only have the cereal, banana and milk. This still amounts to around 55 grams of carbs. Not to mention what some of the kiddie cereals like fruit loops, frosted flakes and coco pops may contain. But that’s a whole different story.
If you are overweight, then you should potentially only consume around 50 to 60 grams of carbs in an entire day to actually lose the weight. For some who are very carb resistant, it may need to be as low as 20 grams. So in this example, breakfast alone has exceeded your carb limit for the day and there is still lunch, supper and snacks to get through.
This brekkie, which seems pretty innocent is actually a carb bomb waiting to go off. The collateral damage? Elevated blood glucose which leads to more of the fat storing hormone called insulin. Or put more bluntly – more fat on your bum!
If your kids start their day with a breakfast similar to this one then there is a good chance that they will hit an energy slump mid-morning and will struggle to concentrate at school.
If you suffer from bloating and abdominal discomfort after this type of breakfast, consider cutting out the cereal grains (gluten) as well as the milk (lactose and casein). You may have an intolerance towards these foods. Don’t ignore what your body is trying to tell you.
Better breakfast options
Believe it or not breakfast doesn’t have to be all about grains (even the whole-grain variety). Here are some of my favourites, which are low in carbs yet full of satiating and nourishing protein and fat.
- Eggs done any which way (and there are many)
- Bacon or sausage (grass-fed preferably) with cooked mushrooms
- Smoothies made with almond milk, protein powder and berries
- Ham and cheddar cheese roll ups with cucumber chunks
- Full fat Greek yoghurt with nuts and berries
- Smoked salmon and cream-cheese roll-ups with cherry tomatoes
- Smoked chicken and cheddar cheese with olives
- Left overs from the night before
- Bullet coffee
- …….. and I am sure you could come up with a few options and combinations of your own
Once you get your head around the fact that breakfast doesn’t have to be sweet and doesn’t have to be as boring as cereal, fruit juice, toast and jam then a smorgasbord of delicious options will open up to you. In Asia they even have soup for breakfast and the British are doing something right with their love for kippers in the morning.
Try these better breakfast options for 2 weeks and take note of how you feel. Don’t be surprised if you feel trimmer, more energetic and full until lunch time – that’s the beauty of the low carb/high fat way of eating.