It’s not true, if your goal is weight loss! Almost everyone today is looking to lose some weight, but with all the conflicting information out there it is really difficult. Today, I am going to simplify it for everyone. Before we talk about breakfast let’s talk about three important keys to fat loss.

The first important key - you must have minimal insulin levels during the day, no high insulin spikes. Then maximum glucagon, which is directly inversely proportional to insulin levels. Lastly, Optimal Growth Hormone Response which with exercise signals the body to release GH.

Fat loss and weight gain is a hormonal event. It’s about the right hormones telling the body to release the stored energy in the fat cells to burn off or to store that energy for later!

The two important hormones that comes into play are: insulin and glucagon. One of insulin main roles is to help to regulate your blood sugar. Then the insulin will send signals to muscle, fat, and liver cells in the body to absorb glucose sugar from the bloodstream to be used for energy. Glucagon plays a role in allowing the body to regulate the utilization of fats and glucose, which is simple sugar.

Lynn Backens, 54, prepares breakfast in her roadside cafe, The Glider, along the A419 near Frampton Mansell, south west England September 5, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Going back to breakfast, when you wake-up in the morning, your body is already in a fasted state or detox phase, clearing itself of endotoxins and digestive waste from the past evening meal. At this time you body’s insulin levels are minimal. This is actually a great time for you to start burning fat.

Think of it like this, your goal is to get your body to use its stored energy that is mainly what body fat is. Now, if you wake up in the morning and have the typical breakfast such as bagels, bananas, cereal, orange juice, yogurt and granola you will spike your insulin and completely stop the fat burning process. Instead of your body starting its day using its stored energy, it will be using the energy source of carbohydrates and sugars you just digested.

If you have a typical desk job from 9 to 5 and you don’t utilize the carbs and sugars that you just ingested in the morning with exercise, your body will be gearing towards storing that energy for later which results in gaining body fat. In addition, high carb morning meals can lead to energy crashes during the working hours, often with chronic cravings for snack foods and sweets.

So are you saying that I should skip breakfast?

Well, that depends on what your goals are.

If you’re a marathon runner or competitive athlete such as a swimmer and you’re planning on tough training session in the morning, then having breakfast that includes real food containing protein and organic grains and fruit would be ideal.

Now, if your goal is weight loss, staying lean and keeping a low body fat percentage on a consistent basis you should start your day with water, coffee or tea with no sugar to avoid insulin spikes as we now know that fat loss is a hormonal event.

Let’s say you do plan on having breakfast with a goal of fat loss it will be best to have protein based foods and a low glycemic fruit such as apple, pear or plum. Protein slows the digestion of sugars so it will aid in keeping your insulin levels stable.

Donald Trump
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with the media as he stops in for breakfast at Miss Katie's Diner, while campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Hauck
Summing it all up

So is breakfast really the most important meal?

The straight forward answer is no, whether you have breakfast or not is really based on what your goals are, whether you are a competitive runner or simply trying to lose weight can determine whether or not you should have breakfast in the morning

When you wake up your insulin levels are at its lowest, this an ideal time for you to start burning fat. So what happens when you eat a high carb breakfast? Insulin goes up and stored fat releasing hormones involved will just go down.

While calories still matter for the day in overall weight gain or fat loss, you should take advantage of the mornings to access more stored fat and eat your main meals later on.

Jerry Genesis is a Specialist in Corrective Exercise, Functional Movement, Exercise Rehabilitation, Fitness Nutrition, NASM Senior Fitness, C.M.T, C.P.T and Chief Wellness Coordinator