Diet: Get a Good Start With Breakfast
Whether I have a new client that wants to lose weight or just a friend asking for help, it sure seems people are confused about how to diet for weight loss. Often, I learn these are frustrated individuals that have made many attempts that have not turned out too well.
“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.”― Orson Welles
Generally, the concept seems simple enough and can be found in many places.
If it were that simple, then I suppose a lot less of the population would not be overweight. I believe the current estimate of people overweight are about every two out of three people. And yes, extra muscular people are probably overweight by general standards but generally most are not over fat. The simple way this is determined is by a height and weight equation called Body Mass Index (BMI).
After more consideration, the “Eat Less!” command has evolved into “creating a caloric deficit” to allow for activity levels that burn calories to be factored into equations often found on phone apps.
The act of losing weight is hard. By my experience a few factors have to be overcome. Creating the mental plan of eating less food does not seem to usually get along with some human biology.
“The Hunger/Taste Demon”
Allowing less food to be consumed sets up this rebound effect of overeating later-that hunger/taste demon. This can be popularized with current trends such as intermittent fasting. This intermittent fasting allows one to eat during a timed window such as eight hours followed by no foods for sixteen hours. This can work but that first meal at the start of eight hours can be a really hungry moment that sets up a scenario when you will make a poor food choice and potentially eat a lot more calories. However, this strategy can work if ultimately the calories are still lower than before, but I have listened to many tell me this has not worked for them.
What does science say?
Generally, hunger can be more quickly reduced with dietary protein. It is rare that I have heard someone talk about overeating chicken breast. Higher protein is also helpful when dieting as it helps to preserve muscle and may help “warm” your body up a bit as digesting protein creates a little heat. I found that some additional fat with the protein also helps keep hunger down a bit more.
How to use this…
With a new client, I tell them that the first order of business is to get control of breakfast as this sets up a pattern for the rest of the day. If they have no hunger in the morning, this tells me I have to inquire about some of their sleeping patterns.
My favorite suggestion for breakfast comes from a mentor of mine named Charles Poliquin. The breakfast selection is meat and nuts. I do admit I do enjoy the facial expression when I convey this to be my client’s new breakfast menu for the first time. I often have to break it down a bit more as I suggest chicken or turkey breast as it seems more palatable, but all meats are acceptable. The amount of meat is not so much of an issue as most people tend to be satiated with 3-6 oz. As for nuts, any type of real nut and not peanuts work. I usually have to let them know about how nuts are a food that are like Doritos whereby you can eat a lot more after the first few. Having a handful premeasured and the container already put away in the cupboard helps to be more successful.
This can get you started each day in the right direction Often, clients tell me they did not have any real hunger at lunch time. This can usually translate to a better choice for their next meal. It is better to make a choice when you are not too hungry.