We’ve all been told from a young age that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, alongside a glass of water. It helps to kick start our metabolism for the day and gives our bodies the first fuel it needs to perform with enough energy without feeling lethargic and hungry.
However, which foods should you actually consume at breakfast?
Should you eat carbs for energy throughout the day, or will a high protein breakfast keep your energy levels sustained for a longer period of time?
The First Meal Of The Day
There are a few points I’d just like to touch on before going into the details of eating specifically nuts and meat for your first meal of the day.
First of which; in terms of losing a total amount of fat (weight) or gaining a total amount of muscle (weight), the most important part of your nutrition is your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). This simply refers to the basic formula ‘Calories in VS Calories out’; meaning, if you eat more than you expend, you’ll gain weight (hopefully muscle *if
you’re using a well designed set of macronutrients*) and if you eat less than you expend, you’ll lose weight (hopefully fat*).
It’s worth noting that some studies suggest almonds are not fully digested in the human body and up to 20% of their calories are therefore not consumed by the body; meaning that if you ate 200 calories worth of almonds you may actually still have 40 calories remaining which could be positive for weight loss.
Meat & Nuts Breakfast
Meat and nuts contain a high amount of protein. Our bodies use protein to build muscle which I’m sure you’ll be aware of, however, protein is also a slow releasing form of energy and takes longer to digest that most other foods. This means that by having a meat and nuts breakfast, your body will take longer to digest the macronutrients and fuel the body; equalling a gradual increase in energy throughout the day as opposed to a short spike from simple carbohydrates.
Note | Eating the same source of protein too often could lead to food allergies; be sure to switch it up and try a variety of different meats and nuts in your breakfast.
Why High Protein?
✓ A few benefits of having a high protein diet or in this case a high protein breakfast, are that blood sugar levels increase gradually throughout the day as opposed to in ’spiked’ (as noted above); high protein breakfasts can also lead to a suppressed appetite meaning that those people who are looking to lose fat will have less of a battle on their hands when it comes to craving snacks!
✓ One further benefit of a meat and nuts breakfast is an increase in mental focus throughout the morning. To top all of this off you may be wondering about the fat content; a number of meats and nuts contain a healthy sum of fats and this may be slightly off-putting for some; however, fat as a macronutrient is not the enemy. In fact, eating a meat and nuts breakfast contains healthy omega fats which reduce LDL (negative cholesterol). Meat and Nut breakfasts can provide your body with multiple mental and physical health benefits, such lower LDL and increased alertness.
Meat & Nuts Choices
Below are 7 different meats and nuts you may want to include in your breakfast. You can create your own combinations and have a different breakfast every day of the week!
Take home message
Meat and nut breakfasts are perfect for those who have a very large appetite that needs suppressing as well as those who want to lose some weight. Be sure to use a variety of different meats and nuts.
Portion sizes will depend on your goals; as stated in the beginning of this article, your TDEE is what matters most. However, if you have a high number of calories to hit for the day, larger portions of nuts (EG 100-150g) as opposed to <100g will help you to hit your calories easier.
On the other hand, If you’re looking to suppress your appetite, larger portions of lean meats will contain considerably less fat and therefore less calories but will also keep you fuller for longer alongside a handful of nuts.