Why Meat For Breakfast And Toast For Dinner Could Make Weight Loss Easier For You! May 22, 2013 nutrition, weight management 4 Comments I might be pushing it a little with the suggestion of consuming a lean rump steak or chicken breast for breakfast (I know some of you super fit people may not be cringing, but I also know many people would be reading this and thinking…what is she on about this time! – so please give me a second here). I also am throwing things on their head by suggesting carbs at night..which seems to often get a big thumbs down from the media..again..give me a second here 🙂 Beef anyone? When we look at the main immediate response that might motivate someone to actually consume their first meal of the day, most people find that it helps “wake them up” and get their head back in the game at work. I have heard many people tell me they skip breakfast and are “slow” in the morning, yet as soon as they get to work and have a morning coffee or something to eat, they feel “ready to go!”. No surprises here in my dietitian mind. Morning coffee? I am aware that it is the daily dose of caffeine that most crave first thing (if anything), and many people don’t even want any breakfast, let alone sit down for a piece of meat. However, if we take a step back, and think about what we actually need in our body to help make us feel alert, it is a healthy dose of protein to boost our dopamine release (which helps with concentration). Eggs and a bean and vegetable mix, could be a very high protein and fibre breakfast! Then on the other hand, at night, before we go to sleep, having more serotonin released to help us feel relaxed and fall asleep would make more sense than pumping our body with the fuel to bump up dopamine release. Serotonins key dietary trigger for production is carbohydrates. Therefore does it not make sense to have that wholegrain toast or cereal in the evening as a light meal before bed, compared with the lean meat and vegetables? Bread, a rich carbohydrate source, good for serotonin release. I understand that if you have an early dinner, and it wasn’t filling enough, this could lead to snacking on unhealthy foods later and play havoc with your healthy eating plan or total calorie intake for the day; However, if you ate a higher protein diet during the day, you may find that you are quite full come dinner time, and then reducing the portion and having this lighter meal may actually work out quite well. When I think about the eating patterns in a lot of the European and middle eastern countries I have visited, many of them have some form of protein source in the morning, be it eggs, ham, smoked salmon, or dairy; and then they have their largest meal as a late lunch (which often reflected the types of foods we would select as dinner options). Their final meal of the day, would typically be a bit later than what I commonly hear of in Australia and the USA, but it would be a light meal, and would often include a small portion of carbohydrates (for example, in Italy people may have a couple slices of a thin pizza or very small pasta meal). Finland Breakfast – high fibre rye bread, super high protein cheese (they were readily available), tomato and usually ham or smoked salmon (and this was very similar to what was found in the Icelandic home I stayed too). I have personally certainly experienced the effects of eating too much protein in the evening, with me finding it very hard to fall asleep, and also feeling like I was overheating as a result of the thermic effect of protein breakdown (heat is a by product of its breakdown, and protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fats). This may be a better breakfast than dinner.. So the pros of having the protein earlier in the day: You will feel more alert when you are trying to “wake up” and concentrate at work. You will actually feel full for the entire morning which could prevent you from snacking on unhealthy refined snacks. You will feel fuller by the end of the day, and therefore not be as ravenous in the evening which could prevent over eating and a disrupted sleeping pattern. Ok, so how do we implement this information if we don’t actually want a steak for breakfast, or we are not even hungry when we wake up? Here are a few examples: Making egg muffins or frittatas with salmon or lean ham off the bone, and vegetables which are portable and you can take with you to work are all a good mix of protein and fibre. Use high protein cereals such as Protein 1st, or make up your own mix by using any variety of soy flakes, amaranth, LSA mix, chia seeds and hemp seeds (there are obviously other additions that would work here, these are just some examples). A high protein cereal available in the health food isle of some supermarkets. You could make some muffins using coconut flour and mix in a little bit of hemp protein powder for a natural high protein mix. Just do a google search for some recipes. Get a high fibre wrap and fill it generously with a light ricotta cheese, some cinnamon, and a sprinkling of natvia for a sweet but filling option. Another example of a high fibre wrap with some greek yoghurt for protein and fresh berries. Grab some fresh or frozen berries and top them generously with reduced fat cottage cheese and a sprinkle of shredded coconut or cinnamon. Make up a smoothie if you can spare the 2 minutes in the morning, fill it with Greek style yoghurt, a natural protein powder if you really want to power it up, and then mix in some cocao (I use a crio bru mix), unsweetened almond milk, and a berry antioxidant mix powder (I use nutra organics). End result, a high protein chocolate berry thick shake! Okay, so clearly my list could go on forever, but you get my drift, you do not need to sit down to the steak first thing in the morning to get your protein hit (not to say that a steak and vegetables wouldn’t be a suitable mix of fibre and protein here!). Another high protein option, Greek yoghurt with cocoa, natvia, vanilla essence and shredded coconut. I actually decided to test out this theory the other day, and made myself a high fibre wrap with some left over stir fried chicken and vegetables for breakfast (I did have my morning coffee alongside this too!). My feedback: I felt VERY full all morning, was able to have my lunch slightly later than when I usually would, and went on to have a lighter dinner (and I even passed out quite easily that night!). So next time you peak into the fridge in the morning and see the left over stir fry (or whatever else it is that is higher in protein), and you think “no..I CAN’T have that for breakfast..can I?”. Just remember, you actually can! Could be breakfast food.. Or the next time you get home late from work and can’t be bothered cooking anything, and you have eaten well with a variety of foods from the different food groups throughout the day. You can sleep easy knowing that at least one dietitian has given you their approval to grab the wholegrain bread and make a couple slices of toast with some natural nut butter. Just don’t go overboard making a whole loaf! Hope this was insightful for some of you, Would love to know any suggestions of higher protein breakfasts you have! For now, The Travelling Dietitian x Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related 4 Responses Hannah May 22, 2013 I’ve done the wrap dipped in egg and fried like french toast, like you suggested – yum! Also, I sometimes have chicken soup (with the boiled chicken and veg) for breakfast! I actually enjoy it more than cereal 🙂 Log in to Reply Travelling Dietitian May 22, 2013 Its delicious isn’t it! Love the chicken soup “meal” that you have, I do that too! I do it more so for lunch..but there is no reason why it cant be for breakfast as this article clearly points out 😉 Thanks for sharing! Log in to Reply Hannah May 22, 2013 Oh, and off topic, but I also made the coffee frappe from your facebook pics – delicious! Log in to Reply Travelling Dietitian May 22, 2013 hehe yum! Well done 🙂 Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.