Women have asked me this question every day for 25 years. The answer is simple and yet not so simple, depending on your physical and nutritional needs.
Within on hour of waking up in the morning, you need a minimum of 100 calories, preferably from healthy food, just to ignite your metabolism. Take into account your current weight, health issues, if any, and activity level. Between those three factors, the numbers can shift significantly.
In response to your 100-calorie wake-up SNACK, blood sugar levels will rise into normal range following 7-9 hours of sleep and you will have energy for the first few hours of your day. How about NOT feeling like you are going to fall flat on your face by 10 a.m.? I have seen it happen. Or how about avoiding that dreaded late afternoon/evening awful binge. Yes, eliminate those DARK and UGLY energy pitfalls!!!
How about this (I am talking very loudly now):Â How about not dragging your ass and ruining a perfectly great workout? Eat your 100-calorie minimum breakfast and finish your class/workout feeling FABULOUS! This is not brain surgery or rocket science. It is nothing more than 100 calories!!!! I understand that 100 calories first thing in the morning will not solve all your problems and struggles, but it is a SMART START. Most of you reading this article already have a regular exercise regimen or hopefully are starting one soon.
Classic excuses: “I am not hungry first thing in the morning, and if I eat anything before I workout I might vomit and of course I have no time, while I slam down 2-4 cups of coffee.”
So throwing up in class or mid-workout is better? No joke. I have seen it happen many times. In my group exercise classes and personal training business, 30 minutes into the class color starts to drain from the face, the eyes glaze over, posture weakens, beads of sweat appear everywhere, and BOOM! She’s down or has left the room. WE have just completed the warm-up and you are a train wreck. GREAT! Your day is officially a mess and you have been awake for a whopping 3 hours…now what? Why bother I ASK?
I cannot adequately express my frustration about this.
Why do I refer to this 100-calorie food choice as a SNACK? Because it is!!!!!! NEVER will 100 calories of food EVER be considered a meal. A MEAL is somewhere in the arena of 300-500 calories. You can have the remainder of your breakfast within one hour of finishing your workout. We can discuss this further in The Bitch Alley.
Suggestions for the 100-calorie snack: Â Some of these are closer to 200 calories which provides more energy!
- a 1/2 banana
- small yogurt/kefir fat Â free and sugar free
- dry cereal and a little skim milk
- a good quality breakfast bar
- small dish of oatmeal
- whole grain waffle
….shall I keep going????
Get to know yourself and give your body what it needs. You may have to experiment for a week or two to figure out what the best breakfast snack is for you, especially if a successful workout is an hour or two away. If you are going to make the effort to work out in the morning, make it the best possible experience every time. Eat 100-300 calories one to two hours prior to your workout. Nothing miraculous will happen to you other than:
Your metabolic fire will start burning and will continue to burn throughout your day, which means continuous high calorie burn.
- Great energy to fuel you through your entire workout.
- Feel strong and energized following your workout
- What a great way to start your day, k?
- Keeps all of your defenses strong (all the emotional stuff)
- This is the best way to lose weight
Remember to make an appointment for a health checkup with your doctor and make sure all is well before you start any fitness program.
No excuses, make it happen!!!!!
Nothing annoys or frustrates me more than: “I haven’t had a thing to eat all day…I’m starving!”
So, now you will rationalize eating everything in sight? Who do you think you are kidding here? You wake up the next morning, jump on the scale, and you haven’t lost a pound or perhaps you have even gained a couple. Your body cannot handle so much food at one time…we can’t handle too much of anything at one time.
Now that you have successfully and energetically completed your workout you have one hour to replenish and restore your body’s energy needs with 200 more calories of protein & good carbs. Keep this routine up and you will triumphantly make it through your workouts and your day without those awful energy pitfalls. We can discuss this in more detail as well on The Bitch Alley Blog.