Breakfast is my most treasured and essential meal of the day. It’s the best time to start the day right with optimal nutrition and also to help your muscle mass maintain, grow and recuperate from training.
There is also a pitfall of overeating healthy food which will aid in increasing fat stores. We often mistake the fact that healthy food is good for us; therefore, we can eat a bit more of it. The best strategy is to stick with foods that create the best thermic environment, rather than calorie counting.
Even when putting on muscle mass, we need to be mindful of the quality and quantity of the foods we are consuming.
5 breakfasts that help build muscle & keep you lean
- Protein for breakfast daily. It’s essential to begin your day with a source of protein, more in the mornings, and less in the evenings. Spreading it out during the day is also an excellent strategy for satiety, as well as helping you make better food choices so as not to overload on calories. Protein for breakfast is essential for triggering protein synthesis and gives your body the best chance at rebuilding after the fasting period. Meal idea: Turkey, steak, tuna, omelette, chicken etc.
- Whole foods are your priority. Please do see to it that you reduce your intake of processed and refined foods. You need to give your body the best chance to receive all the vitamins, minerals and fibre for optimal body composition, muscle building, and of course, for your health. Most foods, like shakes and protein bars, are filled with sugars and refined ingredients. They are not the best choices to make for breakfast on the go, or as a snack during the day. The same goes for processed meats, artificial sweeteners (that also includes diet coke!) vegetable margarine and low-fat foods. Make the best choices for the most optimal gains. Meal idea: Scrambled eggs with avocado, mushrooms and kale.
- Healthy fats are essential too. High fat intake will improve your body’s fat-burning capabilities. We have to train our bodies to become metabolically flexible, so it’s able to mobilize and use the fat stores we have. If we don’t, then it can lead to fat gain and insulin resistance, making gains and fat loss almost impossible. You can choose from some of the best fat alternatives for breakfast, such as salmon, avocado, whole fat dairy with probiotics, even using cold-pressed oil on your fats as well. Meal idea: Salmon and avocado or eggs and avocado with olive oil, are some of my most favourite breakfast options.
- Add veggies to your protein-rich breakfast too. It’s imperative to keep eating vegetables and some portions of fruit daily. It would be best if you got enough nutrients so that you will be able to ease inflammation that is sometimes a result of a higher than average protein diet. Fruit and veggies aid to increase our antioxidants and giving us some healthy carbs in the process. Choose some green salad leaves, kale, cauliflower, peppers, garlic, berries or onions on your foods. Meal idea: Chicken breast with cauliflower rice, garlic butter and a side serving of berries with yoghurt.
- Finally, don’t be scared of eating fats, like olive oil, meats and eggs daily. We’ve been getting so much conflicting information on how dangerous these foods are for us, and that having too much can cause us disease. But using these alternatives in a reasonable, portion-controlled manner is not unhealthy. We most definitely should avoid processed meats, trans fat and refined sugars – but not natural sources of food that bring enjoyment and nutrient value to our lives. Make food variations, your friend, and regularly swap, so you are never bored with your choices. Meal Ideas: Scrambled eggs & chicken breast. Olive oil, chives and chilli salsa.
Apply these strategies with your meal prep. It’s crucial to make protein your main priority, but not neglecting your vegetables, fats and carbs too. Variety of foods and making sure you are enjoying your meals is essential when dieting – either for muscle mass or weight loss.
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