It would be very easy to just give you set breakfasts that will help promote fat loss; but if you understand the protocols that must be in place to reach your goal, you are then able to gain a greater understanding of the science behind what you’re eating thud not limiting yourself to set meal plans.
When it comes to breakfast there are two major hormones we want to really focus on: manipulating growth hormone and insulin.
Growth Hormone (GH) is a hormone responsible for cellular growth in the human body; throughout the day, GH is synthesised, stored and secreted by the anterior portion of the pituitary gland.
Insulin is a hormone secreted from the Pancreas after a carbohydrate meal (secretion dependant on the types of carbohydrate consumed, for example: fast digesting or slow digesting) and it's major role is to control blood glucose level, be aware that whenever you have high levels of Insulin you will have low levels of Growth Hormone as both Insulin and GH fight for the same receptors.
Now just exactly how you manoeuvre these hormones for fat loss will depend on two factors: are you training that day? If you are training; what time are you training?
Lets start with your days off…
So, throughout the night growth hormone will have been secreted in its largest pulse, ghrelin (the hunger control hormone) will be high as you finish digesting your dinner and you stomach will be telling you to wake up and eat something. Ghrelin stimulates production of cortisol to raise your blood pressure; this will make you more sensitive to epinephrine, free up energy throughout the body and turn on gluconeogenesis to get some sugar to your brain. You’re going to wake up!
Cortisol levels will gradually decrease as you break down glycogen in your liver and muscles and before you know it, you’ll go through the whole cycle again; ghrelin levels will peak and you’ll get a small burst of growth hormone.
What we don’t want to do is cut off this off this growth hormone by raising insulin, through high carbohydrate or sugary foods; such as cereal, toast or juice. By skipping (really just delaying) breakfast allowing your blood sugar (as well as your hormone balance) to regulate itself. Although you’ve already maximised recovery and mobilised a bunch of fat by riding out the cortisol spike (cortisol is, after all, an anti-inflammatory), you’re now in control of your metabolism and you can go in one of two directions: towards fat loss and muscle gain, or growth of both fat and muscle tissue. This is the perfect time to have your first meal and make your decision (I think I know which one you’ll pick.)
By keeping the carbs low and thus insulin low, eating a healthy dose of fat and a modest amount of protein, you will synthesise protein, mobilise fat, promote ketogenesis and maximise growth hormone secretion throughout the morning and afternoon. You’ll actually be using your body fat as energy to maintain or grow muscle. Whatever glucose your brain needs to do whatever it’s got to do; it will have available thanks to endogenous production in the liver. You’ll actually be using your body fat as energy to maintain or grow muscle. Perfect!
Now if you are training on that morning you can go another two ways, you can alternatively swap out the low carb option for something like oats and seeds, after your training session. This is a great option if your already insulin sensitive and have body fat lower then 10% for men and 15% for women.
To summarise, steer clear of carbs first thing in the morning, to allow blood sugar levels to regulate on their own by sticking to healthy fats and a good source of protein.