Do you eat breakfast? If not, you could be on your way to becoming a Sumo Wrestler!
During training, Sumo wrestlers are denied breakfast and are therefore retarding their metabolism. With this slower metabolism, they will break down less of their food and store fat throughout the day. Did you know that Olympic phenomenon Michael Phelps eats about 3,000 calories every day? And he has no fat!
Why is it that we tell our children the importance of eating a healthy breakfast every day, when most adults eat little or none? Coffee doesn’t count. Why are children hungry in the morning but most adults are not? I am not a doctor or dietician, but in my 25 years as a personal trainer searching for the secret to flat abs, I believe that our metabolism, the rate at which your body is able to break down and digest food as energy, is the answer.
Your stomach is like a locomotive train and food is its coal.
If you wake up and skip breakfast, you are running your train on fumes, since there isn’t any food to convert to energy. Normally, your body does not use protein to produce energy. If you run out of glycogen stores, however, and no glucose is available, your body will then break down its own muscle tissue to release amino acids. Yikes! When your body starts to use muscle tissue for energy, you lose muscle mass. Ponder this; many years ago, people starved during long, hard winters so the ability to store fat was a necessity. Storing fat is the body’s way of protecting itself from starvation. We didn’t always have grocery stores.
Notice how the body tends to store the most fat where there is no bone: it’s protecting our organs from potential impact or harm. With little or no coal, your locomotive must operate at minimal levels. With little fire burning in the engine (a slow metabolism), when coal is added some will be converted to energy and some will be burned, but the engine will be unable to burn it all thus leaving some un-burnt coal (fat) in the corners to store up.
A locomotive with the proper amount of coal at the proper times will have a larger and stronger fire burning (fast metabolism). It can burn any and all coal in its engine and can perform at peak speeds, burning all that coal in its engine and waiting for more. Choo choo. Therefore you need to eat more food, more often.
What? EAT MORE FOOD? That’s right, you need to eat breakfast and then eat every three hours.
This will fire up your metabolism and instead of being fat efficient, or good at storing fat, you will become fat inefficient, and no longer be proficient at storing fat. Just like your mom always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” it turns out to be true! Eat like a king in the morning, like a prince in the afternoon, and like a pauper at night.
Here is what you need to do:
Wake up and have breakfast. You can teach your body to anticipate that food is coming when you wake up and because of this your body will not think you are starving. This is because the coal, (food) is available to jumpstart your metabolism.
My first meal of each day is a protein shake of Greek yogurt (probiotics), ground flax seed (source of fiber), an organic banana and organic whole milk. If this sounds intimidating, just drink a glass of milk or a hard-boiled egg with natural sea salt? Start your day in a positive growth state. Not only will your energy levels rise, those jeans you haven’t been able to fit into are going to fit soon!
So unlike a Sumo Wrestler eat often.
Eating breakfast and eating smaller meals every three hours is essential to achieving weight loss and building muscle mass. Exercising and eating often will increase your energy level and guide you on a journey to a better body. For now, I leave you with this thought. A 2,000 mile journey starts with one step.
Written by Robert Cioppa, GoodFit Darien