A couple nights ago, I was out with some friends for a dinner. As usually we couldn’t spend a night without talking about the way I eat, and how many eggs a day I eat. Everybody is always surprised, how I am still alive, if for the last 2-3 years I eat about 5-8 eggs a day! A real miracle, I guess! 😉 (read here)
This time everybody was interested in my breakfast of eggs, butter and veggies. I have a lot of friends, who claim they eat healthy and of course they never miss the oats for breakfast. I already shared my opinion about grains here, and today I want to share my opinion about eating carbs for breakfast.
Not that I am always trying to have the opposite opinion, but it just somehow comes from within! 🙂 With years, you’ve been told how most carbs should be eaten in the morning and the more the day goes by, the less carbs you should eat. Do I agree with that? Obviously, NO!
Let’s first find out what happens with the body in the morning. Cortisol( the stress hormone) rises gradually during the night, until it reaches its peak in the morning. There is the widely spread idea, that cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means that if you don’t do something to lower its levels, your muscles will break down… and probably disappear! 😉 Truth is that as Wikipedia “says” catabolic, describes the metabolic pathways that break down molecules into smaller units and release energy.
“Cortisol, when acting without elevated insulin levels and in a natural manner — so without being constantly elevated like during chronic stress — triggers the breakdown of triglycerides into free-fatty acids (FFAs) for metabolization and triggers lipolysis. “(here) What does that mean? That in the morning, cortisol actually helps you burn fat!
“Ghrelin, the main hunger-control hormone32, is released in a pulsatile manner through the night with a peak occurring upon waking29-31, which incites hunger. Ghrelin not only causes hunger, but also potently stimulates growth hormone release33-44. As growth hormone levels raise the body releases more fat to be burned as fuel45-49 and decreases the destruction of protein for use as fuel50. Growth hormone levels peak roughly two hours after waking without breakfast51.”
And what happens when you eat carbs? As you know carbs are the most easily used fuel for your body. If you give your body some carbs, it will always prefer to use them for energy! That means, that if you eat a lot of carbs with your breakfast, your body will use them as a source of fuel, and not your fat stores.
Besides that, when you eat carbs, your blood sugar levels rise. Sugar is toxic and it shouldn’t stay long in your blood, that is why it should be drawn out of there and here the savor is insulin. That is exactly what insulin does- it draws the sugar, out of your blood and to the cells. The higher levels of insulin, lead to the feeling of hunger, usually 2-3 hours post meal. And you get into an enchanted circle– you eat carbs, your blood sugar levels rise, insulin rises in order to lower your blood sugar and a couple hours later you feel tired, because your blood sugar is too low and you need some carbs again…
Before I started eating the way I do now, I was one of people eating oatmeal for breakfast. I used to wonder, why I felt hungry, shortly after I ate and why I couldn’t go longer than 2-3 hours without eating something.
Well, after a little more reading and experimenting with my nutrition, I got here- I realized what other people before me found out, even scientifically, but not many trusted them, before trying it personally!
At the beginning I substituted oats for eggs, but I always ate a piece of fruit with them (after all everybody was telling me how I should eat my carbs in the morning). The results were quite the same- I got hungry shortly after I ate and I needed carbs once again. One day I woke up and I substituted the fruit for some veggies… since then I haven’t had anything different for breakfast, than eggs, butter and veggies and now I can go 5-6 hours without getting hungry!
The other thing I notice is that when I eat carbs in the morning, my appetite for carbs increases drastically, i.e. I feel like I need to eat carbs with every meal.
As you already know, I eat a lot of fats and my carbs come mainly from veggies. There are days, when I’d eat more carbs, BUT contrary to popular belief I ALWAYS eat them at night! Why?
First, because when I eat them at night, I do not feel like eating carbs all day long, because I eat them with my last meal and then I go to sleep.
Besides that if you want to dig deeper into the positives of eating carbs at night, my advice is to visit John’s website– the founder of Carbohydrate Backloading. I might not agree with everything he preaches, but I am convinced that eating carbs at night do not interfere with your progress, actually they could help you. So if you are avoiding carbs, better do it for breakfast, not at night! When I am writing all this, I am doing it with the reservation that you are eating real, clean food. I wouldn’t recommend you eat a couple pieces of cake at night. Here you could read about Julia Ladewski’s experience with eating carbs at night!
My advice is to always have eggs and veggies or meet and veggies for breakfast. Avoid eating fruits and high glycemic foods for breakfast, because they will rise your insulin too much. Try it and you will see that it isn’t hard at all; you will be able to go longer without feeling hungry,because you won’t be under the mercy of all mighty insulin and you will notice the positive effects on your body composition! And last, but not least, your mind won’t be constantly occupied with the thoughts for carbs, forcing you to nervously anticipate your next meal!
And for dessert here is a research with a group of people who eat carbs at night and a group of people who eat them for breakfast. Check out the results they got!
And here you could read an interview with John and his opinion about eating carbs at night!
Do you eat carbs with your breakfast? Have you tried taking them out of your first meal? How did you feel?
I can’t wait to share with you a project I’ve been working on. It’s called IFS Journal- my FREE online magazine. Go ahead and subscribe for it HERE.
P.S. Don’t be a stranger and please take a minute to share this post with your friends! I’d greatly appreciate it!