I know the fitness community is overrun with people selling products and videos stating “It’s all you’ll ever need!” or “With this one simple trick you can…blah blah blah.”  The result is often people feeling like there is a secret out there to getting in shape.  Or one magic trick.

Well, the truth is this: while there is no magic bullet, there are some very simple things you can do that can have a dramatic impact on your physique.  If you do these “one things” you can reach your fitness goals.  This blog title “Do this one thing” will be a recurring one with simple things you can apply to every day to help you get or maintain the body you want.

OK, I guess there is a magic bullet.

(Quick side note: don’t expect to be blown away by some brand new concept, or revolutionary trick.  These “one things” are things you probably already know you should be doing.)

On to todays “one thing”.

BREAKFAST

I’m sure you’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  And it really is true.  Eating breakfast has a host of benefits when it comes to maintaining healthy weight, building muscle and getting lean.

1. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism.  When you eat breakfast, you give your metabolism the sign to “wake up”.  What this does is get your system into a calorie burning mode.  Think about this: the word breakfast actually means “break the fast”.  When you wake up, your body has been fasting for an easy 6-8 hours, depending on how late you ate dinner and how long you slept.  When you wake up, your body’s metabolism has slowed down due to digestional inactivity.  The best thing you can do to get your body’s natural calorie burner (metabolism) up and running is to feed it.  If you wait until lunch, you have literally missed out on hours of burning calories.

2. Your metabolism is like a fire. You want to get this fire burning as hot as you can as soon as possible.  This is why breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day.  Using the fire analogy, think of getting the fire to burn as hot as you can in the morning and then maintaining that burn all day long.  A big breakfast gets it burning, while smaller meals throughout the day keep the fire stoked.

3. Your body needs nutrients in the morning.  Like I mentioned in point #1, when you’ve been fasting all night, your body has fewer vitamins, nutrients and minerals to use.  It’s important to give you body these things so it can function optimally.

4. Eating breakfast sets the pace for the rest of the day.  Studies have shown that people who eat a regular breakfast tend to make healthier choices throughout the day.  It’s almost as if, when we eat breakfast, we decide on a  subconscious level to make the most of a good decision by making more good and healthy decisions.  And I know how easy it is to throw the rest of the day out the window when we make an unhealthy decision.  “What’s the point I already ruined it by…”

This gives you a few reasons, really really good reasons, to make breakfast a regular part of you day.  In fact it should be a habit.  No if’s and’s or but’s.

I hear a lot that people don’t have the time to eat breakfast.  My personal opinion is: that’s a bunch of crap.  People choose to not make time for breakfast, but they absolutely have time.  Maybe you don’t have time to make a big breakfast, fine I get that.  In fact I usually don’t eat at home, but at the gym where I have no means of making any kind of breakfast.  The solution here is to plan ahead.

If your going to make something in the morning, do some prep work the night before.  Or better yet, do some prep work Sunday afternoon for the whole week.  For example, if you’re going to have scrambled eggs, cut up all the veggies you’re going to put in them ahead of time.  Scramble the eggs together and keep them in the fridge.  Set the pan out on the stove the night before.  Little things like this can save you a lot of time in the morning.

If you really don’t feel like you have time to make breakfast in the morning, make it the night before.  Hard boil and peel a bunch of eggs Sunday night.  (I do this every week.) You have some great on-the-go protein.  Cut up some red peppers and carrots.  Put a handful of almonds in a Ziploc bag.  These few steps would give you some good protein, fresh veggies and healthy fat for breakfast.  All you have to do in the morning is grab it out of the fridge.  Easy.

Here’s a list of food items that are great for breakfast:

-Bluberries

-Oatmeal (no sugar added)

-Eggs

-Fresh vegetables (peppers, carrots, cucumbers, etc.)

-Apple

-Almonds

-Grapes

-Strawberries

-Banana

-Natural peanut butter

-Protein shake

-Turkey bacon

-Cottage cheese

-Greek yogurt

Here are common breakfast “foods” that you should avoid:

-Nutri-grain Bars

-granola bars

-Pop-Tarts

-Eggo’s

-Anything frozen, really

-Bagels

-Muffins

-Doughnuts

-Cinnamon rolls

Make breakfast a habit and take advantage of all it’s benefits!

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