The best thing to eat for breakfast to help lose weight: the answer will surprise you

If you have found this article by typing the above phrase into google, good. I am hoping that I am somewhere near the top of the list and that my position in your search can save you a lot of time, headache and heart ache.

So here’s the secret…

Nothing.

No, this is not an article sprucing intermittent fasting (although that is one option).

What I mean is that there is no single best food to start your day with that will guarantee you weight loss. There is no miracle morning smoothie, no protein only perfection. The best choice for your breakfast (and what time you have it) is completely yours to make.

I have tried a thousand different combinations over my life and my wife is the same. We cycle through seasons of fasting, of low carb, of high carb. Of high fat, of liquid only of large and of small.

I have lost weight eating oats and banana for breakfast, eating meat and nuts and even with a black coffee only.

What is more important is that you listen and learn from your body. What’s vital is that you see the guru on the internet selling you their one size fits all approach for what it truly is. Bullshit.

There are so many factors that go into choosing your meals. Here is a good example from my own life.

In my late 20’s I had huge success with intermittent fasting. I was a young personal trainer, sleeping well and training 5-6 days per week. I was surrounded by a group of amazing fitness professionals and had the support and inspiration all around me to push on hard with my goals. I would wake at 4:00am, train, meditate, make a HUGE black coffee and head to the gym for 6:00. Crush through the morning sessions and attack a second ‘technique based’ workout here and there. Race home to a quiet house with a sleepy cocker spaniel, eat an amazing fish and salad lunch and snooze for an hour. Perfect.

Flash forward a little way and the arrival of our beautiful daughter Amelia. Sleepless nights, a new PT business to build and more than a few errant boozy weekends and I had gained a few kilos. Cue intermittent fasting to solve a problem just like before.

Fail.

I cannot tell you how hard I crashed and burned. Zero energy, lackluster workouts, continued poor sleep and no results. Splash liberally with some depressive mood swings and nothing felt good.

From here I shifted to a more classic approach.

Oats, banana, protein blended for breakfast. A second piece of fruit mid-morning. Same amazing fish and salad for lunch. Healthy dinner. Things stayed this way for a few months and then it all changed again.

In the past month I have really turned it on again. My little one is sleeping much better and a mindset shift for her Dad has seen some serious change to the schedule.

Wake at 3:00am, workout or work until my first client (~5:00am). Black coffee only until lunch and supplemented with a homemade protein ball around 9:00 if the morning’s workout has left me especially empty. Old faithful fish and salad lunch, two pieces of fruit and a healthy dinner.

But this time the fasting is easy. There is no stress, there is no resistance. I love it and it works.

Now to get away from the personal story and back to the facts. As you can see, I have ‘successfully’ had three different breakfasts or omitted it entirely. The real question is what works for you.

Here’s how you find out.

  1. View your life as a series of experiments. Set up 4 week blocks where you set out to try a new approach. Try a different way of eating, try vegetarian meals every Monday.
  2. Evaluate the change. How did it make you feel? Did it move you towards your goal? Did it impact your social life? Is it a change you could stick to for another 2 months?
  3. Is this a change I keep or discard.
  4. Remember that just because one tactic/change/attempt may have failed to get you want you want – YOU are not a failure. You just haven’t found the right solution yet.

So there is your answer. There is no BEST food to eat for breakfast. So stop googling, pick a path and try it for a month.