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Wake up and D.I.E.T. (Did I Eat Today?)

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Wake up and D.I.E.T. (Did I Eat Today?)

Good morning! Have you eaten yet? That first meal is like the pilot light that keeps your metabolism going for the rest of the day. Eat within 30 minutes of waking, and your body will respond by giving you more energy throughout the day, and by priming your thyroid to release the fat-burning hormones that really keep your metabolism fired up.

I’ve seen this trap so many times in my clinic; many of my clients are used to skipping breakfast entirely, or they grab a cup of coffee, then rush to work and eat nothing for hours. They think that by not eating, they’ll lose more weight. But it doesn’t work that way. Eating a little something right away tells your body that everything is okay, there’s enough fuel coming in to start the engine, so let’s go ahead and burn off some of that un-needed stored fat.

If you skip that early morning meal, your metabolism’s motor will have a hard time getting started, or you might notice your energy starting to wane later in the day. Meanwhile, your thyroid starts circulating hormones to tell your body that since no fuel is coming in, it had better hold onto its body fat energy stores — just in case.

Of course, your body has to get its energy from somewhere, even first thing in the morning. So it’s going to hold onto that body fat in case of emergency and start cannibalizing other tissues — like your muscles — for immediate energy instead.

Not up to eating (or prepping) a full breakfast right away? That’s okay. Just lead off with your morning snack, then have your breakfast at “snack time” two to three hours later. Have a glass of water while you’re at it; the water helps get your metabolism going too.

Here are some easy, make-ahead snacks and breakfasts you can prep the night before, so “I don’t have time for breakfast” is never an excuse.

Phase 1

Breakfast: Slow-cooker chocolate oatmeal with strawberries. Set up your slow cooker the night before, and your oatmeal will be ready in the morning.

or

Snack: Your favorite Phase 1 fruit: Try an orange (peel it the night before); a peach, an apple or frozen mango chunks.

 Phase 2

Breakfast: Nitrite-free jerky and veggie sticks

or

Snack: Turkey slices wrapped in your favorite leafy greens

Phase 3

Breakfast: Hummus, hard-boiled egg and cucumber sandwich on sprouted grain bread, with a side of blackberries (frozen is fine)

or

Snack: Celery sticks loaded with your favorite nut butter

Just remember that if you start your day off with your snack, you still need to eat your breakfast later on. And if you work out in the morning, eat your snack or breakfast before your workout. Getting that quick meal in within 30 minutes of waking, and following it with some water, is the number one thing you can do to prime your metabolism for a high-energy day.