The best advice that I can offer for breakfast comes from Tim Ferriss’ ‘The 4-Hour Body’. And it is ’30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking’. I have been following this rule almost religiously since 2010 and it works.
First of all, it forces you to eat breakfast straight away, you get hungry for lunch earlier (I normally have two lunches) and then hungry for dinner at a reasonable hour. Therefore, you’re not going to bed feeling full and bloated (and all of that unused energy turing into fat while you sleep). The best side effect of this rule is WAKING UP HUNGRY! This sensation is very primal and something I missed out on for many years (working late and grazing all day as a chef is not beneficial for your health). And if I do fall into old habits for a while, I’ll fast for a day, wake up and eat breakfast like I never have before. It is amazing, experiencing food in a different sort of way.
Secondly, not all calories are equal. If you take a look at ‘The Zone’ by Barry Sears (1995) or ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’ by Gary Taubes (2011) one thing is evident – macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) affect the body’s hormonal balance in different ways. Ferriss puts it quite simply – ‘Eating at least 40% of your breakfast calories as protein will decrease carb impulses and promote a negative fat balance.’
So this bring us to what I actually eat. Daily.
Most days I eat the same things, or similar. Just mix and match with whatever is on hand. I try to have blanched broccoli or cabbage in the fridge all the time. Make the largest portion of your meal vegetables (low carbohydrate), second largest, protein, then fat. This way you are eating the most amount of calories as protein but getting the substance from a butt-load of low carb vegetables and feeling full. Also balancing the macronutrients will keep your hormones stabilised (Entering the Zone by Gary Taubes).
My regular breakfast is this: In a pan, fry 1 rasher of bacon, half an onion, garlic (if I can be bothered), dried chilli and a couple pinches of salt. Add one big handful of cabbage and heat through. Then two or three scrambled eggs to the same pan. Done.
First Lunch: Similar to breakfast. Sometimes I eat this for breakfast too. In a pan I fry off some onion, garlic and bacon in a little olive oil. Add whatever blanched vegetables I have (broccoli, roast pumpkin, kale, beans etc), heat through and add a little soy sauce. Put the veg mix in a bowl, add a can of tuna, tabasco, fried shallots and a dollop of home made mayo.
Second Lunch: Soup, chopped salad, leftovers or meat and vegetables. Whatever I can find really, I just try to balance the carbohydrates, protein and fat.