As far as you know, you’ve been exercising regularly but unfortunately you still have that belly pooch because you eat a little more from being tired because of working out hard.
Might not be true for all but how do you achieve a flat belly if you get really hungry??
After all the intense and sweat-busting workouts, how do you prevent yourself from eating more without starving yourself and having to deal with a round tummy?
Studies show that people who ate a lot, three times a day, and make dinner their largest meal have a higher chance of developing a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) which leads to being overweight or even worse obesity, and an increased chance of getting various diseases.
Eating a big breakfast might help prevent getting a higher BMI (and I don’t mean the Big Breakfast from McDonalds which contains a lot of calories and 1,560 mg. of Sodium!)
A doable way to make your breakfast a big meal is to eat more during breakfast and have less for dinner, and skip your snacks and lunch. When you do this you give the body a good enough time to use up stored energy sources like fat.
Eating a big breakfast gives you enough energy for the rest of the day which you can possibly spend on fasting if you wanna try to skip some meals.
Eating 2 meals a day (eg. breakfast and dinner) might not be easy for some people but it gets easier with time and consistency, and later on you’ll get used to it and won’t feel bloated a lot! This is how I eat for years and years now and when I look back at how I used to eat, I wondered how my small stomach managed to store all the food that I was eating daily! XD
Let’s take a look at HUMAN HISTORY…
After all, we evolved from our ancestors some 80,000 years ago who were hunter-gatherers. They survived a great deal of fasting during which they ate once a day or starved for a couple of days while going on treks in search of food and lands. Our ancestors were quite the hardy ones, and over a thousand multitude years we barely changed our biology and still exhibit the same characteristics.
In fact if we were to transport our fetus ancestor to our time of advanced computers and the internet age, he would have been fine and adjusted normally because evolution didn’t really change us much over the course of 80,000 years.
That means that our body still adapts well from the Paleo diet.
But what is their diet??
It includes lean meat, vegetables, berries, seafood, nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, flaxseeds, pine nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, macadamia), avocados, healthy oils (extra virgin olive oil, fish oil, palm oil, coconut oil) grass-fed meat, organ meats, fruits and eggs. Herbal teas like green tea is accepted (Opt for loose tea not tea bags which can cause cancer).
You want to avoid processed food (cereal, bread, pasta, rice), sugars, salt, dairy, grains, legumes (beans and peanuts), potatoes, starches, caffeine and alcohol.
If we try to follow this diet, it could mean longevity and a longer health span.
But hold on! Hunter-gatherers only reached a maximum lifespan of 21 to 37 years old, with around 57% only making it past the age of 15. The fact is infectious diseases were pretty rampant back in the ancient times when there was no hygiene and medicine. Starvation and dehydration, and other threats were also constantly looming around the corner.
This was not conclusive though as some experts pointed out that hunter-gatherers lived a lot longer than their agricultural successors (10,000 years ago) who were less healthier and spread diseases faster because of the domestication of livestock and plants, and permanent settlement.
There’s a theory that during the Paleolithic era, infectious diseases weren’t as prevalent and impactful before we transitioned to the Agricultural Age.
The environment started to be adversely affected by livestock waste and soil tillage.
Of course there were trade offs with the Agricultural or Neolithic Revolution but that meant more efficient and faster ways of doing things including the spreading of ideas and growth in the human population.
We still have hunter-gatherers up to this day, some of the best recently known cases living in Africa and the Arctic. They exhibit low incidence of chronic, debilitating diseases and experience a longer healthspan than modernized people (They stay healthy until old age).
How is that??
Well for 2 things, they ate what nature gave them (no additives or pesticides), and starved themselves which helped their body use up their stored energy (fat). Our bodies have evolved so slowly over the course of thousands of years that our bodies still adapt well to the food that our ancestors ate.
Of course not everybody can follow the Paleo diet and there have been counterarguments that us humans had plenty of time, 10,000 years when the Agricultural Revolution started, to change our digestive abilities as evidenced by developing lactose or gluten tolerance.
I think this still doesn’t discredit the benefits of going Paleo because our modern diet is filled with processed foods, chemicals and so many additives which contribute to many cancers and other age-related diseases.
My advice is, whether you want to follow a Paleo, vegetarian or vegan diet, calorie restriction or another diet fad, you should continue doing what diet you think is best for you and your needs, and what makes you look good, feel good and wake up happy because you know it works for you.
I think pursuing a Paleo diet works because of 6 things:
1. It uses stored fat for energy not sugar.
2. It’s harder to overeat on the Paleo diet compared to normal diets.
3. It helps with physiological diseases like Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis or other autoimmune disorders.
4. It’s simple to understand and makes logical sense.
5. No counting of calories
6. It works for many.
Paleo diet ultimately leads to weight loss and a flat belly.
Now that we’ve talked about Paleo diet, and the possibility of incorporating it. Let’s talk about how important eating breakfast is.
When you eat breakfast, you activate thermogenesis (heat production in organisms) which stimulates and boosts metabolism.
Metabolism is said to be greater during breakfast compared to when you eat at dinner.
Some people think that skipping breakfast will make them lose weight. This is quite the opposite as people who eat breakfast generally:
1. Eat fewer calories throughout the day.
2. Eat less cholesterol and saturated fat.
3. Eat more nutritious foods.
4. Weigh less (women – 4 kg. less, men – 3 kg. less).
The key to losing weight and getting a flat, tight belly is burning more calories than we eat in a day.
Our body burns calories every second of our lives. How quickly we burn those calories is called our metabolic rate.
Even though we burn calories while we’re asleep, our metabolic rate slows down during that time and burns fewer calories per hour as a result.
Now some of you might start thinking that sleeping less will help you burn more calories and lose weight faster. This is partly true but SLEEP is an integral part of our lives and help our bodies combat stress. Also, stress makes you eat unhealthy food so sleeping less is not a healthy and viable option.
Sleeping less than 5 hours and sleeping more than 9 hours a day will contribute to weight gain. In one study, recurrent sleep deprivation in men increased their preference for high-caloric foods and increased their overall caloric intake.
We all know that exercising and leading an active lifestyle help us burn a lot more calories but doing so without eating a healthy breakfast will make these less effective.
One of the secrets to successfully kickstart our metabolism is to eat breakfast.
In fact, nothing including exercise will get our metabolism going fast again as getting 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep and eating a healthy breakfast.
When we skip breakfast, our metabolic rate goes down so does our blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar levels results in feeling lethargic. It also makes us extra hungry later which makes us snack more and overeat.
Eating your breakfast will make you eat less throughout the day. You’ll even lose weight faster if you eat healthy, low caloric foods as they will help boost your metabolism.
Keep it light! If you go to Europe or Japan, you won’t see as much obese people around because they walk a lot and don’t typically eat a huge, heavy meal.
Make sure to eat your breakfast on time, and if you can the same time everyday so that you train your body and get a more effective burn.
You can eat your breakfast from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours after waking up. A good rule of thumb is eating breakfast before 10am. In 2011, studies by the US Department of Agriculture showed that eating before 10am resulted in lower body weight. If you’re a late riser, try to wake up early. If you can’t because of your job, try eating an hour after waking up.
Common reasons for missing breakfast
1. Not enough time
2. Doing something which distracts you from eating breakfast
3. Preferring to exercise instead
4. Unable to stomach food in the morning
5. Not feeling hungry
These are not good enough excuses to miss your breakfast. The fact is you can do a LOT of things so that you don’t forsake a good breakfast.
1. Sleep earlier and wake up earlier.
You should know that breakfast is important so no matter what you’re doing or what your activities are, you should make an effort to include breakfast in your morning routine.
2. Plan ahead what you’re gonna eat.
You can prepare your breakfast food the night before if you really don’t have time in the morning.
3. Buy oatmeal or easy-to-prepare, healthy foods.
4. Set your alarm clock or phone.
It’s not only good for waking up earlier, it’s also useful for reminding you to eat breakfast when you’re a whole lot distracted at something. It’s nice to take a break from the things that we’re doing and have time to relax and enjoy our food.
5. Set aside a time to eat breakfast, and do other stuff the night before or after breakfast.
6. Exercise will make you hungry faster, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your breakfast.
7. Eat healthy foods that you enjoy or try adding fruits, raisins or goji berries to your oatmeal.
In time you’ll get used to eating healthier.
8. You can watch your favorite shows on Youtube or tv to encourage you to eat your breakfast.
9. Buy healthier snacks outside.
10. Watch videos, read recipes or tips on how you can prepare a healthy and delicious breakfast.
As you can see, there are a LOT OF WAYS that you can do about your breakfast-procrastination habits. You need nutrients early in the morning to jump-start and provide you energy throughout the day, so remember that there’s more than just the tips above.
If you want breakfast ideas, you can try doing these simple yet delicious and healthy recipes:
Healthy Breakfast for a Flat Belly
1. Nut Butter, Banana and Chia Seed Toast.
Spread peanut butter on a toast, add 1/2 of a banana (sliced) and sprinkle chia.
2. Berry and Yogurt Smoothie
This is a delicious smoothie for that morning rush. Blend frozen fruit (banana and blueberries work well), Greek yogurt and your liquid of choice (milk, juice, coconut water). You can freeze it up and thaw throughout the day. Enjoy it in the afternoon or blend in the morning!
3. Savory Oatmeal with an Egg
Take your oatmeal to a whole new level! Prepare it with the usual milk or water but instead of adding cinnamon or sugar, add a pinch of salt and pepper instead. Top it up with an over-easy or poached egg, and sprinkle a little cheese for an extra kick.
4. Quinoa Fruit Salad
Glorify your fruit cup by tossing in some quinoa. Mix or add more until the quinoa is evenly distributed. Add honey, lime or basil for extra flavor.
5. Tomato Toast with Macadamia Ricotta
Slice a whole-grain bread across the corners so that they’re 2 triangles. Spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of homemade macadamia ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with shiso or basil, Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Add 1-5 slices of heirloom tomatoes (blotted with paper towel to remove excess liquid). Enjoy! 😀
6. Quinoa and Chia Porridge
This is a classic substitute to hot cereals. Cook quinoa in cow, soy or almond milk. Put your ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, stir and top with your favorite fruits and spices. Quinoa is high in protein and essential amino acids like lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair.
7. Avocado Toast with Egg
This healthy dish tastes good and is very simple to make. Take 2 lightly toasted bread. Top with smashed avocado and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put one sunny side up egg for some protein and you get a well-rounded breakfast! Cook the yolks a bit more if you’re on the go, and stack ’em up to make them into a sandwich.
8. Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Mix chocolate pieces or chocolate liquid with your quinoa. Add fruits like berries and banana slices. Quinoa is a great source of protein so you can’t go wrong with it.
9. Warm Fruit Bowl
Craving dessert for breakfast?? Or breakfast for dessert? This gluten-free bowl will give you a tasty breakfast treat. Simply bake a berry blend in the oven, add chocolate shavings and milk.
10. Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Turn your classic baked loaf into oatmeal. Add shredded zucchini and throw in a handful of toasted walnuts and banana slices.
11. Egg Breakfast Muffins
These guys are simple to make ahead of time and last all week! Blend or whisk eggs with spinach, bacon and cheese, and pour the mixture to muffin tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a preheated oven (350 degrees F or 175 degrees C) or until desired texture has been reached.
12. Open-Face Breakfast Sandwich
Fry the eggs. Toss arugula with olive oil and lemon juice with a dash of salt and pepper on top of your whole wheat toast. Put a layer of ricotta and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Top it with a sunny-side up egg.
13. Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Blend peanut butter, frozen bananas, soy milk, Greek yogurt, honey and a few ice cubes. You can add a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein for an extra protein boost!
14. Pumpkin Granola Yogurt Parfait
This one’s perfect for fall. In a small glass, top with plain Greek yogurt, canned pumpkin puree, granola, a little whipped cream, and sprinkle with cinnamon. The best part is pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene which is essential for good eye health.
15. Frozen Nutty Banana Popsicles
Cut a firm banana in half and peel. Arrange half bananas in a baking sheet or a freezer-safe plate. Insert a popsicle or stick into the banana. Spread each half with 1 tablespoon almond butter on the sides not touching the plate. Now for the fun part! Stick any topping to the almond butter. It can be granola, cinnamon, chocolate pieces, etc. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours.
16. Cheesy Spinach Fried Eggs
Grease the pan and cook the spinach slightly. Crack an egg on the spinach. After cooking, remove eggs from the pan and top with cheese or salt and pepper. You can also cook these in muffin tins or pan in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be plain and boring, you can do a lot of things to spice it up to suit your taste buds. By prioritizing it, you’re giving yourself a better chance of getting a tight belly. Overeating doesn’t have to happen when you get the right, healthy breakfast. Hope you can eat your breakfast regularly from now on because your body will thank you for it! 🙂
I’ve been getting questions as to how long it will take to get the tight abs or reduce belly fat significantly but it all depends on a lot of factors which I talked about in my How to lose belly fat and get abs! BETTER RESULTS FAST!! post like your lifestyle, stress level, hydration, exercise, diet, sleep, motivation, BODY SIZE (which is very important to consider as well), etc. If you work hard in every aspect you will surely achieve flat abs in less time!! You can actually see a great improvement in a week if you adhere to my tips.. You can achieve great abs in a month, 2 months or so but you have to be consistent and motivated! 🙂
Thoughts, suggestions, questions or whatnot?? I welcome everything so feel free to leave any comments below if you find anything worth mentioning or worth talking about. I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!
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