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Is Breakfast Really The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Despite what mom said while we were growing up, breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day. Yes, it's important, but there are two other meals that outrank it.

Second most important meal of the day: your pre-workout meal. And no, to stop you right there, I do not believe that working out on an empty stomach (even if your goal is fat loss) is healthy and safe. Here's why: you will not be able to work out as hard. Even a small calorie meal is better than no calories and if you can make it a low-Glycemic Index meal, even better. Also, and importantly, the body will try to sacrifice muscle before it sacrifices fat for energy, and as we've discussed on other articles, more muscle burns more calories means caloric deficit...and caloric deficit is required for burning fat. So have a meal before you work out for a better workout, muscle growth/preservation and ultimately more fat loss.

And ranking first in the most important meal of the day is your post-workout meal. Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout you should have a high protein, moderate carb, low fat meal. In particular, if you've been lifting weights (free or machine) and not just doing cardio, your Insulin Growth Factor (IGF) levels will be elevated. Insulin is our friend and the most anabolic compound in our bodies. The entire purpose of insulin and IGF is to shuttle nutrients from our blood into our cells, thereby replenishing our glycogen (energy from carbs in our cells) and providing our muscles with protein for repair and growth of new tissue.

So eat your breakfast, but don't neglect your pre- and post- workout meals.

While we're at it, here are a few tips if your time is tight:

1) Keep a shaker-bottle along with protein powder and dextrose in the car.

2) The only thing Snickers will satisfy is your sweet-tooth.

3) If you can, bring a pre-prepared meal with you if your gym has a fridge and microwave.

Be on the lookout for more recipes at's Recipe Section.

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