Millions of people have adapted to the low carb paleo lifestyle. For some it’s used as a fad diet to quickly shed some pounds.
For others it’s a big part of their gluten free lifestyle. Whatever the reason may be, following a paleo lifestyle has many benefits as well as some drawbacks.
When traveling or eating out, it can be difficult to figure out what you can do to reap the benefits of a low carb paleo breakfast.
In today’s post I would like to put the focus on eating a low carb paleo style breakfast.
What is Paleo
Paleo is a diet lifestyle that believes in going back to the caveman days of eating whatever you could naturally hunt, gather or grow.
The majority of paleo approved foods consist of one ingredient. The closer the food is to its natural state the better it is for your body
What makes paleo a great diet choice is that its philosophy eliminates the foods that typically causes everyone to gain weight.
So if you eat foods without the extra unnecessary junk, can you guess what happens?
Massive weight loss!
That’s why the Paleo diet has become such a huge trend. At its core, eating a Paleo style diet is what we humans should be doing.
Getting rid of highly over processed foods from our diets is a major step towards being healthy. When those foods disappear, people typically experience a significant reduction in their tummy size.
That’s typically what happens when you take carbohydrates out of your diet.
Carbs are not the problem!
Carbohydrates have mistaken gotten a bad rap since this millennium has started. In the 80’s and early 90’s it was all about the high carb low fat diets.
Now most diet plans want you to ditch the carbs completely and go low carb. Ditching carbs completely is going waaayyy overboard.
Your body needs carbohydrates to function. Especially if you’re a person that works out.
If you do some form of resistance exercise (ie: lifting weights), your body NEEDS carbohydrates to do its job properly!
It’s something I preach to my clients all the time.
If you want to follow a low carb diet, that’s fine.
Just know that after you’ve performed a serious resistance focused work out routine, you MUST have some carbs in that 2 hour post workout timeframe.
Not doing so is harming all that effort you just put in the gym. Any other time of the day, it makes sense to follow a low carb paleo style diet.
Just make sure you give your body the nutrition it needs to do the job right after doing resistance exercise!
Now that i’ve gotten that out the way, let’s talk about the best options for a low carb breakfast.
Why Eat A Low Carb Breakfast?
I personally practice the art of intermittent fasting, but if you’re a person that can’t go without breakfast, you want to make sure that your first meal of the day is a great healthy choice.
We want to eat a meal that will leave us feeling energized for the rest of the day. The problem is that due to our busy hectic lives, we have been tricked into thinking that breakfast foods must be cheap and fast.
Thus you’ll find the majority of people’s favorite breakfast foods contain lots of sugar, fats and/or salt. Those are the perfect trifecta for obesity and unhealthy diseases.
So of course that combination is what 90% of the fast food menus consist of for breakfast.
Even at diners, it can become a pain to be “healthy” when you have a stack of pancakes staring at you from the next table!
When you eat those foods for breakfast, your body will quickly process those carbohydrates (sugar and flour) into glucose which will make you feel like you have this quick burst of energy.
Once that burst is over, you’re going to feel a major crash due to all that blood sugar (glucose) in your system!
With so much glucose, your body’s insulin comes into your blood stream to break up the party. It’s job is to make sure glucose goes to its proper storage location.
That’s why most people feel so drowsy and lethargic after eating carb heavy breakfast foods.
You’re feeling the high and lows of your glucose levels rising, and then insulin trying its best to get rid of all that unnecessary excess energy.
That feeling can be avoided if you eat the proper ingredients.
The Low Carb Paleo Breakfast Set Up
A low carb paleo breakfast must include lots of vegetables, protein, and fats.
Yes I said vegetables!
You should not use this lifestyle as a pass to only eat meat and cheese!
Vegetables provide vitamins and nutrients that you body needs. Its nature’s top multi-vitamin supplement. Don’t skip out!
You should be trying to eat as many servings of vegetables in a day.
Top vegetable choices for breakfast:
*yes i know these are technically fruits
If you’re in a hotel room with a microwave an easy way to get some veggies is to buy frozen or steam bags of your favorite veggies. Very easy and convenient!
The high appeal of low carb diets is the fact you can eat meat! Protein should be your top macronutrient (protein, fats, carbohydrates) when trying to improve your body.
It’s the only macronutrient that helps with satiety aka feeling full. That’s why high protein is always included with the other two macronutrient when it comes to diets.
Ex: high protein high fat diet, high protein high carb diet.
A low carb paleo diet is basically a high protein high fat diet.
When following a Paleo breakfast, the great thing is that you don’t have to be as picky about your meat choices.
It’s ok for there to be some fat in the meat because that’s the other macronutrient you’re highlighting with this eating lifestyle.
Some great protein choices for breakfast are:
Eat the whole egg!
There’s always a debate ever year about whether or not eggs are good for you.
You need to get some fats in your diet when eating a low carb breakfast. Few food sources are better than whole eggs.
Organic or not, go for the whole egg when ordering out. If you want more protein add some egg whites too!
You should not be eating only egg whites in your omelette for breakfast! Please start including some whole eggs into that omelet.
Scrambled, boiled and/or omelettes are easy traveling choices for cooked eggs.
Beef….It’s what’s for dinner!…umm I mean breakfast!
Have fun eating your favorite beef selections but be careful.
The key is to make sure you are not ruining your freedom by having sugary sauces on top of the beef.
Steak and eggs are always a classic breakfast choice. Or you could always have some leftovers from last night’s dinner. Just ditch the carb sources.
Even a burger from a fast food joint is possible if you ditch the bun. I probably wouldn’t add bacon to the burger if I was ordering from a fast food joint though, due to it being wasted fat calories.
Speaking of Bacon
If you are following a low carb style breakfast just so you can eat as much bacon as possible….You’re doing this for all the wrong reason!
The reason I say this because out of all the good high protein meat sources you can choose, bacon is mostly fat with just a little bit of protein.
One or two pieces of quality bacon along with some of the higher protein sources is one thing, but if you’re eating 5-10 slices of bacon with one egg and two slices of cheese, you’re not really trying to be healthy!
You’re just using low carb as an excuse to embrace eating lots of saturated fats!
I would put pork sausage in the same category as bacon. There’s better protein sources, so use it sparingly.
Turkey bacon and turkey sausage are better options than pork bacon and sausage.
If you’re going to eat pork, go for pork chops, roast and/or tenderloins. Those are awesome choices for breakfast!
Salmon, tuna, turkey, bison, and chicken are great choices as well.
If it walks, swims or fly, it’s fair game!
You’ll be getting the majority of your fats as byproducts of the protein sources you will be eating for breakfast. If eating the lower lean protein sources (turkey, chicken breasts,bison,tuna,etc), you may want to add some healthy fats to the meal.
When eating cheese go you want the real stuff, not the super processed generic cheese you would find on the shelf or in a box. Think swiss, cheddar, muenster, goat cheese,etc.
Avoid canned spray cheese and Velveeta!
When cooking paleo foods, try to use coconut oil, olive oil and grass fed butter.
Your meats will already contain saturated fats in them. You will want to balance your fats out with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat sources when possible.
When eating out, I understand that you can’t always control it, but if cooking the foods yourself, make sure you get these healthy oils in your diet!
Butter is not necessarily evil when following the low carb diet. You just should use it as necessary.
Cooking a healthy omelette doesn’t need 4 tablespoons of butter! One tablespoon or less is more than enough.
Fish Oil Supplements
Omega-6 is a healthy fat that your body cannot produce on it’s own. You get the majority of omega-6 fats from fish.
I’m not a big supplement person, but one of the few supplements I would recommend to people is fish oil.
If following a high fat diet, you want to make sure all your fats are covered, so it’s critical that you have a daily supply of omega-6. The easiest way to ensure this is by taking fish oil supplements.
Here’s the fish oil brands I would recommend:
When in a hurry why not make yourself a low carb super shake.
Get yourself some quality protein (whey plus casein), some vegetables (or greens supplements), healthy fats/oils and blend away!
Here’s a video showing how to make a simple breakfast Super Shake. This isn’t necessarily paleo, but it is good for those tough days.