Meat and nuts for breakfast…um, no thanks.
That's exactly what I thought the first time I came across the original article by Charles Poliquin detailing why you should choose meat and nuts for your first meal of the day.
Some time later, I ended up using the Meat and Nuts breakfast recommended by Charles Poliquin for over a year and a half following my first (very unsuccessful) bulk.
It helped me drop 25 lbs of fat in just a few months.
Of all the things I was doing to cut body fat at the time, this was my single biggest dietary change. For me, it:
- Reduced appetite
- Provided better focus
- Improved mood
- Steadied my hands
- Accelerated fat loss
After my long-term “test”, I feel pretty familiar with the ins and outs and want to share some of my experience with you.
Why Meat and Nuts For Breakfast?
After my initial averse reaction, I had to ask myself, “well, why not meat and nuts for breakfast?”
The idea sounded fairly unappetizing, but eating my usual whole grain cereal and skim milk was making me feel weak and jittery within 2 hours of eating, so I figured it was at least worth a shot.
The worst that could happen was enduring a few mornings of subpar breakfast.
Meat And Nuts Breakfast For Stable Blood Sugar
The reason you might feel like absolute shit after eating a carb-laden breakfast is because, upon waking, blood sugar levels are very steady from a night of fasting.
But introducing a load of carbs without much fat to slow digestion causes blood sugar levels to rise very high in a relatively short amount of time.
As a reaction to soaring blood sugar levels, the pancreas dumps insulin in an attempt to bring blood sugar back to normal, but it overshoots it and levels fall too low.
Then you find yourself craving more carbs to counteract the effects of the carbs you already ate.
However, the protein and fat from meat and nuts (and absence of carbs) result in a very slow and controlled rise in blood sugar levels and the body has no need to pump loads of insulin into your bloodstream to keep them from going dangerously high.
Meat And Nuts Breakfast For Brain Function
Charles Poliquin cites an increase of the neurotransmitters acetyl-choline and dopamine as the cause of the increased drive and focus you'll feel after eating the Meat and Nuts breakfast.
I can't tell you the exact cause, but I can definitely say that I feel more focused if I start my day with this particular meal.
Meat And Nuts Breakfast For Fat Loss
Aside from providing steady energy, improved focus, and just plain feeling better, the Meat and Nuts breakfast has a profound effect on reducing appetite for the rest of the day.
As I point out in my Skinny Guy's Guide To Gaining Weight, carbs will stimulate your appetite!
Starting out your day with bowl of refined cereal and skim milk is one of the best way to gain weight.
Not only is it easy to get the calories down with carbs, after 2 hours, you'll be desperately searching for your next meal.
But, eating protein and plenty of fat in the absence of carbs puts a huge damper on your appetite levels.
Following the Meat and Nuts breakfast, making healthy choices is so much easier because your interest in food will be subdued. You may not even think about eating for 3 or more hours.
What to eat for Meat and Nuts Breakfast
Charles Poliquin recommends that you rotate a different meat and raw nut every day of the week.
As part of my meal prep routine, I typically cook in bulk on Sunday. So I tend to eat the same meat all week, usually beef, when I opt for the Meat and Nuts breakfast. I occasionally mix it up with ground turkey patties, bison, or chicken sausages.
For nuts, I make a different selection everyday including raw walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamia nuts, or a mix of these.
Breakfast Burger Seasoning Recipe
If you're looking for a way to season your meat that gives it a more “breakfast-y” profile, I'd suggest trying out the dried ground spice mix below combined into 1 lb ground beef.
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Dash of cayenne
- Dash of cloves (optional)
- 1 lb ground beef
- Olive or avocado oil for the skillet
(1) In a small bowl, combine all of the spices and stir to mix together evenly.
(2) Place ground beef in a medium size mixing bowl and dump in your seasoning. Mix beef and spices with your hands until well combined.
(3) Form beef into four evenly sized patties and place on waxed or parchment paper.
(4) Heat up a large skillet over medium heat with your oil of choice for a few minutes. Once your skillet is hot, add all four patties.
(5) Once patties are browned about half way up the side (should take 3-5 minutes), flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side.
Given that these are likely going to be reheated in the microwave when you bust them out for breakfast, I would suggest cooking them just a bit shy of well done.
You don't want to cook the hell out of them and then have to chew on a microwaved hockey puck every morning.
Now, you could certainly use this recipe if you're actually on a low carb or ketogenic diet.
But I also like to have a Meat and Nuts breakfast on days when I know I'm going to be really busy and won't have time for multiple morning meals.
If I start my day with a breakfast burger and a serving of nuts, I'm usually able to go 5+ hours without feeling shaky, hungry, or obsessing over my next meal.
For anyone who's ever tried the Meat and Nuts breakfast, feel free to share your experience in the comments!
All the best,