What’s for Breakfast on Keto?

One question a lot of people have is what they can have for ‘breakfast’ on keto/low-carb. By ‘breakfast,’ they usually mean ‘the morning meal.’ My old morning meal habits certainly weren’t low-carb! I would have a bowl of breakfast sugars (“cereal”) with milk, maybe toast, maybe Pop-Tarts, and orange juice. Crappy carbage city!

Many books on low-carb give you meal plans that include breakfasts. Try an Atkins book or the Mackarness book mentioned in a recent blog post (from 1958) or any other low-carb book you have on hand. Some foods allowed on low-carb that are seen as ‘breakfast foods’ are eggs, bacon, ham, sausage (if very low carb) and similar things. There are low-carb pancake recipes as the one in Dr. Atkins Diet Cookbook (1974,) which calls for cottage cheese and soy powder (I substitute unflavored whey protein powder, and bake them in a muffin top/Yorkshire pudding pan.)

But you are not confined to ‘breakfast’ foods in the morning! What about a steak or pork chop? A hamburger (bun-free?) Any other food from any other mealtime? Look at any meal plans you have in any low-carb book you own. You can adapt lunch and supper from the meal plan to your morning meal.

We might also point out that ‘breakfast’ literally means the meal at which you break your fast. If you have been doing some intermittent fasting you may not eat in the morning. If your first meal of the day is at noon or suppertime, that is your break-fast meal.

I have a habit of consuming SOMETHING in the morning. Most mornings, it’s a bulletproof coffee. On a strict fasting day, it might be tea, plain coffee, or lightly bulletproof coffee. If I did water-only fasting, I might drink a big glass of water first thing. Well, actually, I do that anyway because I need water to swallow my supplements and meds in the morning. It’s a good hydration habit.

When I used to stay over at my mother’s house (she’s now in a nursing home,) I’d make some tea or coffee in the morning so she wouldn’t freak out over me not eating. That’s a good social habit, if you have people around who fear fasting or who think breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day.’

Many of us find we are not even hungry in the morning because we ate supper the night before and then slept for some hours. It’s not like we were digging ditches all night long! Many people don’t eat at breakfast time to extend their overnight fasting by a few hours. This is not for calorie-counting reasons! We don’t restrict calories on keto/low-carb! 

The reason for intermittent fasting including breakfast-skipping is that each time we eat, our bodies have to make insulin to handle the food, and if we have insulin resistance, it makes too much insulin because our bodies have learned to ignore it. Adding a few hours to our overnight fast gives the body a few more hours of NOT having to deal with this. It seems to improve our insulin resistance, and also T2 diabetic high blood sugars. 

The main point is: don’t panic over breakfast when you start keto/low-carb. There are loads of things you can eat, and in time— when you are used to being in ketosis— you might not bother having breakfast at all. You might make simple breakfast items in advance and freeze or otherwise store them, to make mornings easier. Or use a baked-egg recipe. That’s a pretty quick morning fix. 

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