BREAKFAST: The what, how, and WHY
You’ve heard it before, “eat your breakfast”, “don’t skip breakfast it is the most important meal of the day”, yet many Americans go without breakfast and don’t realize the effect that has on their body. Breaking down to importance of breakfast we have the “what, how, and more importantly- the why of breakfast”
- Why people skip breakfast- they either don’t feel hungry or they are incorrectly trying to cut calories
- Why you should always have breakfast- not only does it set a standard for your day, but it interrupts the fasting state your body has been in all night. Breakfast is a chance to replenish your body with essential nutrients that will last you throughout the day with abundant energy, as well as being a chance to kick start your day and set you on the right track to healthy eating. Studies have shown that people who miss out on essential nutrients in their first meal of the day are less likely to make up those lost nutrients throughout the rest of your day. In addition, when you skip breakfast you are more likely to splurge on your next meals or overeat due to excessive hunger, which in the long term can lead to weight loss and health problems.
- What you should eat- think wholesome, nutritious, unprocessed. Skip the pop tart or the overloaded with sugar cereals and opt for some healthier options. Sure, they might take more time to prepare, but they will prepare you for a better, more energize and healthy day. Think proper nutrition with a combination of whole grain carbs and lean proteins with healthy fats.
- Oatmeal: a classic that has never failed when it comes to providing healthy energy in the morning. If you choose the right kind of oatmeal versus the processed, loaded with sugar kind you will find loads of healthy carbs including fiber that will give you energy and keep your digestive tract in check.
- Fresh fruit: you can never go wrong with fresh fruit, which provides you with some more healthy carbs as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Top your oatmeal with some fruit!
- Eggs: a cheap, lean source of protein. Scramble an egg or 2 with some egg whites to up your protein stores for the day. Just be careful of having too many whole eggs as a lot of cholesterol is found within the egg yolk.
- Low fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese: Another good source of lean protein for lower calories. Look for brands with minimal added ingredients such as sugar and flavorings
- Healthy toast: Choose a slice of whole wheat bread to top with organic peanut butter or almond butter for a mix of carbs, protein, and fats
- Smoothies: Smoothies can be a well-rounded breakfast if you make them right. Choose some fresh fruit and greens to mix in with low fat Greek yogurt or skim milk, and some flax or chia seed to add healthy fats
- How to make breakfast work for you:
- Eat upon waking, that way you don’t have time to talk yourself out of eating in an attempt to “save” calories
- Meal prep! Prep some scrambled eggs, smoothies, or overnight oats the night before to quickly fix up in a busy morning rush.
- Eat breakfast with someone. Making it enjoyable will lead to making it a habit as well as being an encouraging factor to eat healthy.
Sources: ACE Fit, The Eat Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno