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Pancakes, Waffles, & French Toast Quick Breads, Muffins, & Coffee Cakes Smoothies
Wake Up to the Benefits of Breakfast!
It’s Monday morning and you’re racing out the door. You barely had time to make yourself presentable, let alone eat something. Or, do you skip breakfast secretly hoping you'll fit into your jeans better if you do? It's a natural thought. Less food in your belly means more room in your waistband, right? Think again. Skirting the ritual of a healthy morning meal can totally sabotage your waistline by setting you up for minimal calorie burn and a bigger appetite throughout the day.
Breakfast is the “Weigh” to Go
- Breakfast skippers are twice as likely as breakfast eaters to pile on pounds. Eating the right sorts of things at the start of your day can rev up your body to be a fat-burning machine for hours afterward. Eating a breakfast of protein and “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as eggs and oatmeal or bran cereal, helps you burn more fat.
- Going without breakfast means you
likely will eat more throughout the day. Breakfasts that are high in protein, high in
fiber, and low in sugar have a greater
satiating effect (state of feeling full). People who eat breakfast
get their metabolism humming and tend not to
consume as many calories throughout the day. On contrast, skipping breakfast increases ghrelin -- a hunger-inducing
hormone -- upping the odds of downing a super-sized meal or
high-calorie treat later in the day.
- Skipping breakfast could jeopardize your long-term health. In addition to weight management benefits, eating a healthy breakfast builds better bodies and is fuel for work and school. Eating breakfast promotes heart, digestive, and bone health; reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome; increases physical energy; helps children do better in school by improving memory, alertness, concentration, problem-solving ability, test scores, school attendance, and mood.
- Those who skipped breakfast were more resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing diabetes. Here’s why: protein and “slow-release” carbohydrates do not spike blood sugar as refined carbohydrates, such as white toast or sugar-laden cereals do. In turn, insulin levels (what signals the body to store fat) remain stable, helping you burn more fat and calories.
Breakfasts of Champions
A healthy breakfast meal should contain a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, and lean protein. Even if you think you don’t have time to eat breakfast, there are grab-and-go options that fill the bill. Some quick and healthy choices include:
- A veggie omelet and a piece of
- A whole-wheat English muffin with
low-fat cheese, a scrambled egg, and slice of tomato or lean ham
- Smoothie made with fruit and
- Salmon on 1/2 whole-grain bagel
with light cream cheese
- Whole-grain cereal with fresh
fruit and low-fat milk
- Oatmeal made with skim milk,
raisins and nuts, with 4 ounces of orange juice
- Low-fat yogurt, sliced fresh fruit
- Hard-boiled egg and a banana
- Sit down with the family to plan
nutritious breakfasts for the week. Post the plan in plain sight in
the kitchen. Getting kids involved encourages them to eat the
- Add breakfast items to your
shopping list so your kitchen is well-stocked.
- Each evening, set the table for
breakfast and put out non-perishables such as cereal boxes, oatmeal
containers, and fruit.
- Store milk, yogurt, 100 percent
fruit juice and other perishable breakfast foods in the front of the
fridge so they’re quick to grab.
- If the family is brown-bagging
breakfast, pack and label each person’s bag the night before and
store them in the fridge. Better yet, get everyone to assemble their
own breakfast bag.
- On weekends, take time for a fun
and healthy family breakfast to share the details of your busy
Turns out mother was right: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. So belly up to the breakfast table with a healthy, tasty fat-burning meal each morning. You'll look better, feel better, and shed the weight if you do.
Check out some of my favorite breakfast recipes from the links above!
To your health,
H -- CAS