We’ve all heard it before – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Personally, I’ve always been a breakfast eater (never a fan of your “typical” breakfast foods, though). I’ve always woken up ready to eat, but would prefer to have last night’s leftovers instead of cereal or toast.
I’ve lost track of how many people tell me they skip breakfast because they can’t force themselves to eat in the morning, aren’t hungry, don’t have time, or are trying to lose weight. Well, it’s time to drop all these notions and start your day off in a healthier way – by eating.
I won’t say breakfast is THE most important meal of the day, as I think all meals are equally important, but it does serve a vital purpose for your body composition. After fasting (not eating) all night, your body has likely worked through the nutrients you gave it before bed. So, you’re running on empty at this point. There are two ways to kick start your metabolism – by eating or by being active.
Breakfast of champions
While breakfast is important, what’s even more important is WHAT you eat. Just like with all nutrition – it depends on your goals, your body, and your daily plans. However, it’s safe to say that most people don’t need the stereotypical breakfast of pancakes, toast, hash browns, or sugar-loaded cereals.
Rather, there are plenty of healthy breakfast options which can be prepped quickly:
- plain oatmeal topped with cinnamon and a side of egg whites
- turkey bacon
- Greek yogurt with berries
- egg whites scrambled with vegetables
- hard boiled eggs
- protein pancakes
Many of these things can be made the night before, or in bulk, and stored in the fridge for the week – easily starting your morning off in a healthy way. Be sure to mix and match things so you include foods from at least two food groups: meat and alternatives, carbohydrates, and vegetables and fruit.
What about carbs?
Carbs are such a staple in most breakfast selections. Toast, cereal, waffles, pancakes, bagels… they’re usually the go-to breakfast item. However, if you aren’t going to use the energy (i.e., you’re heading into the office to sit at your desk for 8 hours), you likely don’t need the carbs at the start of your day. Yup, I said it, you don’t need them. Spiking your insulin with carbs to then sit for hours on end isn’t the best choice.
The best option for your insulin and body composition is a breakfast of protein and healthy fats for energy and vegetables for nutrients. In these cases, my breakfast typically consists of eggs, egg whites, and green vegetables. I’ve found this meal keeps me full until my next meal and I don’t feel the typical energy slump when the sugars wear off from a carb-meal. It’s a more stable form of energy.
Still not convinced about eating breakfast? Consider these benefits to the meal:
- Improved weight loss stats. Among people who have lost weight, those who eat breakfast have kept the weight off.
- Lowered risk of heart disease. It’s also been found that non-breakfast eaters are more likely to have hypertension, be insulin resistant, and have elevated blood sugar levels.
- More energy. By starting your day with fuel in your system, your body can run efficiently. Looking for inspiration? Here are some great, easy high-energy breakfast ideas.
- Improved concentration and memory.
So, what did you have for breakfast today? Put down the kid’s cereal and mix things up by trying something a little different and see how it makes you feel.
Eat well and feel great!