I’m sure you all have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But did you ever find out why? The main reason behind this is that our brains and bodies need fuel to get through the day.
Let’s compare our bodies to a car for a minute. Without proper fuel the car wouldn’t be able to perform properly. The same thing goes for our body. After a full night of sleep our bodies have now gone about 8-9 hours (maybe more) without eating. Now we’re ready to start our day on an empty tank. It’s going to be a lot easier to get started with some fuel in that tank, don’t you agree?
Eating a healthy breakfast not only gives us fuel to start our day, but it also revs our metabolism, helps stabilize blood sugars, and improves our concentration. Several studies have also been posted that associate weight gain and obesity with skipping breakfast.
Now I’ll address some of the common statements I hear from clients who skip breakfast.
- “I’m not hungry right when I wake up”: That’s totally fine and understandable. Take some time for yourself to get ready, have your coffee and wake up a little bit. You could also have half of your breakfast at home and half when you get to work. Try to have your breakfast within an hour of waking up.
- “I don’t have time in the morning”: Do some meal prep the night before or earlier in the week. Measure out your granola and berries and stack them in containers next to your yogurt or make some breakfast sandwiches on Sunday, stick them in the freezer and heat them up before your commute or at work. I use 1 (Good Food Made Simple) egg white patty, 1 whole wheat english muffin, 1 slice of cheese, and a slice of chicken bacon wrapped in wax paper.
- “I can just get something from the coffee cart at work”: Although the act of eating “breakfast” is still there, the options found on the coffee cart aren’t great. Bagels, croissants and other pastries are delicious, but they contribute little to our body other than carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Keep a few real food granola bars (RxBar, Kind, Lara Bar) and a few pieces of fruit (bananas, apples) at your desk for the week instead. That way you can have a healthy, portion controlled, and balanced breakfast waiting for you when you get there.
- “I want to lose weight, less food means less calories”: Yes less food does mean less calories, however, that doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss. In fact, studies have shown that breakfast skippers are more likely to be overweight than those who eat breakfast!
So what constitutes a healthy breakfast? Aim for a balanced meal consisting of both carbohydrates and protein. The carbohydrates will boost your blood sugar and give your brain some fuel, while the protein will help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full until the next meal time.
Here’s a good guide to use for some ideas. Mix and match from each column making sure to get at least one item from the protein column. Pay close attention to portion sizes listed on packages! I’ve listed some of my favorite breakfast combos below 🙂 Bonus points go to those who use veggies too!
My favorite combos are: yogurt, 1/4 cup granola, 1/2 cup mixed berries// cottage cheese, 1/2 cup canteloupe, 10 almonds// oatmeal made with almond milk and walnuts//.