You know what they say…”breakfast is the most important day!” So if breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then I want to help you curate a healthy breakfast that can take your day to the next level! As one dietitian from the UK said, “breakfast isn’t the only meal we should be getting right,” and I agree to an extent! How you start the day absolutely sets the tone for the rest of it. For example, there are studies that show that breakfast eaters tend to have lower BMIs, and consume less fat and more fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
Let’s take a deep dive into three options you have to start your day and how to choose a healthy breakfast.
Option 1: The “Balanced Breakfast”: Protein, Whole fruit, Healthy Fats & Veggies
Example: 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado, bell peppers & an orange.
Calories: 380 calories
16g protein, 26g carbs 15g sugar, 25g fats,11g fiber
- A 2011 University of Missouri study showed starting your day with a high protein breakfast increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day.
- Keeping meals low in sugar, high in fiber and having the proper amount of healthy fats helps to balance out your hormones and metabolism.
Example: Not eating first thing in the morning and then breaking your fast around 11 or 12pm to eat only within an 8 hour window (12 pm-8 pm)
- Helps with fat loss and muscle gain
- Improves Insulin sensitivity and decreases overall insulin levels (makes stored body fat more accessible for energy, aka fat-burning)
- Beneficial changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease
- Cellular repair of damaged and dysfunctional cells
Option 3: Processed cereal, milk and juice
Example shown: 1 1/2 cups Raisin Bran with 1 1/2 cups milk & 11.5oz orange juice
19g protein, 124g carbs 78g sugar, 10g fat, 10.5g fiber.
- With a whopping 78g sugar and processed ingredients, you’re setting yourself for a huge insulin spike and hormone disruption
- Orange juice doesn’t contain fiber, which means the sugar in the drink hits your bloodstream much faster vs. eating an orange full of fiber. This just contributes to that sugar (and then insulin) spike
- Compared to minimally processed diets, diets high in processed foods are linked to weight gain
As you probably guessed, you can see that Option 3 is one you should try to avoid. Of course, if you’re in a pinch or looking to treat yourself enjoying juices or processed cereal is OK. Remember, it’s always about balance, moderation, and what works for you. Being consistent in your healthy eating allows you to treat yourself here and there, guilt free. If option 3 is a more regular breakfast for you, let’s set some new healthy breakfast standards and make Options 1 or 2 the norm. Remember, breakfast helps set the tone for your whole day. Whether you go the high protein route, try out intermittent fasting, or rotate between the two, starting your day with a whole, healthy breakfast helps you start your day right.
If you need some help getting started or mixed up your routine, you can find some of my go-to healthy breakfast recipes here.