My most favorite meal of the day starts at the beginning of the day, breakfast! It has always amazed me how many people actually consider it the least thought of meal and often times skipped.
There are many reasons that I have heard for skipping breakfast, I don’t have the time, I am in a hurry, I am not hungry, and one of my favorites, I am trying to lose weight! What they don’t realize, is that skipping breakfast is a sure fire way to increase weight because you end up snacking throughout the day or making very poor meal choices later on in the day due to hunger.
You’ve starved yourself all night…
For starters, you have gone all night not eating while you slept. Your body is constantly working whether awake or asleep. Those 6-8 hours of zero nourishment leaves your body needing food in order to continue working at optimum level, especially when you are ready to hit the day running to perform your daily activities.
However, not just any breakfast will do. Those that think a cup of coffee with a doughnut or a high sugar breakfast meal with milk (more sugar) is breakfast is sadly mistaken. You are setting yourself up for disaster. Those types of meals are nothing but pure sugar which spikes insulin levels and gets your body ready for a rollercoaster day of sugar spikes throughout the day as your body craves what you fed it that morning.
Skipping breakfast is just as bad. Hunger will eventually overcome willpower or whatever reason you had to skip breakfast and that is where poor meal choices start taking place. You skip breakfast but eat half the box of donuts a co-worker brought to the office. Or the lunch wagon shows up at morning break time and you eat a bunch of Ho-Ho’s and washed down with a cola.
So what do I eat?
I am a believer in having every meal be a combination of lean protein source and complex carbs. Studies have shown that lean protein can help your body feel full until lunch time, thus avoiding the junk that is presented at work.
Eggs is one of the highest quality protein sources, so I usually start off with eggs, either fried or scrambled. Each egg contains 6-7 grams of protein, so if you have three eggs, that’s 18-21 grams of high quality protein. What a great way to start the day!
When I make eggs, I do a ratio of one egg yolk to three egg whites. Now I know there are many articles that say egg yolks are great for you, and I agree with that, but I also feel that too many egg yolks just adds too many fat calories to your nutrition plan. So I have the best of both worlds by adding one yolk to three egg whites, thus also lowering your caloric intake for those that are counting calories.
When I scramble them, I like to add veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, etc. for flavor and additional nutrients. I also sometimes add a slice of no fat cheese.
When I am super hungry (if you eat right you need to listen to your body), I will add half a chicken breast as part of the breakfast for added protein and clean calories.
So where’s the carb?
I keep it simple, I make oatmeal about 95% of the time made with water not milk. Too much sugar in milk, IMO and it doesn’t matter if it is regular, low fat, skim, almond, soy, organic. It doesn’t matter, it still has sugar.
To add flavor to the oatmeal I sprinkle cinnamon which is known to be a fat burning spice. I may also add nuts for omega-3s and other nutrients.
Another option is to have a couple of slices of toast out of whole wheat or for those with gluten intolerance issues, one that does not have wheat. IMO, I am not one of those low carb diet type of guys. I believe in carbs but they have to be the right carbs.
I may add yogurt butter to the bread, low in fat calories, and also any kind of sugar free jelly. Again, the point here is to keep the fat calories down in content.
I cannot emphasize the need for complex carbs in your morning meal. You need this because you want to start getting fiber into your diet (read my post on fiber) in order to cleanse your digestive tract and keep it clean throughout the day in order to absorb the nutrients from the food you will eat that day.
Health starts with nutrition. The day starts with nutrition in order to have the health. They are intertwined. So this means that breakfast is nutrition that leads to health. Doing this every morning kick starts the day to a healthy eating habit the entire day.
Breakfast is my secret for being…..Fit Forlife!