If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
It gives your brain and body the boost it needs to start the day, and studies have shown that a proper breakfast can actually help you lose weight by stoking your metabolic fire. Your daily meal roster should resemble an inverted pyramid, meaning breakfast should be your biggest – and best – meal of the day. Here are some tips:
1. Ditch the juice
While smoothies and juice blends have been hailed as the ultimate in portable breakfasts, they offer nothing but a temporary sugar high with too many empty calories. Sure, some may be fortified with vitamins and nutrients, but it’s far from complete. If you insist on OJ, try a small glass with cottage cheese and whole wheat toast in order to help balance your blood sugar.
2. Pick protein
The power of protein is undeniable and it’s one of the easiest food groups to cover with breakfast – think eggs, cottage cheese, smoked salmon, or even a high-quality whey protein powder whizzed up with frozen fruit, plain yogurt and ground flax
3. Find balance
With diet trends changing every week – carb free, fat free, no-cal, and the rest – it may be tempting to cut out certain food groups in hopes of a quick weight-loss fix. The key to true health and wellbeing is balance. By covering all categories – protein, whole-grain carbs, healthy fats (dairy, omega-3s) and sugars (fruit, honey) – you’re giving your body the perfect fuel – which is what breakfast is all about.
4. Make it count
Breakfast is the one meal where calorie count isn’t the be all and end all, so take advantage by indulging in foods you might normally steer away from – this isn’t a free pass to have cookies or cold pizza for breakfast, but a slice of soy cheese on toast or light custard on fruit can take breakfast from the most important meal to the most anticipated. As long as you make healthy choices throughout the day, there’s no reason to hold the hashbrowns.
5. Take your time
Sure, mornings are hectic and sometimes grabbing a granola bar makes sense. But with a little thought and planning, you can fit a good breakfast into your schedule. If you find yourself in a rush to get out the door, sip detoxifying warm water with lemon while you get ready – it will flush out your system and prep it for the day ahead. Then, instead of wasting time at your kitchen table, have your breakfast at the office. Dump the contents of a single serving of plain oatmeal plus a sprinkling of cinnamon into a container (you can even do this the night before), and pack that, along with a container of plain yogurt and piece of fruit, in your purse. Once at the office, just add boiling water to the oatmeal and you’ve got a pretty delicious – and complete breakfast to eat while you check your email. Your body – and your brain – will thank you later.