4 Tips For a Better BreakfastBy
One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your health and lose weight is to eat a high-protein, nutrient-dense, whole food breakfast. Do not skip this crucial morning meal! Eating a healthy breakfast reduces body fat, boosts metabolism, improves mental focus and concentration, increases energy, reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity (by a whopping 50%), decreases overeating, improves behavioral problems, decreases risk of depression, increases fitness/athletic performance, improves cholesterol, HDL, LDL and insulin levels. With this many benefits, it’s no wonder what you eat for breakfast has a huge effect on how you look, feel and perform for the rest of the day. Set up for success by following these 4 simple tips for enjoying a better balanced breakfast.
1. Think Outside The Box
While some studies suggest that any breakfast is better than no breakfast, there are some foods you want to avoid, such as processed products made with refined carbs/sugars, pasteurized de-fatted dairy, and artificial sweeteners. These foods include, but are not limited to cereals, muffins, bagels, waffles, pancakes, french toast, pastries, juices, donuts, and low-fat yogurt/milk. Consumed regularly, these nutrient-poor, insulin-spiking foods will set you up for a mid-morning crash, strong sugar/caffeine cravings, weight gain, chronic inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, and a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity.
2. Pack In Protein
Consume more protein at breakfast by making the switch from wheat, or refined carbs, to meat, or protein-rich foods. Crucial at breakfast, high-quality protein provides consistent energy and essential nutrients to increase your mental and physical performance. Protein-packed meals reduce cravings, support immunity, promote fat burning, and improve your mood. Aim for 25 grams of protein per meal (4 eggs, 3-4 oz meat/poultry/fish/seafood, or 1 scoop protein powder).
Proteins: eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, nitrate-free sausage or bacon, fish, seafood, beef, bison, elk, venison, chicken, turkey, rabbit, protein powder, etc.
3. Don’t Forget Fat
Fat aids weight/fat loss (yes, you read that correctly), helps stabilize blood sugar levels, increases satiation, reduces cravings and prevents overeating. Cooking protein and vegetables in a healthy fat, adding a sliced avocado or grabbing a handful of nuts is an easy way to get more fat during your morning meal.
Fats: avocados, guacamole, nuts, nut butters, butter, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, nitrate-free bacon, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
4. Add Vegetables
Although vegetables are probably not the first thing on your mind in the morning, they’ll greatly benefit your brain and body with an extra nutritional boost in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent nutrient dense, low-carb, colorful addition to any breakfast. Although non-starchy vegetables should be the bulk of your daily carb intake, other options can be included depending on your activity level and weight loss goals.
Vegetables: kale, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, etc.
Starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, red potatoes, etc.
Fruits: berries, melons, oranges, apples, grapefruit, peaches, bananas, etc.
Other carbs: quinoa, coconut bread, sprouted bread or brown rice tortilla, etc.
For optimal performance, it’s best to eat your healthy balanced breakfast within 1 hour upon waking. If you don’t like to eat first thing in the morning, you can split it up into two smaller meals. Eat a few hard-cooked eggs and an avocado, then a couple hours later, snack on an apple and almond butter.