There may be varying opinions about whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but one thing is for sure: it is wise to time your meals throughout the day, starting with a nutritious breakfast.
Why Can Skipping Food in the Morning Be Unhealthy?
Many people admit to skipping breakfast in their weight-loss attempts so they can cut back on calories. However, research has shown that those who skip meals tend to make up those missed calories somewhere later in the day. Skipping breakfast makes us more likely to graze on food and consume calories in the form of specialty coffee drinks or other liquids.
Foregoing food in the morning can also have a negative impact on your mood and can increase hunger, as well as food cravings, throughout the day. Intense cravings can tempt you to reach for high-carb, high-fat and high-sugar foods when you are hungry that you may not normally reach for otherwise.
Furthermore, eating a healthy meal in the morning can energize you, regulate your blood sugar levels, and improve your thought process (memory, concentration, etc.).
What Makes a Healthy Breakfast?
Pairing protein and complex carbs early in the day is a great way to fuel up. Real foods that are nutrient-dense, not processed foods with a bunch of added ingredients, are the way to go. A good breakfast should provide at least 1/3 of your protein requirement for the day.
Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas:
- Protein shake (protein powder, ice, water, milk of choice, or a non-dairy alternative such as almond milk)
- Low-sugar Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- Eggs and fully cooked chicken breakfast sausage links
- Egg muffins or frittatas
- Low-sugar or homemade oatmeal with fresh fruit
- Avocado toast with eggs on whole grain bread
- Fruit salad with quinoa
If you are trying to lose weight, you may be tempted to cut back on calories by skipping breakfast and waiting until lunch for your next meal. However, eating breakfast can save you unwanted calories later on. It can also boost your energy, thought process and feelings of satiety.
The bottom line is that in order to have healthy eating behaviors, you need to plan and prepare at least some of your meals in advance. Planning for breakfast in advance can also help you avoid eating convenience foods. Your body will come to expect the first meal of the day and improve your metabolism when you eat consistent meals at approximately the same time each day. Spacing your meals out can keep you on a healthy track!
For more information about breakfast, health and weight management, click here.