By Betty Murray
Healthy eating is important all day long, but breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Just like your car needs fuel to get you where you want to go, your body needs fuel to make it through the day. Start your day with a healthy breakfast for energy and concentration throughout the day. A protein and fiber-rich breakfast will keep you feeling fuller longer. People who eat breakfast are also less likely to snack on junk food during the day, so if your goal is weight loss, then don’t skip out on breakfast.
Here are a few tips for a healthy breakfast to lose weight:
• Eat fiber-rich breakfast foods to beat random cravings through out the day. A few suggestions of foods packed with fiber that you may want for breakfast include oat bran, fiber-enriched, gluten-free cereals, oatmeal, leafy green veggies like spinach, nuts and seeds, berries and other fruits like bananas, pears, prunes, figs, and apples.
• Eat more for breakfast. Yes, a bigger meal typically means more calories, but one study found that people who ate a bigger breakfast lose more weight than people who eat a smaller breakfast. Why? Most likely it’s because your metabolism is most revved up early in the day, making it work more efficiently. Just be sure your bigger breakfast is worth it. Skip the empty calories and fill up on protein and fiber.
• Eat protein. To keep your appetite in check during the day, your body needs protein, and plenty of it. Choose lean sources of protein. Turkey sausage, eggs, and even salmon make for delicious options for a healthy breakfast to lose weight. This potato and greens frittata recipe makes for a delicious breakfast packed with nutrients, including fiber and protein. For a lower-fat version, sub the bacon for turkey sausage or turkey bacon. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, asparagus and goat cheese is another delicious option. You don’t have to eat meat to get protein. Greek yogurt, nuts, cottage cheese, and soy-based meat substitutes are great non-meat ways to get plenty of protein in the a.m.
• For a quick breakfast, try an apple or banana with a tablespoon peanut butter. (You don’t want to overdo it, as two-tablespoons of peanut butter contains about 190 calories.) Another study found that people who ate peanuts or peanut butter in the morning had higher levels of the “I am full” hormone, peptide YY. Plus, peanut butter won’t spike your blood sugar as much as a carb-loaded breakfast.
• When you’re on-the-go, skip the drive-thru, and grab a quick breakfast from home. Breakfast burritos on a gluten-free tortilla are easy to make in advance to eat when you’re in a hurry in the morning. Stuff them with scrambled eggs, a lean protein source, and sautéed spinach. Wrap individually and keep in your fridge for the next morning. Fresh fruit, or a fruit-filled protein shake are other options when you’re in a hurry in the mornings.
If weight loss is your goal, you’ve got to eat breakfast to lose weight. Just be sure your breakfast is full of protein and fiber, and go easy on the sugar.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.