When I am discussing meal planning with patients who are trying to lose weight, I start by having them describe their intake on the previous day. We usually begin with breakfast, and I am shocked by the number of patients who tell me “nothing” or just some coffee. Besides the fact that it’s enjoyable, there are a number of health reasons to eat breakfast!
Research studies link eating breakfast to better memory and concentration, lower levels of bad cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.
Not only is a healthy breakfast essential for adequate energy to get through your day, it is the “jump start” your metabolism needs to help burn calories all day long. Not eating a morning meal can throw off your body’s rhythm of fasting and eating. When you wake up in the morning, your body has already been without new nutrients for 8 hours. If your body doesn’t get re-fueled from food, you may feel zapped of energy or more hungry later in the day. This can lead to overeating and choosing high calorie foods later on.
In addition, the most common and most effective time to exercise is in the morning. Without a healthy breakfast on board, there is no fuel for the body to use as energy. This leads to much less enthusiastic work-outs.
However, just eating anything for breakfast is not enough. It must be a healthy breakfast that contains protein. Protein is a key nutrient for weight loss; it helps to curb appetite and avoid overeating. A few high protein suggestions include;
- Eggs and lean meat (can be made into burrito with whole grain tortilla)
- Protein shake
- High protein cereal with almond milk
- Greek yogurt
The above can be coupled with some fruit to increase the vitamin and nutrient content. Everyone is busy in the morning. So, the key to eating a healthy breakfast is planning ahead of time, so you have something you can prepare in five minutes or less.