I recently started working with 4 new clients who are all trying to lose weight. In reviewing their current eating plan, most of them are either not eating breakfast or eating very little (a protein bar while heading out the door for work). I shared with each of these clients why eating breakfast was essential to achieving their weight loss goals and suggestions on what to eat for their particular lifestyles.
When I followed up with each of them last week, they had great news to share with me: they had ALL lost weight! I was thrilled for their success. They were thrilled that such a small and simple change could yield such big results.
What is your big health goal? Are you trying to lose weight to feel confident in your own skin again? Do you want great energy throughout the day so you can accomplish your career goals and be present for your family and friends? Do you want to avoid taking medication to control your blood pressure or pre diabetes? Incorporating this one simple habit of eating a quality, nutritious breakfast can also help you accomplish that big goal.
Here are several reasons:
1. Eating breakfast fuels your metabolism and satisfies your cravings. This is essential for weight loss! Studies show that eating breakfast can increase your resting metabolism for the rest of the day by as much as 10%.
It also keeps your full and helps you avoid mindless midmorning snacking. One of my clients who was eating a protein bar for breakfast after her workout was starving an hour and a half later. She would then eat a heavy snack mid morning that just added extra calories to her day. When she bulked up what she was eating for breakfast (a few eggs with a piece of toast or a protein shake), she didn’t need that extra snack mid morning which gave her the weight loss results she wanted.
2. Eating breakfast fuels your brain enabling you to think clearly and creatively. It provides glucose, vitamins and minerals that provide your brain with the nutrients it needs to enhance problem solving and memory retention. Once you start this habit, you will notice immediate changes. It enables you to think clearly and keeps you at top mental performance throughout the day.
3. Eating breakfast fuels your body with quality energy consistently throughout the day. When we wake up in the morning, our blood glucose (aka sugar) is low. We need food to raise our blood glucose to a normal level where it supplies our bodies with the fuel it needs to function. Every cell uses glucose for energy. If we don’t supply our body with that energy, it will break down our muscle to get that energy. We don’t want to undo all of our hard work at the gym just because we skipped breakfast!
So what do you need to eat for breakfast to see these kind of results? Fill your breakfast plate or bowl with these components:
1. Quality protein - protein provides sustainable energy and fill you up holding you over until lunchtime. Choose lean and nutritious protein foods such as eggs or egg whites, peanut or almond butter, and dairy or a dairy-free substitute
2. Good fats - fat will also fill you up and satisfy your hunger which helps you avoid the cookies in the break room or stopping by Starbucks for the large Frappuccino. Choose foods that contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids such as almonds or walnuts on oatmeal, olive oil to cook your eggs, or avocado on top of a piece of toast.
3. Complex carbohydrates - carbohydrates provide our bodies and brains with glucose, their main source of energy. Choose the complex kind that contain fiber such as whole wheat bread, oats, fruit, and vegetables.
Check out these five powerhouse breakfasts that contain all these components:
If you crave a savory breakfast:
2 hard boiled eggs, a piece of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or 1/2 smashed avocado with salt/red pepper flakes
If you have a sweet tooth in the morning:
A strawberry and banana protein smoothie - blend together 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop of protein powder (I like Vega because it is plant-based), and a few ice cubes
If you eat a paleo diet:
Veggie omelet - check out my recipe for my favorite veggie omelet here
If you eat a vegetarian diet:
Overnight peanut butter oats topped with sliced banana - this is a great on-the-go breakfast solution as you prep it the night before and can easily grab it as you head out the door the next morning.
If you eat a vegan diet:
Warm breakfast quinoa bowl - combine 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup water, and 1 cup quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup fresh blueberries (or whatever berry you like), 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans (or whatever nut you like).
*For a quick solution, cut the recipe in half and cook quinoa in the microwave for 4 minutes, stir, then cook for 3 more minutes.
For additional breakfast ideas, check out my previous blog post on 5 Simple Meals for Busy Mornings.
If you too want help in achieving your big health goals like the clients I described above, contact me here. I would love to help you!