You’ve heard it before: breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. But too many of us are missing out! Are you one of the more than 150 million Americans who do not eat breakfast? Or is your idea of “breakfast” coffee and a doughnut? If so, make 2012 your year to build a better breakfast!
There are several key reasons why you should start everyday with a nutritious morning meal:
1. Breakfast boosts your metabolism. By starting your day with a balance of healthy carbohydrates (including fiber!) and protein, you will boost calorie burning by speeding up your metabolism. So you really can eat to lose weight!
2. Breakfast eaters are leaner. People who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain healthy weight than those who do not. In fact research shows that some 78% of successful dieters almost always eat breakfast compared to just 4% who rarely eat it. Why? Not only does breakfast boost metabolism, what begins with skipping breakfast often builds to an evening finale of excess portions and high calorie food. A solid breakfast can keep you from overeating later in the day.
3. Breakfast provides the “fuel” to jumpstart your day. Eating a balanced morning meal will help you perform at your best, both mentally and physically.
BUILD A BETTER BREAKFAST IN 3 EASY STEPS
Step 1) Protein. A study published recently in the journal Obesity added to the growing scientific literature showing that eating more protein at breakfast can help you eat less at your next meal, reduce cravings for “unhealthy” foods, making it easier to stick with your resolve to eat healthier and control calories. Good sources of protein include eggs, lowfat yogurt and cottage cheese, nut butters and protein-rich whole grain bread.
Step 2) Whole Grains. Whole grains will give you the energy you need to fuel your morning plus filling fiber to curb hunger. Look for whole grain bread with at least 3 g of fiber, cereal with at least 5 g of fiber, or oatmeal.
Step 3) Fruits and Veggies. We all need more fruits and veggies, and breakfast is the perfect time to get a few servings in your diet. They will add vitamins and minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants to your morning meal.
No Time, You Say?
If you think you don’t have time for breakfast, think again. In just 10 minutes or less, you can have a tasty, nutritious meal that will start your day off right. For some fast, healthy breakfast ideas, check out the list below:
10 Breakfasts in Less than 10 Minutes
▪ Oatmeal yum. Top 1 cup of plain oatmeal with 2 tablespoons each of chopped nuts and dried fruit, a pinch of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.
▪ “Egg-lish” muffin crostini & cheese. Put 1 poached egg, 1 slice of lean ham, and 1 thin (1/2 ounce) slice of Swiss cheese on a ½ toasted whole-wheat English muffin.
▪ B&B bruschetta. Top 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of all-natural nut butter, 1/2 sliced banana, and a drizzle of honey.
▪ Cereal & fruit. Pour 1 cup of skim milk (or calcium-fortified soy milk) over 1 cup of high-fiber, whole-grain cereal and serve with 1/2 pink or red grapefruit on the side.
▪ Waffle wise. Toast 2 low-fat whole-grain frozen waffles with 1/2 cup fresh (or thawed, unsweetened frozen) berries and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
▪ “Egg-lish” muffin & greens. Stuff 1 whole-wheat English muffin with 1 cooked egg, 1 slice of cooked Canadian bacon, watercress or baby spinach, and a squirt of lemon.
▪ Cheese toast. Top a slice of whole-wheat toast with 1 slice of part-skim mozzarella cheese with a few fresh basil leaves; serve with 1 cup low-sodium 100 percent vegetable juice (add a few drops of hot sauce for eye-opening pizzazz).
▪ Berry smoothie. Blend 1 cup of low-fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup berries, 1/2 cup of 100 percent apple juice, and 1/2 cup of crushed ice until smooth.
▪ Greek yogurt & jam. Mix 1/2 cup of low-fat Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon of 100 percent fruit spread or jam of your choice.
▪ Energy pita. Top 1/2 whole-grain pita with Neufchatel (light cream) cheese, 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts and 2 tablespoons of dried fruit.