Most of us recognize that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But many of us are not getting either enough to eat or the right foods for our morning meal. Even still, many will skip breakfast because they are in a hurry. There has been a lot of information circulating about the importance of breakfast, but mixed messages when it comes to telling us exactly what we should be eating.
Here are a few reminders about how your breakfast should fit into your day:
1. Never skip breakfast.
This is always rule number one about breakfast. Eating breakfast helps to regulate your blood sugar, get your metabolism going, and stave off cravings and hunger pangs for hours. There have been some mixed messages, including a study last year published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which concluded that eating breakfast had no real effects on a person’s weight, and that it might be okay to skip. Basically, it looked like those who ate breakfast burned more calories but they also took in more calories by eating breakfast. But, don’t be confused by these details. Other studies have shown clear correlations between improved cognitive performance, better memory, increased energy and more benefits for breakfast eaters.
2. You should probably be eating a bigger breakfast.
One piece of fruit does not make a meal. Eating a banana gives you about 100 calories, and doesn’t do much when it comes to boosting your metabolism or controlling your blood sugar. Breakfast should be a regular-sized meal, about the same as your lunch or dinner. This means that an active middle-aged woman should be eating about 400 calories for breakfast and for lunch, and about 500 for dinner, with about 300 additional calories for snacks.
3. Know the formulas.
It is important to have a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats for each meal, including breakfast. For example, your breakfast plate should be about half high-fibre carbs. Think about adding whole grain toast, fruit, sweet potatoes, beans, or fibre filled smoothies. Make sure you are including enough protein, this will help control your appetite for the rest of the morning. Eggs, smoked salmon, tofu, tempeh bacon, or protein powder can all get you what you need. Aim for about 25 grams of protein for your morning meal. Also, make sure you are including some healthy fats, such as almond butter, olive oil, flaxseed oil, or avocado. Getting about 10 grams of healthy fats is usually about right.
4. Timing is everything.
Breakfast is the morning meal for a reason. It should be eaten in the morning. Don’t wait for hours to start your day after you wake up. Not only will you cause your metabolism to fluctuate too much, you might end up with terrible cravings and make unhealthy choices as a result.
Making healthy choices for your morning meal is not difficult, but it might take some practice. Follow these suggestions to make sure you are getting your day off to the right start!