Eat Breakfast! 4 Choices for a Healthy Start to Your Day
If you have started on a weight loss program, I’m sure there are two things you have heard- you need to eat breakfast and you need to eat more protein.
Obviously, it is SUPER important to eat breakfast, even if you’re trying to limit overall calories. Breakfast fuels your body and your brain, and also gets your metabolism started and your blood sugar levels on the right track. Eating protein and slow carbs in the morning give you energy for the day and keeps your blood sugar from crashing later, which can lead to unhealthy snacking.
Here are a few healthy options that don’t require a lot of time:
You can make it yourself with Quaker Oats in about 5 minutes. If you prefer the taste and heartier grain of steel cut oats, that takes a bit longer, more like 15 minutes. Add a little brown sugar or Splenda, a few berries, and maybe sliced almonds, pecans, or walnuts and you have a very healthy choice with slow carbs, fiber, and protein.
You can also try microwave oatmeal from Trader Joe’s. Our family likes it and it’s also healthier than instant oatmeal.
Try to avoid instant oatmeal (the “just add water” kind). Not only does it have a lot more sugar, it also has less fiber and less protein per serving.
If cereal is your thing, Kashi GoLean is a great healthy choice compared to traditional “processed” cereal or sugar-loaded granola. With only 200 calories per serving (before milk), Kashi GoLean packs 9 grams of protein. Even though the total carbs is fairly high at 35g, much of those are whole grains, which means lots of fiber and a much lower blood sugar spike than you might see from processed cereal.
Eggs have gotten a bad rap for being high in cholesterol. However, eggs are a great source of protein (6g of protein and only 78 calories). One egg a few times a week is fine. I usually put one egg over easy on top of a slice of whole grain toast. If you need a bit more, you can do one whole egg plus one egg white.
If you’re craving some meat to go with your eggs, soy bacon or soy-based sausage can be a really good choice. Some of them have really good taste and mouth feel. Personally, I like Boca breakfast sausage- it tastes like the real thing. Because it is soy based, it is fairly low fat and high in protein. One link is only 40 calories, with 2g of fat and 4g of additional protein.
Low fat or no fat yogurt can be a great choice, and Greek yogurt has extra protein. I prefer to control how much sugar is added, so I go with plain or vanilla and then add the fruit myself. Go with strawberries or blueberries. Also try to add some nuts like pecans, sliced almonds or walnuts. Nuts are great for you in small quantities.
Bananas are one fruit you probably want to avoid in the morning. Like processed foods, they have a really high glycemic response which means they can spike your blood sugar and cause an energy crash later in the morning.
Coffee or orange juice are fine morning choices, and ice water can give your metabolism a kick-start as well. Citrus fruits and juices are actually ok because even though they contain sugar, they are high in acid. The acid lessens the effect of the sugar, so citrus juice doesn’t cause a huge spike in your blood sugar.
So there you have it, four great choices that you can alternate to get great nutrition, low calories, high protein and moderate glycemic response. Good healthy eating for weight loss! -Rob