Studies show a healthy breakfast (not one full of sugary cakes and donuts) can give you-
· An improved nutritional diet, higher in vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
· Better concentration throughout the morning
· Increased strength & endurance to perform physical activity
· Helps to lower cholesterol levels
· Increases your metabolism so you are burning off more calories.
On top of these benefits, studies also show that people who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than those who eat breakfast daily.
Why you ask?? The exact reason is still unproven, but its theorised that when people eat a healthy breakfast it will reduce their hunger and control their insulin levels, helping them to make better food choices at other meals and stopping them from craving sugary high energy, higher crash foods. Due to the reduced hunger they are also more likely to eat smaller meals at lunch and not have a mini eating binge mid-morning. Thus eating less calories throughout the day, but increasing the metabolism throughout the day.
So follow our breakfast advice to make sure you’re eating for health, for weight loss, to get your metabolism firing, and to keep you feeling full right up until lunch.
1- Don’t skip breakfast.
As mentioned above, breakfast is an essential meal and will set you up mentally to continue eating well throughout the day. If you’re rushing throw a banana, a hand-full of blueberries, half a cup of oatmeal and a scoop of protein powder into a blender for a yummy, super healthy shake that you can drink on your way to work.
2- Make breakfast at home.
As delicious as the muffins and savory’s look in your favourite coffee shop, they are not your friend. Full of sugar and empty calories, they will spike your insulin levels, causing you to be tired and hungry long before lunch. Instead, get into the routine of having your breakfast at home, on top of the health benefits think of all the money you will save from eating your breakfast at home.
3- Pick the right cereal.
Walk down the cereal aisle in any supermarket and you will see a huge array of cereals, some are good, some are bad – so make your choice wisely. Some ‘childrens’ cereals are very high in sugar so stay away from these. Ideally, you should have oatmeal, this high fibre cereal is super nutritious and the carbohydrates release energy slowly so will keep you feeling full until lunch. Sprinkle on some cinnamon or add some chopped fruit for a great tasting breakfast. If you can’t face oatmeal then stick to a cereal that contains whole wheat, such as weet-bix. These cereals are high in fibre and low in sugars and salt.
4- It’s all about the milk.
You’ve picked your healthy cereal and then you pour lots of whole milk into your bowl – ruining your good work of cereal choice. Whole milk is high in fat, sugar and therefore calories – so stay away. If you drink whole milk now, then switch to semi-skimmed, in a few weeks time switch again to skimmed milk, within a day or 2 you won’t notice the taste difference, but your body will notice the health and calorie difference. If you’ve tried and really can’t stand the taste, then try out Soy milk, it roughly has the same amount of calories as pasteurised milk. Soy is a great source of proteins, isoflavones and b-vitamins, plus most soy milk is fortified with extra vitamins and calcium. Soy is also suitable for those with cows’ milk allergies or lactose intolerance.
5- Your morning cuppa.
Choose the wrong drink to wash down your healthy breakfast and you can undo all your great work. Us Kiwis love our cup of java in the morning, but rarely do we consider how many calories these things are costing us. Many of us have 2 or 3 coffees before lunch, and at over 250 calories for a regular flat white and 20 grams of sugar (before we add spoonfuls of sugar) it negates all the hard work done eating healthy all the time. If drinking coffee, keep it sensible; ALWAYS ask for non-fat milk, NEVER have whipped cream or marshmallows, and replace sugar with a natural sweetener.
6- Not all juice is created equal.
Choosing fruit juice to wash down your breakfast is not always a better alternative to coffee. Many fruit juices are made from concentrate so have a very high sugar and calorie content. A simple glass of orange juice can contain as much as 100 calories. If you intent to drink fruit juice at breakfast stick to whole juice (which tends to be in the supermarket fridges) and read the label to make sure there is no added sugar. Better still make your own with a juicer or eat the real thing, you’ll find eating the fruit will fill you up for longer than drinking it.
7- Wholemeal is King.
Toast with a nice helping of a natural peanut butter is a great, healthy & tasty breakfast idea. But only if it’s on the right bread. When choosing a loaf stick to wholewheat grains. If the first or second ingredient is not whole wheat then don’t buy it. Whole grains are high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, keeping you fuller for longer and helping to maintain balanced insulin levels in the blood. Stay AWAY from white bread, within a week I will guarantee you will find whole meal much tastier – you just need to find a brand with a taste you like. For a yummy breakfast add natural peanut butter, low fat cottage cheese or even mash a banana onto your toast.
8- Consume some protein.
If you are trying to lose weight, there’s a very high probability that day to day you are in a calorie deficit. When this happens the body will start to use fat stores and even protein (aka muscle) for energy. If you are exercising your body will use even more protein for energy. To stop the burning of muscle protein for energy you must eat a protein source at each meal. We’re not talking huge amounts like a bodybuilder, but you must include some form of lean protein. At breakfast, your protein can come from a variety of sources, but eggs seem to be the nations favourite. Cheap, versatile and healthy, eggs are a great form of protein. Recently research has shown dietary cholesterol found in eggs has little to no impact on blood cholesterol levels. The heart foundation recommend that upto 6 eggs per week can be ate as part of a healthy, balanced diet that is low in saturated fat, without increasing the risk of heart disease. Scramble 3 eggs with some chopped spinach for a tasty breakfast high in protein, fibre, and vitamins, keeping you full until lunch.
Following the tips above, the possibilities for a great tasting, filling, healthy breakfast, are unlimited. Here’s a few ideas to get you started that are easy and quick to prepare-
- Salmon and avocado on whole grain toast
- Vegetable omelette (3 egg) on whole grain toast
- Oatmeal with cinnamon and blueberries
- Fresh fruit with low sugar natural Greek yogurt
- Smoothie – oatmeal, raspberrys, protein powder, water
- Boiled eggs and toast (whole grain)
- Whole grain bagel with low fat cottage cheese