It isn't much of a secret that eating a nice, balanced breakfast is a great way to start the day. Breakfast can fill you up, preventing you from binging later on but it can also give you an energy boost and kick start your metabolism! The problem with this, of course, is that most people are straight up zombies in the morning or find themselves so pressed for time that they just grab whatever is readily available and inhale with little to no thought.
But, the thing is, eating breakfast doesn't have to take much thought. All you need is fiber from whole-grain carbohydrates or fruit, protein, and healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, says Jaime Mass, R.D., of Jaime Mass Nutritionals. To make sure you are getting all the right nutrients, try to get 5 to 10 grams of fiber from a carbohydrate source, about 14 to 20 grams of protein and 7 to 13 grams of fat.
"The most important thing about breakfast is the mix of nutrients," says nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants and author of Read It Before You Eat It. "This healthy combination is the perfect way to get energized for the day and help you focus."
So, how do all these nutrients work to help you lose weight? The fiber works to absorb water which means you'll feel fuller and won't overeat at lunch time. Fiber also promotes healthy digestion so you'll be able to avoid feeling bloated. And, when your digestion is working as it should, you'll be absorbing more nutrients which means you'll have energy for your workout, says Mass. The protein and fat work together to help slow digestion of fiber, sugar, and carbohydrates which will level out your blood sugar and prevent energy crashes.
One more thing to remember is portion size. We know it sounds obvious but it is key. Exactly how much you should be eating depends on your height and weight but an average woman looking to lose weight should try to keep her breakfast between 300 to 350 calories.
We know actually thinking about this stuff isn't something most people are interested or capable of doing first thing. So, have a look at this infographic from Women's Health that perfectly breaks it all down for you. This does the work for you so you never have to think about it again!
The breakfast: 1 medium apple, sliced, topped with 2 Tbsp of almond butter mixed with 1 Tbsp of protein powder.
Why it works: The protein in the powder gives the nut butter an extra boost without adding too many calories.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 370 cal, 20 g fat (2 g sat), 30 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 4 mg sodium, 6 g of fiber, 22.2 g protein
The breakfast: A piece of whole-grain toast topped with about 3 Tbsp mashed avocado and 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
Why it works: Eggs are a super great protein source first thing in the morning. But if you find yourself really stuck for time and unable to make scrambled eggs or an omelet, plan ahead. Keep a stash of hard-boiled eggs in your fridge and you can whip this together in no time.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 208 cal, 12 g fat (3 g sat), 15 g carbs, 1.5 g sugar, 62 mg sodium, 6 g of fiber, 12 g protein
The breakfast: A smoothie made with 1/2 cup berries, 6 oz nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1 Tbsp almond butter
Why it works: Nuts slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and this means your blood sugar won't spike and you won't experience that dreaded energy crash.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 381 cal, 19 g fat (2 g sat), 33 g carbs, 9.5 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 11 g of fiber, 26 g protein
The breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal mixed with 1/2 scoop protein powder (whey, soy, or hemp) and 1 1/2 Tbsp of your favorite nuts (almonds are great) and 1/2 cup fresh berries (any kind).
Why it works: This meal is easy to put together and contains many fat-burning nutrients. It is also loaded with antioxidants and fiber!
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 227 cal, 8 g fat (0 g sat), 23 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g of fiber, 15 g protein
The breakfast: 3/4 cup Greek yogurt topped with 1/2 cup breakfast cereal (pick a kind that contains more than 5 grams of fiber per serving), 1/4 cup berries, apples, or pears, and 7 walnut halves
Why it works: "I love this breakfast option because it is convenient and easy to grab," says Mass. Who doesn't love a 'no cook' breakfast!
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 287 cal, 10g fat (1 g sat), 29g carbs, 9 g sugar, 44 mg sodium, 7g of fiber, 27g protein
Does this information make you feel more confident about starting your day right?
Source: Women's Health