How To Choose A Healthy Breakfast – All Questions Answered
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know this sounds like a cliché, but I’m sure you’ll agree with me once you learn what an impact it can have on your life. So once you decide to commit yourself to eating breakfast, how do you choose when, how much and what to eat?
How soon after I get up should I eat? Are there exceptions?
You can eat anywhere between 5 minutes to two hours from when you wake up. The points is to have energy by the time you start working, so if you eat any time before then it’s just great!
You might want to make an exception if you work out in the morning. Specialists believe that if you do your cardio exercises before breakfast, you’ll burn more fat. The logic is simple: you have no energy in the morning a.k.a no calories to burn. Thus, you burn fat and lose weight. If you ask me you really can’t work out on a full stomach… So do your morning cardio routine, then go get your breakfast.
How much should I eat in the morning?
Some say one should have a third of the calories he needs that day. I think you should eat as much as you feel like, within reasonable limits of course. Something light if you’re not comfortable with eating in the morning or a big meal if that’s what you enjoy. I sometimes decide how much and what I eat in the morning based on the day I’m going to have. If I know I won’t have the time to eat again until way past lunch time, I pick something that keeps my stomach full for longer (chicken for example). If I’ll have a physically requiring day, I’ll focus on getting all the energy I’ll need from my breakfast (glucose rich foods like fruit, cereal or even sweets).
What should I eat?
Well, you can eat absolutely anything! You don’t even have to stick to breakfast foods if you don’t like them. You can have a sandwich, a slice of pizza. If you have a sweet tooth, now’s the time to eat those sweets. I’m not saying sweets are good for you, but if you’re going eat them anyway, it should be in the morning when you have time to burn off extra calories during the day. You can eat solids, or have a yogurt if you feel you can’t stomach hard foods just after you wake up.
To help you chose a smart breakfast, I’ve divided the options into 4 groups.
- The Vitamin Breakfast
Fruit gives you fiber. Fresh fruit is the best choice. There are many to choose from: oranges, grapefruits, apples, bananas, grapes, kiwis, mangos, melons, berries. You can eat two servings of fruit every morning. Canned fruit packed in juice is also a good choice. You can also add dried fruit to your cereal.
- High Fiber Hot Cereal
Hot cereal is the best choice, but there are several brands of cold cereal on the market that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Oatmeal is a favorite hot cereal. Try a seven grain cereal and experiment with different grains such as millet, brown rice, quinoa, corn grits for a variety. Try cooking grains in a crock pot overnight and it’s already the next morning. Or cook up a large batch and re-heat the next day. Make your own granola. Add a high fiber cereal to your favorite low fiber cereal. Gradually increase the amount of the high fiber cereal and decrease the amount of the low fiber cereal. For example, if you like cornflakes, add Wheat Chex to the cornflakes. Each morning add a little more Wheat Chex and a little less Cornflakes.
- Energy Reach Breakfast
Choose Whole Grain Bread. Eat two slices of toast in the morning or a whole grain bagel. Spread with fruit spread or applesauce or your favorite nut butter.
Make Healthy Pancakes or Waffles. Have you ever considered topping your pancakes or waffles with fruit?
- Protein Breakfast
If you’re on a low carb diet or just looking to integrate more protein in your diet you should consider eggs. The possibilities are endless! Just think of the many varieties of omelets out there! You can pair it with bacon (preferably low fat). Many types of cheese are high in protein also. I’m sure you can think of something appetizing with mozzarella.