I know my title is a little over-the-top, but I’m sure it caught your attention. Too many of you out there think you’re doing yourself a favor by skipping your Wheaties. That is far from the truth. In fact, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it jump-starts your metabolism (which means you’ll burn more calories early) and regulates your insulin levels. The body needs fuel at regular intervals, and when you starve it for long periods of time, your system gets out of wack. If you eat breakfast, you’ll have more energy to face the day. Without it, you’ll drag from a blood sugar drop.
Two studies in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association back up the finding that eating a healthy breakfast aids weight loss. A group of researchers analyzed data from a government-funded study that followed more than 2,000 young girls from ages 9 to 19. They found that regular cereal eaters had fewer weight problems than infrequent cereal eaters. Those who ate cereal occasionally had a 13% higher risk of being overweight compared to the regular cereal eaters.
Another research group analyzed government data on 4,200 adults. They found that people who eat breakfast on a regular basis are more likely to exercise regularly. And people who eat breakfast daily tend to eat fewer calories overall during the day.
So it’s settled. You’re going to eat breakfast. But what if you’re not hungry or you don’t think you can eat much? Try a smoothie — liquid calories seem to go down a little easier when you don’t normally eat in the a.m. Here’s a recipe for my favorite smoothie:
1 c. frozen strawberries
1 T honey
1/2 c. vanilla soy milk or 2% milk
1 scoop whey protein (optional)
Throw into a blender and mix until smooth and yummy!
Whatever you do, have a variety of foods. A piece of toast with jam won’t cut it. Combine protein, carbs and a little fat for the optimal meal. For those of you who want something more substantial, try oatmeal with fresh fruit and chopped nuts. My son’s favorite is two poached eggs, whole wheat toast with butter, and a sliced orange. I’m usually in a hurry, so I eat high fiber cereal (my favorites are Kashi Go Lean and Kashi Good Friends) with vanilla soy milk and a fresh berries.
I hope I’ve inspired you to start your day better! For fun, send photos of your healthy breakfast this week.