Breakfast: The “can’t miss” daily meal
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, and science backs that statement.
It causes you to snack less through the day, makes it easier to lose weight and keep it off, and including eggs in your breakfast can provide vital muscle-building protein and can accelerate weight loss – perfect for the DIY approach! A balanced breakfast with protein, fiber, and carbohydrates can provide you with a great nutritional foundation for the rest of the day.
Why Is Breakfast So Important
Trust me I’ve been there. You wake up at six in the morning groggy and definitely not in the best mood.
The last thing you want to do is choke down breakfast, some people even get a little nauseated when they eat early in the morning.
I’m here to tell you that you definitely need this meal and if you skip it you are missing out on jump-starting your metabolism and you’ll have a better chance of binge eating throughout the day.
We are going to dive right into the benefits of eating breakfast, discuss one of the most important breakfast foods, why we need fiber in our breakfast, and I’ll give you a couple of examples of a well-rounded breakfast that is sure to help you on your way to achieving your fitness goals.
One major benefit of eating breakfast is the fact that it actually affects your brain and makes you feel more full throughout the morning (Purslow et al 2007) resulting in less daily snacking (Schlundt et al 1992).
In fact, a study of adolescents indicated that normal-weight children who do not eat breakfast actually gained weight compared to obese children who ate breakfast and actually lost weight (Berkey et al 2003).
Likewise, it has been found that those that maintain successful long-term weight loss were more apt to eat breakfast (Wyatt et al 2012) and in fact, after that weight loss was maintained for at least two years, weight maintenance got easier (Wing & Phelan 2005) (fell into the routine of a healthy lifestyle which includes breakfast).
Lastly, it was found that in order to live a healthy lifestyle, individuals should consume a larger breakfast while consuming less food during subsequent meals but still maintaining the same overall calorie intake (Purslow et al 2007).
Now you can’t just eat any old junk food for breakfast, like four Little Debbie cakes, and expect to have benefited from eating a regular breakfast. A quality breakfast is needed and this should include eggs!
Forget the bad propaganda directed at eggs about how they are loaded with bad cholesterol because there are so many benefits of eggs that it isn’t even funny! Eggs actually make you feel more full, which cuts back on short-term snacking (Vander Wal et al 2005). Another great benefit of eggs is that they are loaded with muscle-building protein while having only ~85 calories!
Lastly, eating eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight when combined with a proper diet (Vander Wal et al. 2008).
Get this; the Louisiana State University did a study that compared the weight loss of dieting individuals in which one group ate eggs for breakfast compared to a group that did not over the course of eight weeks.
The group that ate eggs lost 65% more weight, had a 34% greater reduction in weight circumference, and a 16% greater reduction in body fat percentage compared to the group that did not (Vander Wal et al. 2008)! It’s simply amazing what consuming a couple of eggs can do for your weight control!
That brings us to fiber. Like eggs, foods loaded in fiber (grains, fruits, veggies) can help you lose weight and make you feel full throughout the morning resulting in less snacking.
Not only does fiber make you feel more full, but it is also good for the heart, the digestive system and can actually help the immune system (Anderson et al 2009).
What to Eat?
But enough with the benefits, what should we actually eat for breakfast? We want a breakfast low in fat but full of fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. This balance will allow us to start the day at our peak nutrition level.
What exactly is this balance? It really depends on your fitness goals (bodybuilding, maintenance, weight loss) and it depends on your current physique. Fitness goals and physique levels aside, I’m going to give you three examples of a healthy breakfast that you can possibly implement in your daily routine.
1 piece of fruit (medium banana: 105 calories, 1g protein, 3g dietary fiber, / medium peach: 59 calories, 1g protein, 2g fiber)
½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal (150 calories, 5g protein, 4g fiber)
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (150 calories, 5g protein, 4g fiber) and 1 cup berries (blackberries: 62 calories, 2g protein, 8g fiber/strawberries:49 calories, 1g protein, 3g fiber)
1 1/2 cup peach, banana, strawberry salad (138 calories, 1.5g protein, 4g fiber)
1 high fiber granola bar (brand dependent: 150 calories, 3g protein, 9g fiber)
Okay, I’ve given you multiple reasons to start eating breakfast.
Besides actually starting a workout regime, this is one of the most important ways to achieve better health.
Now drop the excuses, make a point to get up ten minutes earlier (or prepare it the night before [boiled eggs]) and gobble that breakfast down, you will see substantial results, and as always just get up and Be Active!
Anderson JW, Baird P, Davis Jr RH, Ferreri S, Knudtson M, Koraym A, Waters V, & Williams CL (2009) Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Reviews 67:188-205.
Berkey CS, Rockett HRH, Gillman MW, Field AE, & Colditz GA (2003) Longitudinal study of skipping breakfast and weight change in adolescents. Int J Obesity 27:1258-1266.
Purslow LR, Sandhu MS, Forouhi N, Young EH, Luben RN, Welch AA, Khaw KT, Bingham SA, & Wareham NJ (2007) Energy intake at breakfast and weight change: a prospective study of 6,764 middle-aged men and women. Am J Epidemiol 176:188-192.
Schlundt DG, Hill JO, Sbrocco T, Pope-Cordle J, & Sharp T (1992) The role of breakfast in the treatment of obesity: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr 55:645-651.
Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, & Dhurandhar NV (2008) Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int, J Obesity 32:1545-1551.
Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, Jen KC, & Dhurandhar NV (2005) Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Coll Nutr 24:510-515.
Wing RR & Phelan S (2005) Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr 82:2225-2255.
Wyatt HR, Grunwald GK, Mosca CL, Klem ML, Wing RR, & Hill JO (2012) Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the national weight control registry. Obesity Research 10:78-82.
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