Recently, the University of Minnesota released a study showing that adolescents who eat breakfast tend to have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who do not. Over the course of five years, researchers tracked the eating habits of over 2,200 teens, using questionnaires to monitor their overall food intake as well as the frequency of their morning meals. While the study could not determine why regularly eating breakfast was tied to a lower BMI, the relationship between these two factors was clear.
Many of my clients skip breakfast, either because they are too busy or trying to conserve calories to lose weight. Many others eat breakfast, but it tends to be bagels or donuts and coffee, eaten on the way to work. One of the first things I do with new clients is work with them to find a healthy, filling breakfast that is appropriate their lifestyle, tastes, and body type.
What are the key ingredients of a good breakfast?
- Contains a mix of protein, fat, and healthy carbohydrates (such as whole grains). The protein and fat will make you feel more satisfied and full; whole grain carbohydrates will provide long-lasting energy.
- Contains fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels, make you feel fuller throughout the day, and promote intestinal health.
Examples of healthy, filling breakfasts:
- Steel-cut oatmeal with chopped almonds, agave nectar, and cinnamon. (If you don’t have steel-cut oatmeal, rolled oats are fine; just try to stay away from quick-cook or instant oatmeal, which are heavily processed). For added fiber, try adding a teaspoon of ground flaxseed.
- Sprouted grain toast with 100% natural peanut or almond butter. (Make sure the nut butter only contains the nut and salt, if desired. Oftentimes they can contain oil and sugar).
- Scrambled eggs (organic, preferably) with half of a whole wheat or multi-grain bagel.
- Greek yogurt (contains more protein than regular yogurt) with fresh fruit and ground flaxseed.
Try to eat breakfast as early in the day as possible.–your first meal of the day signals to your body to jump-start your metabolism. Also try to eat slowly and, if possible, sitting down and relaxed.