Make no mistake… breakfast is king! That’s right: just as our parents have always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether you are trying to decrease body fat or just make it through the day, breakfast is an important step that should not be ignored.

There are numerous reasons why breakfast is so important. For starters, breakfast helps to set the tone for the day. It is literally a “break” from our overnight “fast,” and provides a kick-start for our metabolism. Research has shown that eating a balanced breakfast can increase metabolism and decrease our desire to overeat. It can also result in an increased level of sustained energy and ability to focus throughout the day.

Eating a balanced breakfast is not always easy. Due to busy lifestyles and demands on our time, we often resort to grabbing a quick, easy bite to eat that is often high in calories and low in nutrition. If this sounds familiar, it is time to get real and make a change. Doing so requires that you practice a little “mind over mattress”. Rest assured, the positive benefit of getting up 15 minutes earlier to prepare a nutritious breakfast far outweighs the benefit of that extra time in bed.

Once you have made the decision to develop this new habit, it is time to consider what you should be eating. Ideally, breakfast should include protein (20-30 grams), complex “slow release” carbohydrates (whole grain/high fiber foods, fresh fruits), and healthy fats (nuts, seeds and avocados).

Below are two examples of what a balanced breakfast can look like:

Mexican breakfast burrito made with 1 medium whole-wheat tortilla, 2 scrambled eggs with ½ cup cooked vegetables, 1 slice reduced fat cheddar cheese, ¼ cup sliced avocado, and 3 tablespoons of salsa (453 calories, 30.5 grams carbohydrate, 26 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 347 mg cholesterol, 776 mg sodium, 6.5 grams fiber).

Fruit smoothie made with 3 ounces Greek yogurt blended with 3/4 cup frozen fruit, 3 tablespoons powdered peanut butter and 1/2 cup low-fat milk (367 calories, 59 grams carbohydrate, 21.5 grams protein, 3.5 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 7.5 mg cholesterol, 94 mg sodium, 3 gram fiber).

This week, focus on eating a balanced breakfast every morning and get your day started out right!


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