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 by refueling your body and providing essential nutrients. Research has shown that eating a balanced breakfast can increase metabolism and decrease our desire to overeat. Not to mention, breakfast can improve mood, help control stress, increase the effectiveness of your exercise program and reduce your risk for lifestyle related diseases.

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 eat 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. A healthy breakfast should leave us feeling satisfied and provide us adequate energy to start the day. To meet this objective, breakfast needs to be a combination of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and a small amount of fat. Choose whole grains (toast, bagel, English muffin, oats), lean proteins (eggs, ham, powdered peanut butter), low-fat dairy (Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, cottage cheese), fruits, vegetables and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado).

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, sprinkle of reduced fat cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon avocado, and 2 tablespoons of salsa paired with a piece of fruit (480 calories, 65 grams carbohydrate, 26 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 7 grams fiber).

Fruit smoothie made with 1 cup frozen fruit, 1 (5.3oz) container Greek yogurt, 1 cup low-fat milk, 3 tablespoons powdered peanut butter and a handful of spinach (365 calories, 55 grams carbohydrate, 33 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 10 grams fiber).

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


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