Here’s the skinny on breakfast: breakfast is huge! That’s right, just as our parents have always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether you are trying to lose weight and decrease body fat or just trying to make it through the day, it is an important step you do not want to skip.

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

Eating a balanced breakfast is not always as easy as it sounds. Due to busy lifestyles and demands on our time, it is often overlooked. Oftentimes, when we do have a chance to grab a bite to eat in the morning, it is usually quick and carb heavy. Generally, in this scenario, the first step is to develop the habit of eating breakfast. This will require a little “mind over mattress” and planning ahead. Once the habit is set, begin working on balancing your breakfast.

Ideally, breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day and include protein (15-20 gm), complex (“slow release“) carbohydrates and healthy fats. Below are two examples of what a balanced breakfast can look like:

Breakfast burrito made with 1 whole-wheat tortilla (weighing about 50 grams), 1/2 cup egg substitute scrambled with 1/2 cup assorted cooked vegetables, and 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheese (304 calories, 32 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 25 grams protein, 7 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 669 mg sodium).

Smoothie made with 4 ounces Greek yogurt blended with 3/4 cup frozen fruit and 1/2 cup soy milk or low-fat milk (245 calories, 45 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 15 grams protein, 3 grams fat).

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


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