Mornings are busy. Making sure you get your breakfast in before school or work can be a challenge. Many argue that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Regardless, building a healthy breakfast habit is possible with proper planning. Here are some tips to help make your breakfasts both nutritious and convenient.
1. Meal Prep in Advance
So many breakfasts can be prepared the night before either partially or in their entirety. Overnight oats, peanut butter and banana tortilla wraps, and yogurt parfaits are good examples of meals you can have ready when you wake up. Prepping meals the night before or even at the beginning of the week makes it so you can just grab them and go. It just might let you get an extra five minutes of sleep!
2. Choose at Least Three of the Four Food Groups
Let’s be honest. Most breakfast foods are basically meat and carbs. Toast, eggs, and pancakes are among the more popular options.
However, to ensure that your breakfast is nutritious and filling, you should include at least three of the four food groups: milk and alternatives, grains, fruit and vegetables, and meat and alternatives.
Adding a piece of fruit or a glass of milk to your breakfast is a great way to improve it to a well-balanced standard.
3. Choose Your Drinks Wisely
Whether it’s your morning latte or even just a cup of juice, you could be consuming more sugar than you realize. Selecting a morning drink with lower sugar content is a great way to cut your daily intake. Although fruit juice has the delicious taste of fruit, it lacks the nutritional benefits you get when you eat the entire fruit. In other words, you’re basically drinking sugar when you reach for the orange juice. Have an orange instead.
4. Don’t Skip Breakfast!
Even if you aren’t a morning person or you’re just not that hungry in the morning, skipping a meal can have a negative effect on your health. Low blood sugar can lead to fatigue, moodiness, and difficulty with concentration. Also, skipping meals can actually slow down your metabolism, making your fitness goals even harder to reach. Even just grabbing a piece of fruit and a protein bar on your way out the door is enough to make sure you eat something to get your day off to the right start.
5. Limit the Sugar, Increase the Whole Grains
So many convenient breakfast foods are high in sugar: sugary cereals, pastries, toaster waffles with syrup, just to name a few. Replace these sugary treats with something made from whole grains and your body will thank you later. A great choice includes whole wheat toast topped with either egg and avocado or natural peanut butter and a sliced banana. Another option is to leave the Corn Pops on the shelf at the grocery story and grab a whole grain cereal low in added sugar instead. Always be sure to check the labels.
Remember, reaching fitness goals requires discipline in the kitchen, not just in your choice of exercise. Building good eating habits, starting with breakfast, will make it easier for you to lead a healthy lifestyle.