The Top 3 Ways To Instantly Improve Breakfast
By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD
For some [horrible] reason, today’s breakfast has turned into a sugary, processed-carbohydrate, empty-calorie, fat-promoting mess.
This is not a breakfast of champions
Typical breakfast foods that most people now eat include:
• Skim Milk and a Sweet Cereal
• Toast and Jam
• Bagel and Cream Cheese
• “Breakfast Bar”
• Pancakes and Syrup (usually sugar-free/artificially flavored)
• 1 Egg with Toast
In most of these meals (other than the one with the egg), the primary ingredient is fast-digested carbohydrate, which does nothing to help you lose weight or have the energy you know you should have in the morning.
Rather, instead of eating whole balanced food for energy, people today rely on coffee (often with fat-free creamer and artificial sweetener – you don’t get more artificial than that), which is not good at all for long-term health or body composition.
In order to have the body you’ve always wanted and the health status that others are jealous of, you need to know what you should eat for breakfast. These types of foods will help you feel good, curb cravings throughout the day, and allow you to have lots of energy for exercise and other physical activities you enjoy doing (which helps you look better in your clothes).
So, we’ve created 3 Top Ways to improve breakfast and create a happy, healthy, fat-burning machine.
1. Add high-quality complete Protein
Most breakfasts are sorely lacking in protein – and no, oatmeal does not have enough protein in one bowl. This is even despite numerous studies showing that including protein in your breakfast meal, such as having 2 or more eggs, keeps you feeling fuller, and prevents hunger much better than having simple carbohydrates (like a bagel). Higher-protein meal plans are also well-studied for their ability to promote greater fat loss and a quicker metabolism than less protein.
So, at your next breakfast, ensure you include a complete protein choice on your plate such as:
• Eggs - 2 eggs a day actually keeps the doctor away. Eat them scrambled with fresh spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms and a side of fresh fruit and your day is going to be great! Or poach or boil them for a quick meal on the go.
• Whey protein – mix a scoop of whey protein with milk or water and pour this over your favorite bowl of low-sugar cereal. Or, add whey to your blender with flax seed oil, almond milk, and berries, for a high-protein smoothie. You can also add a scoop of whey to plain oatmeal after cooking to give it a boost.
• Natural nitrite-free sausage – enjoy this with fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, or toasted Ezekiel sprouted-grain bread for a satisfying meal.
• Organic cottage cheese – mixed with fresh pineapple or tomatoes is a perfect start to your day!
• Organic plain Greek yogurt – combine this with organic fresh or frozen berries and slivered almonds gives you a perfectly balanced meal.
• Natural peanut butter – paired with sprouted-grain bread. Two tablespoons of natural peanut butter provide 8-12 grams of complete protein and plenty of healthy fat.
2. Embrace Fiber
Another important aspect missing from most breakfast plates is fiber. And no – whole wheat bread is not a good source of fiber. Neither are specialty fiber breakfasts bars that are so loaded with sugar that any fiber they do contain (usually from wood pulp) is not worth it. High-fiber meals are more satiating and filling than low protein. Fiber is also associated with lower rates of cancer and diabetes.
Here are ways to include body-beautifying, belly-filling fiber into your breakfast:
• Beans – add 1/3 cup of beans to a breakfast egg burrito made with a sprouted-grain wrap, or toss with scrambled eggs and add 5 grams of fiber to your plate.
• Berries – organic berries are a great addition to oatmeal, smoothies, low-sugar cereal, and yogurt, and can add 2-3 grams of filling fiber.
• Oatmeal – the problem with most oatmeal is all the added sugar, but 1/3 cup of oats has 3 grams of fiber and no sugar! It’s perfect paired with eggs, organic cottage cheese or whey protein for a complete meal.
• Sprouted-grain bread with nut butter – found only in the freezer section of your grocery store. Sprouted-grain bread has 3 grams of fiber per slice, and nut butter has ~2 grams for a total of at least 5 grams of fiber to start your day.
• Fresh Fruit paired with a higher protein dish (yogurt, eggs) – one apple provides about 5 grams of fiber, ½ a medium grapefruit provides 6 grams of fiber, and 1 kiwi provides about 2 grams of fiber.
• Ground Flax Seeds – toss a tablespoon or two in with your breakfast protein smoothie, or add to hot cereal. Two tablespoons have 8 grams of fiber, and can help balance your hormones while lowering your bad cholesterol levels.
• Avocado – this “skinny” fat food is great on eggs. When cut in half, it packs in a whopping 5 grams of fiber and plenty of healthy monounsaturated fat that help promote a flat belly and a healthy heart.
3. Include Vegetables
Unless you have a vegetable omelet, most breakfast dishes include little to no vegetables at all. However, vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-dense and prevent many, many diseases that inflict us today. As one successful weight-loss client told me, “You can eat as many vegetables as you can fit in your body and you’ll still lose weight.”
Try these easy ways to add more vegetables to your meal and make your breakfast perfect:
• Spinach – add spinach to your eggs while cooking or stuff a large handful in with your favorite smoothie; it may make your smoothie green, but it also makes it thicker and more satisfying without ruining the taste.
• Tomatoes and cucumbers – add chopped to a bowl of organic cottage cheese for a crunchy, high-fiber breakfast.
• Baked squash – gourds such as acorn squash and butternut squash are delicious vegetables to include at breakfast. Just sprinkle with cinnamon once cooked and eat with eggs and you’ll be in breakfast heaven.
• Potatoes – no, potatoes are not evil, and yes, they can help you lose weight. Have a small side of homemade hash browns cooked with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, along with your favorite protein item, and you’re adding at least 2 grams of fiber, and plenty of hunger-fighting, fat-burning nutrients to your diet.
Next: A Sneaky New Way To Get More Protein And Fiber Into Your Belly Fat Fighting Nutrition Plan >>
Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times.
Leidy HJ, Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW.
Br J Nutr. 2009 Mar;101(6):798-803.
Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men.
Ratliff J, Leite JO, de Ogburn R, Puglisi MJ, VanHeest J, Fernandez ML.
Nutr Res. 2010 Feb;30(2):96-103.