Breakfast is arguably the most challenging meal of the day. Unless you have created a morning routine that is structured and organized, you might be in a hurry or focused on responsibilities other than eating. Unfortunately, because mornings can be so hectic, breakfast often drops on the list of priorities.
This must change if you want to lose weight. Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the days eating and can mean the difference between dropping pounds and packing them on. The morning meal also provides you with the energy needed to take healthy action throughout the day.
What are some of the most common breakfast mistakes that cause weight gain?
Not everyone is a morning person. There are things you can do to alter your internal clock and make yourself more alert in the morning, but the transition takes time. Meanwhile, you might wander through your morning meal like a zombie. Even if your mind is foggy first thing when you wake up, do your best to focus on what you are eating.
Its taken some practice, but Im fairly alert in the morning. However, even when I experience an occasional morning fog, I try to make smart breakfast choices. Never grab the first convenient thing that looks appealing.
One of the best ways to avoid mindless eating first thing in the morning is to prepare part of your breakfast the night before. Ive found that if I lay out most of what I need for a healthy meal, I am less tempted to grab for something unhealthy.
Use meal planning for breakfast, just as you do for the other meals of the day and eating healthy becomes easier, even if it takes you awhile to wake up.
There are few times during the day when a large glass of juice seems more appealing than first thing in the morning. I usually wake up parched and could down several glasses before taking a bite of food. Unfortunately, juices are packed with sugar and calories.
Instead of drinking one or more glasses of juice, Im in the habit of gulping a large glass of water as soon as I wake up. This satisfies my thirst, so I am not tempted to do so with juice. Next, I make smart juice choices. Fruit and vegetable juices can be an extremely healthy option for breakfast, but it is important to not overdue it.
Freshly squeezed or blended juice is always the best option and it is also a good idea to blend fruits and vegetables into the same juice concoction. This reduces calories without decreasing service size and it adds an extra serving of veggies or two for your daily intake.
Beware the store-bought juices, even if they claim to be healthy. Most are filled with sugar and preservatives, and rarely provide the vitamins and nutrients of freshly prepared juice from whole fruits and veggies.
Somewhere along the way, carbs became king of breakfast. We associate foods such as pastries, doughnuts, muffins, waffles, and pancakes with the morning meal, and in some cases, top those with sugary syrups, jams, and spreads. All of these foods are diet saboteurs and better left on the dessert tray or avoided all together if you are trying to lose weight.
These typical breakfast foods are high in refined carbohydrates, which have no nutritional value and pack on the pounds. Meals packed with refined and simple carbohydrates leave you feeling hungry in no time at all, so you end up overeating, but never really nourishing your body.
If you are trying to lose weight, focus on protein first thing in the morning. Carbs are not the only breakfast tradition! Beginning your day with eggs is a great option for a healthy breakfast, and if you are still craving carbs, add a slice of whole grain toast.
Some medical studies show coffee offers a variety of health benefits, but those vanish when coffee is served with heaping teaspoons of sugar, flavored syrups, and powdered creamers. If you love to begin your morning with coffee, enjoy it black or with a touch of organic cream or almond milk.
Taking a Pass
You might think with all these breakfast rules, it might be better to skip the meal completely. Dont fall into this trap! Skipping breakfast is a big dieting mistake. Ive spoken to many people trying to lose weight and they tell me theyve cut calories and cant figure out why the pounds are not vanishing.
Eventually, I realize the calories they have cut from their daily intake are those from breakfast.
In order to lose weight, you must eat breakfast. Ideally, eat it within one hour of waking up and make it a significant meal. Consider it your fuel for the first part of your day because without it, you will feel sluggish and lack energy two things that will surely sabotage diet and fitness efforts.
If you are struggling with a weight loss program and you havent examined your breakfast habits, now is the time. Revamping your first meal of the day could lead to diet success!