Fourteen Ways to a Better Breakfast

We’ve all done it. Some of us are too tired, too busy, or too cranky to eat breakfast in the morning. Others may think they are sparing themselves some added calories but in actuality breakfast is the one meal you don’t want to skip. Below are some interesting, useful, and easy tips to follow to help you make the most of your breakfast.

1. Don’t Skip It!

More than half of American’s do and lose out on some major benefits. People who eat breakfast in the morning can concentrate and focus more easily than those who don’t. In addition, eating breakfast regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight by kicking your metabolism into gear. Breakfast eaters also tend to eat less calories over the course of the day and aren’t as prone to crazy swings in blood sugar which usually pushes people to chow down on carb-rich foods that are high in fat.

2. Don’t Wait Too Long

The best time to get your belly some morning grub is within 60 to 90 minutes of getting up. Waiting longer than this sends the body into starvation mode and in turn slows down your metabolism. This doesn’t mean that you need to sit down to a complete meal right away- a small piece of fruit, yogurt, or even your skim latte will do the trick of kicking your metabolism into gear

3. Grab a Glass of Milk

You’ve heard this before and it’s splashed across the Got Milk? commercials but it can’t be stressed enough! The body needs calcium for strong, healthy bones and most Americans don’t get the amount they need. Sneak in an extra serving by eating a bowl of cereal with soy or cow’s milk, add a slice of cheese to your toast, or have a Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit!

4. Sneak in Fruits & Veggies

It is recommended that people eat at least five servings of fruit or vegetables a day, which can be a difficult talk to accomplish in the midst of juggling your work load at the office or running around with the kids. Fruits & veggies are loading with antioxidants that help protect the body from heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. While you may usually think to pair fruit with your breakfast, veggies can work great too! Spinach, tomatoes, and diced zucchini can all be easily added to an egg white omelet or you can puree a handful of carrots in your smoothie!

5. Fiber is your friend!

Fiber is the trick to feeling fuller longer so be sure to get enough of it at breakfast. It takes its time to digest so you won’t feel famished by lunch time. Some great ideas for fiber-rich breakfast choices include oatmeal, quinoa, or whole-wheat toast.

6. Pro Pro Protein

Protein and fat help the belly feel more satisfied and full, so it is recommended that at least one of these be included at breakfast. Some good lean protein choices include eggs, low-fat or skim milk, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt. Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fat, a small handful of 10-15 will keep your portions in check!

7. Back Away from the Fruit Loops

It’s tempting to want to reminisce about the good old days as a kid with a bowl of Lucky Charms or Fruity Pebbles but sugary cereals are the kiss of death if you are trying to keep your weight in check. The extra calories from the sugar will be converted to fat! Sugary cereals can also cause your blood sugar level to soar and once it crashes, you’ll be feigning for even more fattening munchies. Switching cereals doesn’t have to be torturous. You can start to switch half your sweetened cereal for a whole-bran one. A good tip is to choose one with at least five grams of fiber. (You’ll also be taking care of tip # 5 with this one!) Keep switching out more sugary cereal to the healthier one until you can cut it out completely.

8. Smoot-hie Moves

Smoohies can be an excellent choice if you are constantly on the go in the am. You can easily and quickly create your own. Throw a cup of almond milk, two tablespoons of natural peanut butter, a cup of ice, a cup of your favorite fruit, a dash of cinnamon, and blend ‘til frothy. A combo like this will give you calcium plus a serving of fruit and healthy fat. If you don’t have time to make your own, be sure to order carefully when you’re out. Ask for the smallest size, low-fat or non-fat milk, and skip the sweeteners like chocolate syrup and agave. You can still have nut butter but just ask for half the usual added amount.

9. Put Down the OJ

It sounds like a fast way to get a serving of fruit, right? Wrong, it’s a fast way to pump your body full of a sugar overload and extra calories. A single glass of OJ holds 112 calories and 20 grams of sugar. Dump the glass and eat a whole orange, which contains only 60 calories plus fiber!

10. Spice Up Your Life!

Spices are a good way to take your breakfast from bland and boring to tantalizing your taste buds. Did you know that spices are packed with anti-oxidants, a little fiber, and little to no calories? Sprinkle some cinnamon in your oatmeal or liven up your omelets with a dash or basil and oregano.

11. Omega-3s in Need

Everyone can benefit from eating more omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help reduce inflammation in the body, boost mood, and best of all can help burn fat. Some great ways to boost your omega-3 intake include, adding flaxseed to yogurt or oatmeal and choosing eggs that are fortified with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid found in salmon.

12. Artificial Sweeteners- Too Good to Be True

While artificial sweeteners are calorie free, they end up making you crave sweets. If you usually use Equal or Sweet-N-Low in your morning coffee or tea, it’s best to switch the all-natural stuff but only use a bit. Artificial sweeteners hide in tons of packaged foods like instant oatmeal, some cereals, and yogurts so be sure to read the labels. If you really can’t bear to incorporate real sugar into your diet, then try your best to cut consumption of artificial sweeteners in half.

13. Plain Jain

Try your best to choose the plainest, lowest-sugar versions of everything that you eat, including oatmeal and yogurt. Use the tricks in the previous tips to add your own flavor. It may seem boring, but studies have shown that as American adults ate more added sugars, their body index rose. So skip the apples and cinnamon flavored oatmeal and sprinkle in some cinnamon to your plain oatmeal and slice up a fresh apple.

14. Be a Morning Vegetarian

While the sausage links and sides of bacon may tantalize your taste buds, they are loaded in saturated fat which isn’t any good for the heart or the waistline. Some good meat-free protein choices include eggs, beans, nuts, and quinoa. If you’ve gotta have the meat, opt for organic turkey bacon. It is lower in calories and has fewer nitrites than other breakfast meats.

Happy Noshing!

Article courtesy of  iVillage.

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