Choosing the right foods for breakfast can help to boost energy and curb hunger. The foods you eat for breakfast can really affect how you feel and perform throughout your morning, and there are several things that a good breakfast can do for you. It is highly recommended that you consume at least 15 grams of protein within 1 hour of waking up.
A healthy breakfast is a meal that can:
1) Keep you fueled up until your next meal or snack. A well-balanced breakfast should provide you with staying power. Foods with protein help to satisfy hunger, and high fiber foods help to fill you up.
2) Supply your body and brain with energy. In the morning, your body’s gas tank is running close to empty. When you eat the right foods for breakfast, you’re providing your muscles and brain with the fuel they need for optimal performance.
3) Help avoid blood sugar swings and reduce cravings. A balanced meal that contains both protein and healthy carbohydrates can provide a steady and sustained release of energy into your system, and help ward off wild swings in your blood sugar that can trigger cravings for sweets or other unhealthy foods. (This applies as long as you don’t have any medical issues that might affect your body’s ability to regulate your blood sugar).
4) Help you make better food choices throughout the day. Breakfast skippers often experience food cravings for sweets and fats that can persist throughout the day. But a recent study found that when breakfast is eaten, the cravings for sweets drop dramatically. And, if the breakfast is high in protein, it tends to also reduce cravings for salty, fatty foods, too. So, the right foods in the morning could help reduce cravings for unhealthy foods later in the day, and could steer you towards healthier choices.
5) Provide enough protein to help support muscle health. Eating enough protein in the morning not only helps satisfy hunger, it can also help maintain muscle health, too. For many people, typical daily meals tend to provide little protein at breakfast, a bit more at lunch, and a much larger amount at dinner – a pattern that may not provide the best conditions for the building and repairing of muscle tissue. In a study published last year, muscle protein synthesis was shown to be 25% greater in subjects whose protein intake was more evenly distributed throughout the day, compared to those who ate most of their protein at the evening meal.
I begin each day with a healthy Formula 1 Meal replacement shake by Herbalife. It contains up to 21 vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients, 9 g of protein and fiber to help support weight management. Formula 1 gives you protein and balanced nutrition. It can also be made hot and added to oatmeal on cold days.
I also mix a serving (2 scoops) in 1% milk with ice and blend OR sometimes I use water and Herbalife Protein Drink Mix which is a plant derived protein powder. It contains 24 vitamins and minerals and 15 g of soy protein per serving; great at keeping my blood sugars balanced all morning.
3 Healthy Breakfast Ideas
A balanced breakfast should provide you with a decent amount of protein (20-30 grams would be a good target) to help satisfy hunger and to support muscle health, along with some healthy carbohydrates which can provide sustained energy and fiber. Carbohydrates should include – at the very least – some fruits or vegetables; if calories allow, add some whole grains as well. This is essential after a workout.
With these simple guidelines, it’s easy to put together a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. From my own personal experience and the research of Susan Bowerman, Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife, here are a few of our favorite healthy breakfasts:
1. Spinach on top of scrambled eggs (egg whites) with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and fresh fruit on the side.
2. Fruit in Formula 1 meal replacement shake, made with low fat milk (or soy milk) or Herbalife Protein Drink Mix.
3. Greek yogurt (<10g of sugar in 6oz) with 1oz walnuts or cottage cheese (2% milkfat) topped with either fresh fruit and cinnamon or chopped raw vegetables and some fresh black pepper.
Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. Visit www.discovergoodnutrition.com