Being the most important meal of the day, it’s important to make sure you’re doing breakfast right. It kick starts your metabolism for the day, giving you the energy to power through the working hours.
Here are four of the more common mistakes people making when approaching breakfast, and solutions to put your first meal of the day on the right track.
Mistake: You skip it to save calories
While logically it seems to make sense that skipping breakfast will in turn cut calories, but forgoing your morning meal is a known ‘fat trap.’ Researchers found that when people went without an a.m. meal, their brain reward centers lit up when they were shown images of high-calorie foods. That makes it a lot to turn down treats throughout the day, and you’ll likely compensate for the missing calories with junkie, heavier food choices throughout the day.
Solution: Force yourself to have something every morning, even if it’s something small like a banana or granola bar.
Mistake: Turning to high-carb foods for energy
Sure a muffin is considered a breakfast staple, though a typical bakery muffin packs more added sugar than you should have for the entire day—a whopping 44 grams! Foods like this, or doughnuts, bacon, etc., might seem like a good boost to start your day, but it’s actually hurting you.
Solution: If you can’t get through the morning without a sugar rush, there’re smarter ways to go about it. Chop up one tasting square of dark chocolate and mix it into your oatmeal. Or, blend up a smoothie or fold fruit into yogurt or oatmeal. And a personal favourite: top your toast with mashed avocado or almond butter, then slices of fresh figs or pears.
Mistake: You’re eating healthy…but missing produce
Only 8 percent of people eat the recommended servings of fruit per day, and an even smaller number (6 percent) meet veggie requirements. So even if you think you’re having a healthy breakfast with whole wheat toast and egg whites, not fitting in some produce may keep you from reaching nutritional goals.
Solution: Try to get at least one serving in at breakfast, just grab something on your way out. For sneakier alternatives, add greens to your smoothie, or veggies to your omelette.
Mistake: Your breakfast is too skimpy
The expression “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” holds up. Researchers have found that overweight people who consume more calories in the morning, compared to dinner time, lose more weight and have greater waistline reductions than those who flipped the numbers. And this is with the total daily calorie count being even.
Solution: Balance a combo of lean protein, healthy fat and good carbs in every breakfast. Instead of just yogurt, add in nuts and fruit. If you work normal hours, your dinner should never pack twice as many calories as breakfast.