According to studies, people who eat breakfast usually weigh less(1)— and those who skip the first meal of the day tend to choose high-calorie foods later for lunch and dinner. This increases the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.(2)
However, it’s important to remember that not all breakfasts are created equal! A bowl of store-bought chocolate granola is loaded with sugar and anything but healthy. It all comes down to a balanced meal.
A healthy breakfast…
…gives you energy all morning long and provides your body with important nutrients. And it tastes good too! But breakfast is often forgotten or substituted with unhealthy foods.
What other common mistakes do people make in the morning?
Mistake #1: You have breakfast on the go
Solution: Take time to eat in the morning
Instead of making breakfast, you hit the snooze button. Then you pick up something quick at the bakery and scoff it down in the car or on public transport. And you think, “What’s the harm in this?” After all, our body doesn’t care if we eat at a table, on the go, or in a rush. But what does matter is how much we concentrate on our meal: people who focus on their breakfast tend to eat more mindfully. The results of a study suggest that walking distracts our brain and therefore we consume more calories when we eat on the go.(3) Plus, not chewing food properly because we are in a hurry can lead to digestive problems.
Tip: If you don’t have time in the morning or you’d rather sleep a little longer, prepare your healthy breakfast the night before. How about making a creamy mango coconut chia pudding?
Mistake #2: You are skipping the fiber
Solution: Opt for oats or other whole grain products
If you consume a ton of sugar for breakfast, you’ll be hungry again in an hour or two. Why? Your blood sugar spikes after eating but then drops again just as quickly. Plus, a meal rich in simple carbohydrates is easy to digest. The energy boost it gives your body is short-lived and soon you will be hungry again. Why? Because your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard. These carbohydrates are absorbed directly from your intestines into your bloodstream in their simplest form (monosaccharides or simple sugars). Sugary breakfast cereals are thus quick to digest.
Foods high in fiber (for instance, oatmeal, whole grain products, legumes, vegetables, etc.) are the exact opposite: you feel full longer because the fiber expands in your stomach and takes longer to travel to your intestines. Fiber keeps your intestines healthy, lowers your risk of diabetes, and can even prevent colon cancer.(4) You should consume 30 g of high-fiber foods per day. How does a bowl of zucchini porridge with berries sound for breakfast?
Mistake #3: You aren’t getting enough protein
Solution: High-protein meals prevent cravings
Fiber is not the only thing keeping you satiated. Protein also plays a big role in how full you feel. An adequate intake of protein can help curb food cravings. Therefore, make sure to get plenty of the macronutrient with your breakfast. What are good sources of protein? A vegetable omelet with whole grain bread, oatmeal with (soy or Greek) yogurt and fruit, or whole grain toast with nut butter, banana, and chia seeds. If you need something quick, a homemade breakfast smoothie will do, too.
Did you know that…
1-1.7 g of protein per kg of body weight taken throughout the day is all you need, depending on your daily activity level.
Mistake #4: You are foregoing the fat
Solution: Skip low-fat products — choose healthy fats
Fat makes you fat? It’s not as simple as that. The times when so-called light products were recommended as part of a healthy diet are long gone. Foods high in fat should, like carbohydrates and protein, be an integral part of your diet. You should consciously include healthy fat in the most important meal of the day. Nut butters, seeds, avocados, or plain yogurt (regular fat) are good options. They keep you feeling full and taste great.
Mistake #5: You aren’t eating enough
Solution: Fill up with decent portions
A healthy breakfast gives you a good start to the day. If you choose a balanced meal in the morning, chances are that you will eat healthier the rest of the day. Don’t be afraid to eat a big breakfast: to get your metabolism going in the morning, it’s a good idea to fill up on natural foods (like the examples we mentioned above). That way you are prepared for the day and don’t have to worry about dealing with a grumbling stomach hours before lunch.
So you can see it’s no accident that breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day! Make sure to eat a balanced diet, focus while eating and feel free to fill up on natural foods.
Are you ready to eat a healthy breakfast without sacrificing flavor?
Try these five tasty recipes:
We’ve summarized the important info for you here: