Welcome to Week 5 of the ten-week New Year Health Challenge, courtesy of Christine Kling of Body Basics LLC in Boise ID.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It is your first meal after having fasted for 7-12 hours. Starting your metabolic system back up first thing in the morning is vital to the amount of calories you will burn for the rest of your day. Forgo this important habit and your body will be running on empty and screaming at you to go eat the refrigerator.
What should you eat?
Protein should be the first priority when deciding what to eat for breakfast. It is going to help your body recover from the stresses (workouts) of the previous day by sending your cells and muscles the essential amino acids for repairing them. Without adequate protein we risk losing muscle mass, which in turn means our body fat percentages will be going up. Protein has also been proven to make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
High quality carbohydrates are beneficial in moderation, such as those with fiber and other nutrients. Try to avoid decadent breakfast temptations, such as pancakes, pop-tarts, bagels, donuts, cereal, fat-free milk, syrup and jelly. These lower quality carbs will cause a sharp spike in insulin, resulting in a sudden energy crash later. Plus, these high-glycemic carbohydrates make you crave more sugar shortly thereafter.
The science behind breakfast
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) last year analyzed a small group of 18 to 20 year old obese females. When the subjects ate a high protein breakfast (35 grams) versus skipping the meal or eating a low protein breakfast (13 grams), not only did they have increased fullness later in the day, but brain scans showed reduced activity in the area that controls food cravings. This resulted in a reduced intake of high-fat and high-sugar evening snacks.
According to other research, those who eat breakfast are:
- Less likely to be overweight – almost 5x less!
- Burn more calories throughout their day
- Are less likely to binge eat in the evening
- Are more conscience of what they are eating the rest of the day
- Able to concentrate better, especially noted in children at school
When planning for breakfast, start with protein, add some healthy fat, veggies and a service of carbohydrates, especially if you are about to work out. Some ideas include:
Turkey Bacon, Eggs (best source of protein), Greek Yogurt-Plain unsweetened, Turkey or Chicken Sausage, Cottage Cheese, Any lean meat (fish, chicken, elk steak or lean cuts of beef), Chia Seeds (4.7g per 2 T)
Avocado, Nuts or Nut butters,Extra-Virgin Olive, Avocado or Coconut Oil, Eggs yolks (2-4 per day is fine), Organic butter
Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Fruit, especially berries (1\2 cup= 1 serving), High fiber bread, Sweet potatoes, Unlimited quantities of vegetables (non-starchy), including broccoli, spinach, kale, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes
IF YOU EAT WITHIN ONE HOUR OF WAKING AND EAT AT LEAST 20g OF PROTEIN, THEN YOU GET 1 POINT FOR BREAKFAST! You also get points each day if you drink enough water, sleep enough and cut out the sugar, and exercise.
Total amount of points possible at end of week (not including BONUS) is 35.
Click here for Challenge Log.
Christine Kling is co-owner of Body Basics and privileged to share the business with her husband, James. Her passion for health and fitness began as a teen playing sports (basketball and tennis) and dancing, which led her to become a personal trainer and group exercise instructor at the age of 17. Struggling with a thyroid disorder and adrenal fatigue from Hashimoto’s auto-immune disorder also increased her love for helping people in the area of nutrition. She has experienced first-hand how diet and exercise can beat the odds! Youth Fitness, Pre-natal/Post-natal Fitness, Senior Fitness, Mat Sciences, and Indoor Cycling have been her areas of continued study and experience. A favorite quote of hers is “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”
Photo courtesy of AllRecipes.