A healthy breakfast will nourish your body, give your energy for the rest of the day, prevent hunger pangs, etc.
The benefits are plenty.
For that reason, breakfast has an enormous impact on your fitness, health, and overall well-being.
5 Common Breakfast Mistakes and How to Fix Them
In today’s post, I’m going to expose the seven of the biggest breakfast nutrition people make and how to fix them for good.
So, are you excited?
Then here we go.
Mistake # 1 Skipping Breakfast
I know. I know.
Skipping breakfast is not inherently a bad thing—especially if you’re doing intermittent fasting the right way.
That said, capering breakfast and intermittent fasting is a topic for another day.
The Perils of Breakfast skipping
If you opt for a healthy breakfast, you’re more likely to eat healthier the rest of the day.
But if junk food is the norm in your life, skipping breakfast will only cause more harm than good.
And research agrees.
According to a study out of the Harvard School of Public Health, people who miss breakfast tend to make wrong food choices through the day.
As a rule of thumb, a good breakfast should be about the same size, calorie-wise, as your lunch or dinner.
To make the most out of it, be sure to load up on natural foods (just like some of the examples mentioned below).
Further, make sure it’s a balanced meal— half of your plate should be vegetables and fruits, a quarter protein, and a quarter whole grains.
Also, the caloric content of your breakfast should be within your overall daily calorie target.
For the average active person, that means around 700 calories for breakfast, 800 for lunch, and 700 for dinner, as well as 200 to 300 total for snacks.
Mistake # 2 Eating Junk Food
If your idea of breakfast is a glass of fruit juice, sugary cereal, or doughnuts, you’re heading in the wrong direction.
As previously stated, a healthy breakfast sets the foundation of every bite you take for the rest of the day. It improves your concentration, increases your energy, aids in weight loss, etc.
I can go on and on.
But here is the little caveat.
If you’re starting your day with junk food, you’ll contravene many of the benefits that breakfast has to offer.
Typically, junk foods pack in plenty of sugar and unhealthy fats, which can take a toll on your waistline, energy levels, and overall health levels.
And the bad news, a lot of people are caving into junk food,
For instance, typical cereals are nothing are loaded with sugar and refined grains.
Depending on the brand, over half of your bowl might be made of sugar.
Overeating sugar at breakfast (or any time of the day, for that matter) will spike your blood sugar levels, resulting in grumbling belly and cravings for empty calories in the morning.
Instead of junk food for breakfast, eat a nutritional meal.
Simple carbs—think refined and processed sugars—are the ultimate villain..
Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and dairy are smart choices.
Mistake # 3 You’re not Getting Enough Protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient that not only provides fuel for your body but also helps curb food cravings.
Protein is also the backbone of the recovery and repair process.
Plus, as research shows, a diet rich in protein can aid in weight loss and help to manage metabolic issues, such as type II diabetes.
Research conducted at the University of Missouri found that boosting protein intake at breakfast can better regulate blood sugar spikes.
Although the answer to how much protein you should consume depends on your fitness goals, training intensity, activity levels, and personal preferences, as a general rule, aim to get 100 to 120 grams of protein a day.
That puts it at around 30 to 35 grams of protein—roughly four ounces of chicken—at each meal.
For a protein-rich meal, you don’t have to feast on a big breakfast of eggs and steak to consume enough protein.
Best sources include cottage cheese, eggs, nut butter, Greek yogurt, etc.
Here are a few ideas:
- A vegetable omelet with whole grain bread
- Whole grain toast with nut butter
- Eggs, cheese, and a piece of fruit.
- Oatmeal with Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds and a banana
Mistake # 4 You’re Shunning Fats
The belief that eating fat makes you fat is the most common myth out there.
Here is the truth.
Fats are not created equal.
And casting them as the ultimate villain is like tossing the holy water with the baby still in it.
As a matter of fact, fatty foods, just like carbohydrates and protein, are an integral part of a well-balanced diet.
Healthy fats maintain cardiac function, regulate hormone production, producing sex hormones, aiding in the absorption of certain vitamins, etc.
The list goes on.
Fats also make you feel satisfied for longer, which, just like protein, can help you curb food cravings for the rest of the day.
As a rule of thumb, include a healthy fat item in the most important meal of the day.
Good sources of healthy fats include:
- Olive and coconut oil,
- Nut butter,
- Fatty fish,
- Flax seeds,
- Nuts, and
- Full-fat yogurt (such as Greek yogurt).
Mistake # 5 Fruit Juice
Many health-conscious folks turn to juicing as a way of getting more vitamins and minerals.
Not completely true.
The fact is, juicing could be as bad as eating junk food.
Most of the store-bought juices are loaded with sugars and artificial additives—even when it’s made from 100 percent fruit.
For instance, one whole medium-size orange contains roughly 62 calories, but it takes three to make a 16-ounce glass of juice.
You probably would not consume three oranges in a sitting, but it’s not hard to slosh in 200 calories worth of juice.
The healthy thing to do is to toss the calorie-laden drink and have a glass of water.
Or, opt for whole fruits instead of juices. Eat the orange itself.
Natural foods offer you all the nutrients of the juice along with stomach-filling and hunger-fighting fiber that can help you tame cravings.
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So, are you guilty of these six breakfast blunders?
If the answer is yes, then you got to fix the error of your ways—or suffer the dire consequences.
Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper.
This old saying still holds true today.
So keep it on your mind throughout the day, and you’ll be one step closer to reaching your fitness and health goals in no time.
So, be sure to have a complete and well-balanced meal. Include healthy sources of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and fats in your breakfast.
The rest is just details.
For more tips on healthy eating, check my diet page here.