Many of us have heard the saying that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day.” But what is the truth behind this statement, especially with regards to achieving a healthy weight? While results have sometimes been mixed, there is much research to suggest that skipping breakfast is correlated with being overweight. Furthermore, eating late at night AND skipping breakfast may be associated with a higher risk of becoming overweight.
So what are the benefits of eating breakfast? In addition to potentially supporting a healthy weight, a nutritious breakfast can provide energy for our body and brain, promoting focus and productivity for the day. Some research suggests that consuming breakfast helps us to regulate overall calorie intake for the day, and individuals that consume a nutritious breakfast tend to eat less later in the day.
In my experience working with patients trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast seems to be a very common trend. Reasons for skipping breakfast include time constraints and not feeling hungry first thing in the morning. However, by skipping breakfast, you may in fact be impacting your metabolism for the day, promoting more fat storage from meals later in the day.
So what should we eat for breakfast? Research suggests that a breakfast containing protein and fiber may be the best option. For anyone with time constraints, this could be as simple as having a protein shake and an apple. For someone with more time in the morning, this might mean trying out a recipe for protein pancakes or high fiber muffins. If lack of hunger is an issue in the morning, this may be a sign of a sluggish metabolism. The best strategy to wake up that metabolism is to begin consuming a small protein based breakfast on a regular basis.
Protein Pancake Breakfast:
3 egg whites
1/3 cup plain oatmeal
Optional: cinnamon to taste
Optional: ½ scoop protein powder
Blend ingredients (in a blender) until batter-like consistency
Pour blended ingredients into pre-heated pan/skillet with nonfat cooking spray and cook like a traditional pancake.
Top with a tsp of natural almond butter and some blueberries or other low sugar toppings of your choice!