A healthy breakfast can minimize hunger throughout the rest of the day which in turn can lead to smarter, more thoughtful decisions about later meals. For example, when we haven’t eaten well in the morning and find ourselves starving a few hours later, we tend to reach for larger portions of high-carb foods in efforts to get full, and fast. Eating a healthy and filling breakfast has also been shown to help curb impulsive eating.
Leah Woock, an R.D. for Rise, an app that connects you with a nutritionist via your iPhone, says “Our culture tends to be a bit backwards in meal planning. We tend to skimp on breakfast, and eat smaller lunches and large dinners, when in fact, everything should be in reverse — breakfast be the largest meal of the day, followed by a moderate lunch and small dinner.”
If you're ready to up your breakfast game with a meal that will get you energized and keep the hunger pains away all day, try the following breakfast ideas.
Oatmeal on its own is a solid breakfast option, but toss in a spoonful of the aptly-named superfood and you’re packing a harder nutritional punch. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber — a nutrient most people with a western diet are low on — plus lots of antioxidants. (Fun fact: chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength!)
When you make your oatmeal, add in a scoopful of chia seeds, a spoonful of almond, peanut, or your other favorite nut butter, and top it off with fruit — such as chopped banana, blueberries, or even mango.
This combination of suggested mixings is devised to get a balance of nutrients in you, first thing in the morning.
In a conscious decision to try to be healthy, I recently went for an almond butter protein shake after a morning kickboxing class — which Woock explains is essentially a milkshake. We don’t have to swear off smoothies and shakes altogether but one way to turn that smoothie into a solid breakfast is to make it yourself.
Woock recommends using spinach as the base ingredient of the smoothie, blended with raspberries and mango (fresh or frozen) and a handful of nuts.
Often the biggest challenge comes into play when you're running out the door, already running late: Enter LuliTonix, which uses fiber-rich, veggie-heavy blends that are raw and never processed, instead of sugar-heavy fruit juices. You can order LuliTonix juices online.
A good breakfast comes down to protein. Studies show that eating a lot of protein in the morning prevents mindless snacking later in the day, as well as intense cravings. Eggs are a great way to get a hearty helping of protein first thing. Eggs also make a great pick in part because they are so customizable. Add in some broccoli and tomato, or perhaps a little bit of cheese, and you’ve got more nutrients, too
But, if tuna or edamame is your preferred protein source, that can also work as a base. The key is to eat more than just carbs (pancakes and muffins are the usual breakfast culprits) and get in those other two vital macronutrients (protein and healthy fats) for a satiated morning and beyond.