Eat Breakfast to Lose Weight … and New Recipes
What’s the most important meal of the day? Breakfast – something we’ve been told for years now. This may be true, but when you’re a New Yorker, time is of the essence and breakfast may take a backseat. Bad idea! Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day. To get the low down on breakfast and get new ideas for what to eat, read this blog post by Rachel Hochstadt, nutrition student.
I can tell you as a student studying to be a dietitian, I cherish every last minute until my alarm goes off. Since I’ve adjusted to my newly instated 8-hour work day, I’m finding that eating a home-cooked meal in the AM improves my mood, stamina and it keeps my stomach from growling until lunchtime. The problem is that most breakfasts on the run tend to be loaded with calories, fat and/or refined carbs The answer – eat at home! I’m a huge fan of Pinterest, and I’m finding it’s a great outlet to find homemade breakfast items that are affordable and nutritious too.
To no surprise, many of my busy working friends tell me they skip breakfast all the time. They claim they’re “on a budget” or “too busy”, I’ve even heard “I’m watching my weight.” However, science tells us that the body needs food in the AM in order to function properly. The body is always metabolically active, and when we don’t eat for 8-12 hours; our cells are technically “starving”. The best and most efficient way to maintain a healthy body weight is to eat breakfast, in combination with other healthy snacks and meals throughout the day.
Research shows that skipping breakfast increases the likelihood that you will overeat later on. Scientists from London’s Imperial College recently found that when comparing individuals who ate a 750-calorie breakfast to a group who ate no breakfast, an MRI showed disregulated activity in the orbitofrontal cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for decisions involving pleasure and reward (particularly with food). When subjects who hadn’t eaten, were shown pictures of high-calorie foods, this part of the brain was activated much more than in those who had eaten breakfast. Numerous studies, such as these prove that people are more likely to overeat when skipping breakfast; choosing high calorie-high fat items. Here are some affordable, tasty ideas to try at home—and I promise they won’t disappoint!
Things to look for in a breakfast:
Just because something is marketed as a breakfast item, doesn’t mean it is a great choice. When we eat in the morning its important to eat a well-balanced meal that incorporate the following things:
- Protein. I’ve found that trying to include 5-15 g of protein at breakfast is realistic for most people; some key breakfast items that have sufficient amounts of protein are peanut butter, eggs, greek yogurt and low-sugar cereals.
- Fiber. Aim for a meal in the AM with 5+ g fiber/serving. This will keep you full for majority of the morning.
- Whole grain. Refined or “white” carbs tend to make you feel hungry sooner and cause energy highs and lows. When choosing your carbohydrates, look for whole grains. They are digested more slowly by the body and provide more vitamins & minerals than plain bagels, poptarts, etc.
- Healthy fats. Examples include olive oil , avocados, nuts and seeds. A good way to sneak in healthy fats at breakfast is to include some nuts in your cereal or yogurt or avocado in your omelets.
Break the boredom with these recipes
Breakfast tostados (see pic)
- 8 small whole wheat tortillas, olive oil, fat free cooking spray, 8 eggs, 1 cup shredded low-fat cheese (of your choice), 1 avocado, 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, 2 cups cooked black beans, 1 lime in wedges
- Crisp up tortillas in oven at 400 degrees, cook eggs (however you wish), and then build your very own breakfast tostada!
- While the original recipe suggests bacon; making this delicious meal with solely beans, egg and avocado has enough healthy fats and protein to keep you full for hours
Makes 8 servings
Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie
- 1 cup ice, ½ cup frozen raspberries, ½ cup plain low fat or non fat yogurt, 1 banana, ½ cup rolled oats, 1 tbsp honey, 1 cup apple juice or coconut water (serves 2-4)
- Blend together and voila!
Apple Pie Oatmeal
1/3 cup regular oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 + ¼ cups almond milk, 1 apple cut into 1 inch pieces, 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
Whisk together oats, apple, chia seeds, applesauce, almond milk, cinnamon in pot over medium heat
Stir in vanilla once mixture thickens, pour into dish and serve with chopped walnuts and a pinch of cinnamon!
Nutritional Info (Serves 1, without walnuts): 438 kcals, 10 grams fat (healthy fats!!), 13 grams fibre, 11 grams protein. If you are watching your weight, try cutting the portion by 1/3.
And for a special treat – try these oatmeal raisin flax pancakes
What is your favorite breakfast?
I’d like to thank Rachel Hochstadt for writing this post. Rachel is soon to be a registered dietitian and is currently completing her dietetic internship with Sodexo in the NY- Metro area. Come summer 2013, Rachel will have completed her RD exam and looking for her first job. Rachel hopes to obtain a wide variety of experiences in the next couple of years while finding her nutrition niche. Rachel enjoys fitness, traveling and spending time with friends & family.