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What’s the Big Deal about Breakfast?

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What’s the Big Deal about Breakfast?

9 tips for creative wake-up power.
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Sparkguy Downie More by this author
Feb 13, 2010 at 09:00 AM

From one of the nation’s leading health and fitness communities——comes great advice for starting your day with real nutritional punch:

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? Because you’ve just spent eight hours in virtual hibernation, without food or water. You’re dehydrated, and your blood sugar is so low that you have little energy. And now it’s time to get to work or hurry the kids off to school before your own eight-hour day. More than at any other point, you need nourishment. Right now.

Almost all successful SparkPeople and all who have lost 100 pounds either eat a substantial breakfast (66 percent) or eat some breakfast (25.5 percent) every day—so over 90 percent eat at least some breakfast every day. Less than 1 percent of successful members skip breakfast altogether.

While every meal matters, when it comes to nourishing your body, eating breakfast is particularly important in helping you achieve weight loss goals. That’s because those who skip this critical meal tend to snack on unhealthy, high-calorie food before lunch and throughout the day and end up eating more calories than if they’d begun with a good foundational morning meal. Breakfast eaters, on the other hand, typically cruise through the morning, brimming with energy. By the time they reach lunch, they’re more likely to make a choice that helps them stay on track because they’re not feeling depleted.

We recommend a breakfast that includes a mix of quality carbohydrates, healthy protein, and healthy fat, along with some fruit or vegetables. The average calorie range might be somewhere between 300 and 400 calories.

Here are nine of our favorite healthy breakfast ideas:

  • Incorporate complex carbohydrates, such as whole-wheat toast and bagels.
  • Spread peanut butter and raisins on top for added flavor.
  • Bake bran muffins early in the week. Make sure they are reasonably sized—somewhere between mini-muffins and the commonly oversized versions often found at a bakery. Grab a muffin and a glass of milk to make a complete breakfast.
  • Prepare a casserole the night before. Pop it in the microwave when you wake up and it will be ready to go when you are.
  • Have you ever tried a tortilla for breakfast? Wrap up cold turkey and cheese, grab an apple, and you’re on your way.
  • Don’t forget cold cereal. We’re not talking about the kind covered with sugar, but the healthy variety. Items such as bran flakes and shredded wheat usually make good choices.
  • Whole-egg or egg-white omelets with fresh or frozen veggies (carrots, broccoli, celery, peppers, onions, and even black beans) help you meet your quota for vegetables and protein.
  • Make a shake or a smoothie. Blend fruit and low-fat yogurt and then drink it in the car. A side option is a small bag of finger food, such as a mixture of granola and grapes.
  • Eat oatmeal! In a recent SparkPeople survey, oatmeal was the number-one breakfast choice of SparkPeople!

Action Step: Eat a substantial breakfast each day.

About Author
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Downie is the founding force behind SparkPeople. He used proven health, goal-setting and motivation techniques to co-found an early Internet company, which became eBay's first acquisition. With the freedom and the capital to help other people r Continue reading