They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some people believe in this religiously, some don’t (because the surprising truth is that it actually isn’t the most important meal of the day). Just like we’ve been led to believe that eating 6 meals a day is necessary, we have also been led to believe that we have to eat breakfast or else the world will end.
Although I don’t usually eat breakfast because I am an advocate of intermittent fasting, I am not against it. I love eating breakfast foods. It’s just not something that I do on a daily basis because intermittent fasting fits better for my lifestyle.
Unfortunately, a lot of people eat breakfast in a way that could actually be detrimental to them. Below are 8 reasons why your breakfast sucks and what you can do to improve it.
1. Your breakfast consists of nothing but processed foods like pancakes, cereal, and/or bread. These are all full of sugar. Better alternatives: protein pancakes, oatmeal, or even quinoa.
2. Your breakfast consist of nothing but one piece of fruit. Waking up, taking a shower, grabbing a banana, heading out the door, then eating that banana on the way to work isn’t exactly a great way to have breakfast. That one piece of fruit won’t do much for you, and will most likely just leave you hungry later craving for more foods. Try Tim Ferris’s 3-minute slow carb breakfast if you’re short on time.
3. Too many fruits. Most fruits are fast-digesting, high in sugar, and doesn’t do the job of keeping you full. Having only fruits for breakfast is the equivalent of drinking cups and cups of juice.
4. Not enough fiber. If you really like to have fruits with your first meal of the day, then no problem. Kill two birds with one stone though by eating fruits high in fiber such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, oranges, cherries, and bananas. But keep in mind, limit your fruit intake!
Other high fiber foods that aren’t fruits: oatmeal, brown rice, lentils, barley, black beans, almonds, almonds, green peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and potatoes.
5. Your breakfast mainly comes from fast food restaurants. I’m talking Dunkin’ Donuts glazed donuts, McDonald’s Wake-up Wraps, and Starbuck’s Sausage & Cheddar breakfast sandwiches. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with these foods. I’d be lying if I said that I never have my favorite Sausage, Egg, and Cheese McGriddle from time to time. The problem, though, is when people literally have these foods on a daily basis. Sure there’s protein in most of these sandwiches, but let’s not forget that they’re still processed in one way or another.
6. It’s not high in protein. Whether your goal is fat loss or muscle gain you need to have a high-protein diet, and in order to hit your protein requirements you must consume a considerable amount of protein-packed foods with every meal.
Make your first meal high in protein and you’ll hit your requirements with no problem (and you’ll feel full for a longer time too). If you have to, eat some lean meat with your meal. I do it all the time. Who says breakfast has to be eaten with only “breakfast food”?
7. There are no healthy fats. Too many people consume too many carbs for breakfast (see #1). In addition to protein and fiber, you must also make sure to include healthy fats in your breakfast. Foods like eggs, nuts, peanut butter, and avocados are all great sources of healthy fats.
8. You’re drinking your calories. A cup of Tropicana orange juice has almost the same amount of calories as a can of Bud Light. It also has almost the same amount of sugar as a cup of Pepsi. If you’re having a drink other than water for breakfast, just be conscious of what you’re having and how much. The calories add up easily because of the simple fact that you’re just drinking them.
To get the most out of breakfast, you must make sure that what you’re eating is well-balanced with carbs, protein, and fat. Don’t be scared to have real foods instead of just sticking with traditional breakfast foods. By doing so, you’re priming your body for fat loss while maintaining your energy level throughout the day.
Need some ideas for your next breakfast? Check out these pictures uploaded by users on Flickr:
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