A recent survey of over 1000 Canadians found that approximately 30% do not feel they are eating a complete breakfast. A more concerning 11% report never eating breakfast. It’s a concern because eating breakfast is one of the few habits that is known to help keep weight off. A simple meal in the morning not only jumpstarts the metabolism, it also helps to reduce cravings during the day and overeating in the evening. So what is getting in the way of a balanced breakfast? The survey showed 51% felt they didn’t have time, 39% simply were not hungry and a small percentage felt skipping breakfast would help them lose weight (not true!). If you are inconsistent with your breakfast or tired of the same old thing, read on for some new ideas.
The key to an energizing breakfast is to combine a source of carbohydrate, fibre and protein. The carbohydrate raises blood sugar and the protein and fibre help to keep you full.
Standard Breakfast with a Twist
- Bowl of cereal (look for >3grams of fibre per serving) with milk.
- Oatmeal with raisins and nuts
- Leftovers from night before
- Yogourt with 1 Tbs All Bran Buds or 2 tsp ground flax seed
- Smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber on a Ryvita flat bread
- Peameal bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich
- Grilled cheese made with whole grain bread and light cheese
- Peanut butter on whole grain bread.
No Time? Try these pre-made items
- Apple and a cheese string or baby bell cheese
- Sihouette Smoothie and an All-Bran Bar
- Amys breakfast burrito (available in healthfood freezer of grocery store)
Eat on the Run
- Scrambled egg (microwave is fastest) in a whole wheat tortilla with salsa or ketchup.
- Homemade McMuffin – scrambled egg, 1 low fat cheese slice on whole wheat English muffin.
- Yop (yogourt drink) and a baggie of dry cereal.
- Chocolate Wake Up Shake: Blend 1 cup of chocolate milk or flavoured soya milk with 1 frozen banana. (optional) Add 1 tsp ground flax seed. Put in a travel mug.
So What’s Stopping You?
I Don’t Have Time in the morning
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a big event. It takes no time to grab an apple and a piece of cheese on the way out the door. Look for portable ideas that work for you or simply get up a few minutes earlier. If it means you are a few steps closer to more energy and a healthy weight, it’s worth every minute.
I’m Not Hungry in the morning
Try eating less at night. Stop eating at least 2 hours prior to going to bed. Eat a small breakfast within 1 hour of waking up even if you are not hungry. After 1-2 weeks, your body should adjust to this new habit, breakfast should get easier and your desire to eat at night should decline.
The thought of eating in the morning turns my stomach
Start with liquids. Try a glass of water or juice before you get into the shower in the morning. The fluid helps you rehydrate and reduces the acidity in your stomach. Half an hour after the beverage, try a small breakfast.
I find eating breakfast makes me MORE hungry before lunch
Becoming hungry 2-3 hours after breakfast may be a good sign! Remember that eating in the morning jump starts your metabolism so you are simply burning through your food quickly. Plan for a snack mid-morning to keep that fire burning. Also, be sure to include a source of protein and fibre with your breakfast. These will help you stay satisfied for longer.
Morning Berry Crunch
This breakfast mix is irresistible. It is a refreshing low sugar, high fibre way to start your morning. Mix and enjoy.
0.5 cup plain unsweetened yogourt
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 Tbs Flax seed (whole or ground)
1 Tbs chopped walnuts
1 Tbs dried cranberries
1 Tbs All Bran Buds cereal
Makes 1 Serving : 215 calories, 9.5 g protein, 24g carbohydrate, 9g fat, 1g saturated fat, 2.2 omega 3 fat, 6g fibre.