Balanced Breakfast

Today’s contribution is by Alissa Palladino, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-CPT of Good Measure Meals

You’ve probably heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and with good reason. Breakfast literally breaks your overnight fast, giving you the boost you need to start your day.

Research shows that regular breakfast eaters are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than chronic breakfast skippers. Eating a balanced breakfast sets a positive tone for the day, and ensures you’re not ravenous by the time lunch rolls around. This is important because undereating is one of the biggest triggers for overeating- it’s hard to make a healthy choice at lunch when you’re “hangry.”

What you choose to eat in the morning also matters. Many American breakfast foods (bagels, donuts, muffins, juice, some breakfast cereals) are high in refined carbs and sugar, setting you up for an energy crash.

Instead, opt for a balance of protein, fiber, and a little bit of healthy fat in your morning meal to stay energized and satisfied until lunch. Try:

  • Greek yogurt or cottage cheese topped with berries and a sprinkle of nuts
  • Oatmeal made with milk and a spoonful of nut butter
  • Egg or tofu scramble with veggies plus whole grain toast
  • Smoothie made with fruit, milk and Greek yogurt; add greens for extra fiber and nutrients

Time can be a major barrier to making breakfast part of your daily routine, so having some go-to recipes that you can prep ahead is key. Overnight Oats, made with oats, milk and Greek yogurt, or egg and veggie cups made in muffin tins paired with a piece of fruit are both easy, balanced options. When you’re on-the-go, choose a whole grain English muffin egg sandwich instead of a pastry for greater satiety and more stable energy levels.

Finally, don’t let lack of prep be your excuse for skipping breakfast (or grabbing a donut!) When all else fails, a piece of fruit plus a Greek yogurt or string cheese will provide the fiber, protein and healthy fat to help you power through your morning.