By Malia Frey
It’s important to start your day with a healthy breakfast, especially if you are trying to lose weight. There are many ways in which eating a wholesome breakfast can improve your chances of weight loss success. But, the quality of your breakfast and the foods that you choose make all the difference. Use this list of dos and don’ts to make sure your breakfast stays healthy.
Healthy Breakfast Dos and Don’ts
- Do recognize the benefits of eating breakfast. If you eat a morning meal, you are going to be less likely to indulge in a late morning snack. Breakfast skippers often end up binging on food from the vending machine or making poor food choices at a fast food restaurant.
- Don’t think that your morning meal is a magic bullet for weight loss. Eating breakfast does not improve your metabolism or have any other weight loss superpowers. The calories you consume at breakfast matter just as much as the calories you eat at every other meal.
- Don’t go carb crazy. Many typical breakfasts, like cereal, pancakes or bagels, include plenty of carbohydrates, but little else. A high sugar, high carb meal may leave you feeling hungry again soon after you eat.
- Do include a source of diet-friendly protein. Egg whites, lean sausage products, Greek yogurt and other sources of protein will help you to feel full and satisfied for a longer period of time. Protein will also help you to build and maintain muscle to shape your figure and burn calories.
- Do choose whole grains if possible. The fiber in whole wheat and whole grain products provide heart healthy benefits, and like protein, will help you to feel satisfied longer.
- Don’t forget to count calories in grain products. Although whole grain breads and cereal offer some health benefits, many of them are higher in fat and calories than their refined counterparts. Remember to check the Nutrition Facts label and eat just a single serving.
- Do include a low calorie/ low sugar cereal as part of your healthy breakfast. Cereal is quick, easy, and if you add skim milk and berries can provide plenty of nutrients.
- Don’t just pour the cereal into a bowl; measure it first. Cereal is one of the most common foods we overeat. A single serving of most cereals is just one cup.
- Do enjoy a healthy low-calorie smoothie if you need to eat breakfast on the go. Include fresh fruit, yogurt and other tasty ingredients to make a satisfying breakfast drink.
- Don’t forget to measure the ingredients that you throw in the blender. Popular smoothie ingredients, like honey and fruit juice, are often high in sugar and calories. Smoothies can easily turn into a high-calorie diet disaster if you don’t watch what you throw in the mix.
- Do drink coffee in moderation if it perks you up in the morning. A cup of black coffee contains almost no calories.
- Don’t go crazy at the local coffee house. Many coffee treats contain hundreds of calories and way too much fat. If you enjoy going to Starbucks or any other coffee spot, learn how to order a low-calorie coffee drink instead.
- Do eat organic foods and selections from your local health market if you prefer. Many consumers prefer to buy berries, grains and other produce that have been grown without pesticides.
- Don’t make the mistake of overeating organic or health foods. Some studies have shown that people are more likely to overeat certain foods that they perceive to be healthy or that are labeled as organic.
Remember that eating breakfast is a good habit to get into if you want to improve your eating habits and especially if you want to lose weight. But like any other meal, it’s the quality of the ingredients and the quantity of calories that matters in the end.