As any dieter will tell you, skipping meals is a no-no when trying to lose weight.
Skipping meals slows down your metabolism, makes you hungrier at your next meal (tendency to overeat), and could alter your calorie intake.
However, for some reason people tend to skip at least one meal per day, even though they know that it is wrong.
Which one is the most commonly skipped meal: breakfast!
Breakfast jump-starts your day by providing a good nutritional foundation that you can build on with every meal.
It boosts your metabolism, keeps you alert (through those boring office meetings), and may even keep you fuller, for longer periods of time, potentially preventing overeating at your next snack or meal.
There is still one problem that needs to be discussed, and that has to do with time.
Most people are under a time crunch to get the kids off to school and to get to the office or morning meeting on time. This leads to skipping the most important meal of the day, which could seriously alter eating habits throughout the rest of your day.
Why Breakfast is Important
When you skip breakfast, you are fostering an environment of tiredness, grogginess, moodiness, and starvation, which could lead to poor food choices when you finally do get to eat.
If you include the right foods at breakfast, you may find increased energy, increased alertness, and best of all, you are not hungry and daydreaming about the next chance to eat.
Including a complex carb (sprouted whole-grain bread, oatmeal, etc.), a moderate amount of high-quality protein (eggs, cottage cheese, etc.), a fruit or a vegetable, and some essential fats, you may find your appetite is in control and you are ready to finally face your day.
The following is a list of the Top Four Best Breakfast Foods to Eat on a Time Crunch:
Quick Food #1: Berries (raspberries especially)
Raspberries or berries, in general, are a great pick-me-up in the morning.
Full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the tiny little fruits are great for filling up your stomach and controlling your appetite.
One cup of raspberries touts eight grams of fiber.
Plus, most berries (raspberries included) are a slowly digested fruit, which means your blood sugar creeps up slowly, which causes a slow release of insulin in your body.
This may prevent the “peaks and valleys” that you experience throughout the day, due to this slow release of sugar into your blood.
Berries have also been shown in research to boost brain power and improve cognitive function as you get older.
Quick Idea: Combine these tasty little nutritional powerhouse’s with low-fat yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese to start your day off on the right foot.
Quick Food #2: "Real" Oatmeal
What can be said about steel-cut oats?
Most people know that you need to eat real oatmeal (not the processed, instant kind) for heart health and cancer prevention, but most people still do not eat it for breakfast.
Oatmeal, which contains plenty of fiber, has been shown to slow digestion, which could keep you feeling full until your next meal.
The fiber in oatmeal has been shown to control appetite, reduce cholesterol, and may even contribute to weight loss.
In one study, they showed that eating a bowl of oatmeal a few hours before your workout, may boost fat burning.
Quick Idea: Steel-cut oats only takes five minutes to cook on the stovetop. Top it off with some flaxseeds or almonds for a great protein and essential fatty-acid source.
Quick Food #3: Homemade Smoothie
If you have ever stopped and got a commercial smoothie, then you are running the risk of sabotaging your weight loss results.
Most commercial smoothies are packed full of added sugar, which could result in increased insulin levels and greater fat storage.
Homemade smoothies, when made with coconut milk, skim milk, almond milk, low-fat yogurt, and frozen fruit or berries will provide you a whopping serving of nutrition, essential fats, and plenty of vitamins and minerals that will keep you alert and focused through the morning hours.
Quick idea: Invest in a good blender, some low-fat yogurt, frozen fruit, and make your own smoothie at home, saving extra calories from sugar and higher-fat content.
Quick Food #4: Almond Butter
Almond butter is made by crushing almonds and making a paste out of it.
Almonds, in general, are a highly-nutritious food that contains fiber, protein, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs in order to function at its best day-in and day-out.
You get healthy levels of Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus, all which are vital for the health of the cells in your body.
Plus, almonds contain essential fatty acids (in the form of ALA), which depending on what your body needs at the time, can convert these fats into the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
Quick Idea: Spread a couple tablespoons on two pieces of sprouted grain bread, and you have a quick, nutritious, breakfast that you can take on the go!
Boost Your Morning Brain Power
Including breakfast in the morning will stave off hunger fits, control your appetite, and could even boost your metabolism, priming your body for fat loss.
Who's lookin' out for ya? ;-)
Lean Body Specialist