When it comes to health, fitness, and staying happy, every positive thing you do for yourself helps. So, why not start at breakfast? According to Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons, author of “Potatoes, Not Prozac”, there are four simple rules you can follow at breakfast time to help you shed pounds, fight sugar crazvings, and boost your mood to boot.
1. Get into a daily habit. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy, well-balanced meal in the morning helps you sustain your energy levels and can prevent those late-day sugar/carb snack cravings that are a lot of people’s downfall.
2. Don’t wait. Breakfast packs the most energy sustaining punch if you eat it within an hour or so of waking up. When you first wake up, your brain is still washed with a chemical that masks hunger pangs, but your blood sugar is low. To cut those sugar cravings that will come later, eat early - even if you’re not hungry.
3. Eat complex carbohydrates. Go with things like whole-grain cereals, steel-cut oats and/or high-fiber fruits. The fiber helps your blood sugar stabilize and the bulk helps you feel full longer.
4. Bump it up with protein. Protein in your stomach slows digestion, it acts to keep your blood sugar on an even keel, and protein containing a bit of depression-fighting tryptophan helps your mood. The Doc suggests eating 1/3 of your daily protein at breakfast.
Need more reasons to make a healthy breakfast part of your routine?
Studies show that people who eat breakfast have greater success at weight loss and weight maintenance than those who don’t.
A high fiber breakfast will help you stay more alert than if you start your day with a high-fat meal.
Eating whole rather than refined grain cereal can lower your risk for heart disease.
Are your mornings rushed? If you don’t think you’ve got time for breakfast in the morning, stock your fridge with ready-to-eat goodies for the go. Throw some fruit and veggies in one sandwich bag and a hard-boiled egg in another. Then, grab a yogurt cup (and maybe a napkin while you’re at it) – and you’re off. Eat an early, nutritious to-go meal like that and you won’t be hit with those sudden hunger pangs that make the drive-thru seem tempting later on.