What's Your Breakfast Personality?

Skip the most important meal of the day? You’d never do something like that, right? Except for those days when the kids get up late and the morning devolves into chaos. Oh, and those days when you’re due to give a speech at the board meeting and the thought of food before public speaking turns your stomach. And wait, doesn’t a cup of coffee count as “breakfast” anyhow? 

Well, for all of us who are skipping or may skip breakfast depending on circumstances, keep this in mind - breakfast should make up 30 percent of your day’s calories, says registered dietitian Debbi Beauvais, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. And if you think skipping breakfast is your own little trick to weight loss, think again. Studies show that eating breakfast can help you lose weight. 

Convinced yet? If you’re just now hopping on the breakfast bandwagon, here are options to choose from based on your breakfast personality.
 

The Relaxing Weekend Breakfast
It’s Saturday morning and you actually have time to make breakfast. What’s the best option? French toast made from whole-grain bread is one of Beauvais’ favorites. Rest assured, it’s OK to indulge in some carbohydrates and low-calorie syrup once a week. Another option is to use whole-wheat flour for pancakes, then mix in fruit, such as blueberries or diced apples.
The On-the-Go Breakfast
When in a rush, you may be tempted to grab a doughnut for the road, but sugary options like pastries are high in calories and only give you a short-lived burst of energy. You will be sleepy again before you know it. “What I do,” says Bill Harper, celebrity trainer of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, “is keep a dozen hard-boiled eggs in my fridge that I can grab and go. I also have a serving of berries in a baggie in my fridge that I can grab.” 

Beauvais suggests portable yogurts, such as Go-Gurt. Your kids may already love these, and they’re great for adults, too. (No spoon needed!) “Yogurt brings some protein and gives you that feeling of satiety that will make you not want to munch later.” She also recommends low-fat granola that you can put in a bag and take with you.
  
The ‘But I’m Not Hungry in the Morning’ Breakfast
Skipping breakfast means you likely will end up eating more calories later, Beauvais says. “Most people eat their last meal between 5 and 8 p.m. It’s a long time before your body gets nourishment again.” That’s why it’s important to, quite literally, break the fast. If, however, you have trained your body to skip breakfast, you might feel a little queasy at the thought of a large meal right after waking up. 

That’s OK, Beauvais says. “You kind of have to start and get your body used to it.”
She suggests getting used to one egg, scrambled. “It’s a very mild option, easy on the digestive system,” she says. Eggs are a great source of protein and the nutrient choline, which is instrumental in brain health. Work up to adding a piece of whole-grain toast
(lightly buttered if you must). Whole grains are lower in fat and have been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

The Kid-Friendly Breakfast
This may not come as a shock, but kids love cereal. The key is to give them plenty of healthy options, which will keep breakfast from getting boring.“Whole grains should be the
first ingredient,” Beauvais says. Next, she says, look at the sugar content and aim to keep this as low as possible. Then, make note of the portion size. “Often, a [cereal] bowl is two to three times the portion size.” Usually, one ounce of cereal is the right amount, which may mean shopping for some new, smaller cereal bowls.
 
Harper, not surprisingly, is an oatmeal advocate. “Instant [oatmeal] packages literally take
about two minutes. They’ve made it so easy,” he says. Keep it fun by offering up topping options for oatmeal, such as diced fresh fruit, cinnamon or dried cranberries.

Learn More About Nutrition Plans
Are you in need of a nutrition plan to tailor your needs? Email GMC’s Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center at dnec@gwinnettmedicalcenter.org, or visit
gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/nutrition.

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