‘Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a pauper’
Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight – and keep it off. If you think that you are saving precious time and cutting calories by skipping breakfast, think again. When you fail to consume the most important meal of your day, you tend to be starving by mid-morning, unable to think clearly or concentrate, and generally replace those missed calories (and then some) later on in the day.
Eating early in the day keeps you from “starvation eating” later on. But it also jump-starts your metabolism and helps keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the rest of the day. When you skip breakfast, you’re actually fasting for approximately fifteen to twenty hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight.
It’s important to break-the-fast with low-energy-density foods. Energy density is the number of calories in a specific amount of food. Some foods, such as fats, are very energy dense, meaning they contain a lot of calories per portion size, so you can only have a small amount of them. Foods that contain a lot of water and fibre have low energy density, meaning fewer calories per portion size. Water has an energy density of zero.
What does this mean?
If you eat foods with high energy density, such as bagels with full-fat cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches with sausage, cheese, etc., you rack up calories quickly. If you eat high-fibre, low-energy-density foods such as steel-cut oats, blackberries, walnuts, Greek yogurt or a smoothie, you get to eat more with fewer calories.
|Low-Energy-Density Breakfast||Calories||High-Energy-Density Breakfast||Calories|
|½ cup steel cut oats cooked, made with ¼ cup 2% milk + ½ cup blueberries + ½ oz. of raw walnuts with 1 tsp. raw honey to flavour.||317||Tim Horton’s multi-grain bagel with light cream cheese and a medium coffee, with 1 cream and 1 sugar.||575|
Tips for Eating a Balanced Breakfast
- Wake up fifteen minutes earlier
- Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up.
- Make a shake or smoothie if pressed for time. I will often make a smoothie the night before so it’s ready to go in the morning.
- Prepare your breakfast ahead of time if possible. I have included a recipe below that is a favourite of mine, a great one to make the night before.
I have taken this recipe from the recipe book ‘Joyous Health’ by Joy McCarthy. I enjoy it with some plain Greek yoghurt and fruit.
Banana Protein Bake
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup coconut milk
3 large organic eggs, whisked or 3 egg substitutes*
¼ cup protein powder (I used Vega Vanilla Protein)
¼ cup ground almonds (sometimes called ‘almond flour’)
3 tbsp real maple syrup
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
3 bananas sliced
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Use a form to mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl excluding the banana slices.
- Pour mixture into large greased baking dish and place banana slices on top.
- Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
- If you are using an egg substitute, bake 10-15 minutes longer.
- Makes 8 serving
*Egg substitute: 1 egg = 3 tbsp chia seeds + ½ cup water, mix and let sit for 3-4 minutes