Why Eat Breakfast?
Healthy Breakfast Ideas

You're asking "Why Eat Breakfast?"It's the easiest meal to "fix" as you're Correcting Your Eating with better Carbs.  So let's start . . .

formula crunch equation weight loss plan

Why eat breakfast?

  • You accelerate your metabolism for the day after "breaking" your "fast" during the night. Studies show over and over that eating a healthy breakfast helps you lose weight and skipping breakfast does the opposite.
  • Wouldn't skipping this meal save calories and help you lose weight? No. When your body thinks you are in a starving situation, it makes sure you survive. How? By making you eat extra at the next meal and even sending more of that food to fat storage. This is why eating breakfast is so important.
  • Studies have also tracked eating breakfast as a common factor in people who lose weight and keep it off. Maybe you don't feel hungry in the morning. Many mornings I don't feel hungry either, but I always eat breakfast. We already know kids should eat breakfast to perform better in school; this applies to all of us.
  • Be good to yourself.

Correct your Eating with Better Carbs

Every grain is a carbohydrate. It's important to eat healthy grains - that means grains with the fiber still intact.

Why Eat Breakfast? Breakfast is a fantastic tool to help you learn to eat grains with fiber.

Eating a Healthy Breakfast

why eat breakfast, berries with granola cereal

Developing a healthy breakfast is the easiest way (I believe) to start changing your eating habits. I can't change my whole diet in a week, but as a young mother, I did change my breakfasts.

Aim for at least 5 grams of fiber. I don't count calories; I count fiber grams. Fiber helps you eat less, feel full longer, and gives SO many health benefits, including cancer prevention. It's easy to look on the side of cereal boxes and bread wrappers to see the fiber count. Look below to see my best healthy breakfast ideas.

Why eat breakfast? - I love knowing that every day I have one meal that's low fat, high fiber, and healthy. Even if I blow the other two meals, I always had one successful breakfast.

For years, I ate a high fiber breakfast for cereal. Recently I changed to add more protein to my breakfast. Now I have plain greek yogurt with homemade granola. Yogurt has more protein than any cereal or even an egg. Why Eat Breakfast? It starts the day with fuel and an appropriate blood sugar level.


Everyone in my family eats breakfast differently. My daughter and I like cereal, toast, or granola. My sons like dinner leftovers, and Dr. Dave grabs a yogurt at the hospital. There are many options; you will find healthy breakfast foods that suit you.

Ideally, give yourself at least a month to work on C - CORRECT your Eating with Carbs. This is a lifetime change. We don't recommend temporary changes just to lose weight - it comes back on when you return to your normal lifestyle. We want to improve your "normal."

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

SKIM MILK or 2%?

I've changed my mind on this - drink either - or both. I use 2% milk on my cereal but drink skim milk most of the time. Skim milk has all the benefits of milk without the fat. If the thin consistency bothers you, go in steps. Scale down to 2% milk then 1%. Take your time - as long as you need. Some of my family likes skim and the others won't drink it.

JUICE

Make it 100% juice, not those sugar-filled juice "drinks." Yes, you can drink juice.

CEREALS

Look for 5 (or 3 at the minimum) grams of fiber per serving. Kashi cereals are my favorite for breakfast. Quaker brand is a close second.

My favorites:

  • Kashi cereals
  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares
  • Granolas

YOGURT

greek yogurt for breakfast

Greek yogurt is like sour cream - even the fat free versions. I mix a little honey in it and top with granola. Beware of sugar-loaded yogurts and ones with artificial sweeteners. I always buy the plain version. I have bought vanilla or honey flavored for my daughter because then at least she'll eat it. I think when they get used to it, they can eventually switch to plain with our own honey mixed in.

GRANOLA

Look at the nutrition facts. Try for 5 grams of fiber per serving (3 grams minimum) in your granola. Grocery stores are carrying several good brands.

YOGURT & GRANOLA

I ate this every day when we took a tour of Europe. It really keeps you full. When I came back from vacation, I couldn't replicate it, but now you can find greek yogurt and better granolas. Click here for our Homemade Granola recipe.

TOAST

jif peanut butter for toast

Aim for 5 grams of fiber per serving. I grew up eating peanut butter toast. If you can't do whole wheat bread yet (I'll help you switch to better grains in Switch to Whole Grains), then eat the bread you like. Remember, it's better than skipping breakfast. Sourdough bread is supposed to be as healthy as whole wheat. Its acid makes it slower to digest, just like high fiber. Boy, was my family happy about that!

My favorite toast toppings, spread in a "generous-thin" layer:
Peanut Butter (not reduced fat-the regular contains healthier fats)
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Butter (real butter)
Cinnamon & Sugar with Butter
Jelly with Butter
Almond Butters and other "butters"

GRANOLA BARS

healthy granola bars


Again, aim for 5 grams of fiber. Beware, most granola bars are more like candy bars. Kashi bars are my favorite.

OATMEAL

quaker oatmeal for breakfast

Good choice. I don't have a lot of advice here because I've never liked oatmeal. But you might love it! You will find options that fit your palate and schedule.

ONE SCRAMBLED EGG AND ONE PIECE OF WHOLE WHEAT TOAST

I make this for my kids when they have a big day ahead.

DINNER LEFTOVERS

My kids like this option.

PANCAKES & WAFFLES

Add a handful of whole wheat flour to regular batter. My kids loved this for years. I use a nonstick pan, so no oil or butter is needed for cooking. But, we top the pancakes with real butter and real maple syrup. If you can top them with just fruit, go ahead (I can't).

SCRAMBLED EGGS & HASH BROWNS

Add some shredded carrots to your hash browns. Cook in a good oil: canola or grape seed. (We often have this for Sunday night dinners. Something about this meal makes me feel good.)

Why Eating Breakfast Out is OK

Look up a restaurant's nutrition facts on the internet. You'll learn the best choices. My favorite is McDonald's egg mcmuffin with small juice. Bob Evans is the better choice for sit-down chain restaurants.

McDONALDS. Best - oatmeal, or 2) egg mcmuffin, or 3) sausage burrito or yogurt parfait. Order a small drink: juice, white milk, or coffee.

BURGER KING. Oatmeal, Breakfast Muffin Sandwich (not sausage), or Ham, Egg & Cheese Croissan'wich. White milk, juice, or coffee.

CHICK-FIL-A. Oatmeal, Yogurt Parfaits or Chick-n-Minis. Milk, juice or coffee.

SUBWAY. Pretty much anything on their breakfast menu.

BOB EVANS. Choose one: An egg and piece of toast. Fruit and Yogurt Plate. Turkey Sausage Breakfast. Omelet with Egg Lites. Fruit & Yogurt Parfait. Add: Small milk, juice or coffee.

DENNYS. Choose one: Two Egg Breakfast with fruit. Oatmeal and fruit. One egg and one slice of toast (or fruit). Add: Small milk, juice or coffee.

IHOP. Simple and Fit 2-Egg Breakfast. Small juice, milk or coffee.

YOUR LOCAL DINER. I recommend one egg and whole wheat toast. Small juice, milk, or coffee.

Stay away from combos and meal deals; you don't need the fried hash brown patty on the side. We order a main item and a small drink. Why eat breakfast out - you can be make good choices, even in restaurants.

Breakfast Facts
From Dr. Dave

Breakfast is very important for several reasons. First of all, there have been many studies linking breakfast with longevity. Also, the body needs fuel after being without any fresh fuel overnight. If you don't eat breakfast then your body slows metabolism and continues in a calorie saving mode.

I don't generally recommend heavy breakfasts - eat 500-600 calories and get your day started right.


Background
From Wendy

The 5 grams of Fiber Breakfast.

In 1998, I read The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet by Dr. Bob Arnot. The biggest lesson I took from that book (that would work for me) was EAT FIBER. I couldn't switch to an asian diet; I couldn't start eating lots of soy, but I could start increasing the fiber in my diet.

I looked for breakfast cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. I found Quaker Oat Bran and Quaker Oatmeal Squares. I ate those two cereals for years. Now Kashi is a good brand for cereal, also.

Changing my breakfast was an easy way to improve our eating. It's usually a small, fast meal, and we are accustomed to eating the same few things on a regular basis. Lunches and dinners are where we typically get more variety in our diet.


Problem:
You're hungry before lunch

You're supposed to be! Eating smaller meals with snacks in between is way more important than you (and I) realized.

Learn more in The Benefits of Whole Grains and Portion Control Weight Loss.

If at all possible in your schedule, you should eat a snack between breakfast and lunch. If you absolutely can't, then go ahead an eat a bigger breakfast.

CRUNCH TIME: CORRECT Your Eating With Carbs
Why Eat Breakfast? It's a great start to correcting your eating.

Timeline: Give yourself a month for C - CORRECT your Eating with Carbs.

Do: Go to the grocery and buy some of the cereals, granola bars, oatmeal (if you like it), and skim milk. Start trying them. For more help in eating whole grains, click here.

More Tips: Throw out cereals, pop tarts, and breakfast bars that aren't close to 5 grams of fiber per serving. They're not good enough for you!

Why eat breakfast? - you can lose weight - while eating!


It's not that hard to change your tastes to healthier food. Just concentrate on why eating breakfast is great - enjoy the exploration!

Go to the next part of C - CORRECT your Eating with Carbs:
The Benefits of Whole Grains.

Tips & Success Stories: Why Eat Breakfast

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