5 Essential tips for a healthy breakfast
What is a ‘healthy breakfast’ exactly? There are so many myths and untruths about breakfast, you’d almost skip breakfast altogether. However, there are some foundations you can’t ignore. Whether you want to lose weight healthily or simply change your life and have a productive day. We give you 5 tips that form the basis of any healthy breakfast.
1. First things first: why breakfast?
Recognize that when you get up, you haven’t eaten anything in the last eight to twelve hours. So it’s time to provide your body with fuel (read: energy) to get back on track. Obligate yourself to have a hearty breakfast, even though it might be difficult to get something in the morning.
If you’re skipping breakfast, you’re actually giving your body the message that food may be scarce and your body is going to prefer to store the nutrients it takes in for later, rather than burning it for energy. By having a hearty breakfast, you’re giving your body the signal that it’s still getting enough calories throughout the day and that it can simply function “normally”.
Still having trouble eating in the morning? A dairy-free breakfast or a healthy breakfast without bread with lots of fruit, vegetables and nuts are two good tips to have a hearty breakfast without getting really heavy on your stomach. A breakfast drink can also be an alternative to an easy healthy breakfast.
2. Drink plenty of (hot) water!
The fact that you need to drink enough water throughout the day is nothing new, but many people don’t think about including it in their morning routine. When you wake up, not only have you not eaten anything for the last eight to twelve hours, but you have also not drunk anything. Your body is dehydrated. So urgent hydration is the message. Our body consists for 70% of water and needs an optimal hydration to work as it should.
Drink one to two glasses of (warm) water as soon as possible after you get up. This will boost your metabolism. The better your metabolism, the more calories you burn. Moreover, you’ll feel full more quickly if you already have some water and you’re less likely to overeat during breakfast. If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, this can certainly be an extra boost. A cup of warm water on an empty stomach can also cleanse your body of waste products that affect your health. This is also good for your digestive system and can prevent constipation.
You’ll not only reap the benefits of drinking water in the morning physically but also mentally. Your brain also suffers from a lack of water, which can lead to increased fatigue, mood swings, concentration disorders and headaches. So it’s a good idea to drink those two glasses of water first thing in the morning so that your brain stays hydrated. Good hydration also increases your oxygen uptake and will therefore make you sharper and more alert.
3. Try to have breakfast within the hour
When you have breakfast within an hour of waking up, your blood sugar and insulin levels will regain balance and your metabolism will get back on track. During your sleep, your metabolism automatically slows down. This is one of the reasons why you don’t wake up hungry at night.
If you have breakfast within an hour of waking up, your metabolism and digestion will get a kickstart to get through the day. It also has a positive influence on your mood and cognitive skills. Thanks to the balanced blood sugar and insulin levels, your memory and cognitive skills will get a boost and you will be able to concentrate better and think clearly.
If you have breakfast far too late (or simply not at all) then this is already disastrous for you. You will notice that around lunchtime you unconsciously start eating foods that are full of calories and often don’t contain the necessary (healthy) nutrients for your body to function properly. In other words, a healthy breakfast will make you spend the rest of the day eating more consciously and you’ll be able to ignore the snacks more quickly. So a healthy breakfast is one of the best tips for those who want to lose weight.
4. Limit your breakfast to 400 kCal
“What is a healthy breakfast when it comes to calories?” is a frequently asked question that has been the subject of a lot of research. If you eat too little (in the region of 100 to 150 kCal), you won’t be completely satiated and build up a feeling of hunger. So there is a chance that you will overeat for the rest of the day.
A healthy breakfast should provide about a quarter of your daily energy needs. In concrete terms, this means that for a healthy breakfast you should aim for an average of 400 to 500 calories. This is the ideal breakfast ratio. Of course, this can differ per person. Depending on whether you are male or female, large or small, very or only slightly active, you will have to adjust your daily calories (and therefore also your breakfast) accordingly. It’s also important that you ensure a balanced ratio of your macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), supplemented with the necessary vitamins, minerals and fibres.
Various studies around the world show that those who have breakfast not only score significantly better in terms of daily intake of our most important nutrients, but also get through the day more productively and score better in terms of cognitive skills. Well begun is half done, especially when it comes to breakfast.
5. Plan your breakfast the night before
If you know you have to hurry out the door in the morning to rush to the office or maybe have to stop by the school first to drop the kids off, then you should plan your breakfast the night before. Avoid rushing into the morning for the quick unhealthy options by simply setting everything up the night before.
Fancy some oatmeal? Then put the pot of oatmeal on the table with a bowl and a spoon next to it and add the necessary pieces of fruit to your plate. It sounds silly, but by building this simple tip into your evening routine, you’ll be more aware of your diet and more consistent for a healthy breakfast. So, do you know what you’re going to eat tomorrow morning?
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