Most of us are first told of the importance of breakfast by our parents. “It’s the most important meal of the day so eat up or I kill the dog.”
If your parents were anything like mine, they didn’t know for sure why breakfast was so important but their parents said it to them so they believe there must be something in it and so they passed on the same advice to their children. Of course, like many of these old sayings there is plenty of truth behind it.
A good breakfast sets us up for the mornings tasks and ensures we don’t crash by mid-morning. It also makes you feel good psychologically because deep down you believe you are doing something that is good for you and so you are much more likely to leave the home with a smile on your face.
The importance of the first meal of the day is massively increased if you are trying to lose weight and get fit. You need a high protein, low carb meal that will kick start your body into action and set you up for the day ahead.
Get That Metabolism Jump Started
After fasting through the night, your metabolism has slowed down quite a bit. Without a nutritious breakfast, you will feel more sluggish and will be less focused than you would be if you had had a good breakfast.
By eating breakfast (the right kind of course), you kick-start your metabolism and have it ready to efficiently burn calories and fat through the day. Two other nice benefits from eating breakfast include having a boost of energy and an increased attention span. This will invigorate you for what lies ahead for the day and will more readily enable you to tackle the day’s problems.
You also have a heightened sense of well being which will equate to you being more in control of your emotions. You will have a better attention span, be more alert, have a faster reaction time and be more productive.
Eating A Healthy Breakfast Equates To Less Chronic Disease
Don’t just take my word for it, there are also quite a few studies that drive home how essential breakfast is too. Many studies have linked eating a healthy breakfast with an increased longevity and less chronic disease. Basically, by eating a healthy breakfast, you will have an increase in your overall health and fitness.
So let’s quickly review the benefits of a healthy breakfast:
A boost to the metabolism
More focused/better attention span
Better control of emotions
Less chronic disease
An increased longevity
What Exactly Is A Healthy Breakfast?
When it comes to your health and weight, just any breakfast won’t do. You can’t eat bowls of “sugared” cereal, several pieces of toast or biscuits with jelly, or anything that has lots of unrefined carbohydrates.
To lose weight and get fit you need a high protein diet, which means the breakfast should use proteins and smart fats. Let’s take a look at foods that can be used for a high protein breakfast as recommended for those following our weight loss plan.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
If I was to select the best high protein, weight loss breakfast food that can be found it would be eggs. Eggs are so easy and quick to prepare and they offer the highest biological value (BV) of any food. By biological value, I mean that eggs are in a form that are the most readily utilized for building muscle (remember, protein is the building block for muscle). Eggs are also very economical and they taste great. If you want to help burn fat, eggs should be a staple in your diet.
Quick Take on Eggs
- They are very low in carbohydrates.
- Easy to prepare
- Eggs are portable (when hard boiled)
- Eggs are an excellent source of minerals including iodine, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, calcium, and iron.
- Eggs are also a good source of vitamins A and B. They also have small amounts of vitamins D and E.
Fish aren’t typically thought of as a breakfast food in America but if you plan on maintaining a healthy diet, fish is a wonderful high protein food that should be a part of your diet. Most varieties of fish have very high amounts of quality protein, virtually no carbohydrates, and very little saturated fat.
The most beneficial fish to eat are those of the cold water variety since they will also be high in omega 3 fatty acids (helps to reduce triglycerides, heart rate, blood pressure, and atherosclerosis). Some examples of cold water fish include salmon, trout, sardines, and tuna fish.
Quick Take on Fish
- Easy to digest compared to other meats like pork or beef.
- Cold water fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines have omega 3 fatty acids which are very beneficial to health. These fish are also a perfect source of high quality protein.
- Fish is very nutritious as it contains ample amounts of minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc.
Pork is becoming more and more popular because it is great in taste and it spices up boring meals. It is also high in protein and another food that will stabilize blood sugar since it has no carbohydrates.
The fat in pork is mostly the mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated variety which are the “good” fats. There are no trans-fat in pork. So pork can also be considered heart healthy (assuming the visible fat is trimmed). Examples of pork for breakfast include ham steaks, bacon.
Quick Take on Pork
- Pork is high in protein
- Pork spices up boring meals
- Pork has no carbohydrates so it helps stabilize blood sugar
- Pork has no trans fats and the fat it does contain is mostly the “good” fats (poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats)
A Few Healthy Breakfast Recipes
4 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, then add the milk and ground pepper. Beat the egg mixture gently and set aside. Melt the butter in the pan and spread the melted butter evenly over the surface of the pan. Keep the heat on low and add the eggs and fold them over from time to time with a spatula. Remove the eggs from the heat once they are no longer runny. Let the eggs cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.
If you are really in a hurry do them in the microwave: Beat the eggs and add the pepper and butter. Add the eggs to a microwave-safe bowl and heat the eggs on high for 1 minute. Take the eggs out of the microwave and stir the mixture around. Put the eggs back in the microwave and heat on high for one minute. Repeat the process until the eggs are no longer runny and then let them cool for a few minutes.
Crustless Fresh Salmon Quiche
This recipe combines eggs with one of my favorite fish, salmon. It is pretty easy to prepare and very tasty:
9 inch baking pan
1 tablespoon of butter (spread in the baking pan)
½ cup cream (half and half)
¾ tsp of salt
¼ pound of grated dill Havarti cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
6 slice mushrooms
6 ounces of freshed baked salmon
1 tablespoon of fresh dill
1/8 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the eggs, cream, and salt. Stir in the Havarti cheese and set aside. Sauté the two tablespoons of butter with the minced garlic and mushrooms for 5 minutes and then add it to the egg mixture.
Bake the salmon at 350 degrees for 20 minutes with melted butter and fresh dill. When done, flake the salmon into the egg mixture and pour the mixture into the 9 inch baking dish. Bake the quiche at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then drop the temperature down to 325 degrees and continue to bake for 35 minutes. The quiche is done when you can insert a knife into the center of it and the knife comes out clean.
Mississippi Breakfast Bake With Sausage Patties
6 sausage patties cooked
½ cup of diced tomatoes
½ cup of slice mushrooms
1 cup of cheddar cheese
½ cup of milk
¼ teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
¼ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
¼ teaspoon of paprika
Take a casserole dish and rub it lightly with butter. Add the sausage patties to the dish and then sprinkle the tomato, mushrooms and cheese on top of the sausage. Sprinkle the top with the salt and pepper. Take the six eggs, milk and remaining seasonings and whisk them together in a mixing bowl. Once mixed, pour the egg mixture evenly into the casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the middle is set. This should give you four to six servings.
High carb breakfasts such as cereals, bagels, toast, english muffins and the awful ‘breakfast in a can’ will set your body up for a mid morning crash. You will be craving another fix of carbs by 10am and will never lose weight starting the day off with any of these.
Eating high protein breakfasts are an essential part of the weight loss process, more so for the working man who needs plenty of energy to get him through the day without giving in to the urges of unhealthy snacks.
Setting yourself up with a big plate of ham and eggs in the morning will ensure the energy is released throughout the day and so those cravings for mid morning snacks will be surpressed.
If you would like to learn more about losing weight and getting fit WITHOUT starving yourself on crackers and carrot sticks click here to learn about my diet plan.