Long gone are the days when a family would sit down together bright and early to enjoy their cornflakes together. Rather the breakfast occasion is likely to be rushed, varied and often lacking the nutritional balance we need to keep us optimally fuelled throughout the morning. What we eat at breakfast nowadays largely depends on where we are when we are eating our breakfast. So, once you identify what is your general breakfast style, it is easy to identify ways to improve the nutritional profile of what you are eating.
On the run
Despite the best of intentions, there are few of us who manage to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we leave the house each morning. Instead we are often fighting the alarm and lucky to grab a slice of toast before running out the door. If breakfast always seems to be consumed in a rush at your house, the key is to know your quick and easy options that also contain protein, as protein rich foods will help to keep you fuller for longer after eating them. Some options include a tub of Greek yoghurt, a small tin of baked beans or if you have an extra minute or two, a toasted sandwich with ham, cheese and tomato.
Daily café treat
Just as a daily stop at the local coffee shop or café has become a ritual for many, so too has picking up a quick breakfast deal whether this be banana bread, a muffin or Turkish toast with peanut butter, Unfortunately, many of the popular breakfast choices typically found at cafes are high in carbs and calories and lacking in protein. The result is general overeating that will also leave you vulnerable to hunger and cravings mid-morning. So, if you are a café regular, keep in mind that a small milk based coffee is equivalent to at least 1/3 of your breakfast and a slice of toast with avocado or cheese is likely all you need to complete your breakfast. Better still a small breakfast wrap, omelette or an egg with a single slice of toast will offer you a good balance of carbs and nutrient rich proteins.
One of the biggest issues with waiting until you get to work to eat breakfast is that it means breakfast may not be until after 9am. After the overnight fast, one of the best things you can do is eat the first meal of the day as early as possible to help give the metabolism a boost and kick start calorie burning. So, if a breakfast at your desk is not likely to occur until after 9am, try starting the day with half a breakfast at home, such as a milk coffee or a slice of toast with cheese or nut spread, and follow it up with another small second breakfast at 9 or 10am of another slice of toast, a small serve of cereal or some Greek yoghurt and fruit.
If you have an early morning workout scheduled that is less than 40 minutes duration or before 7am, you may not need to eat anything before your session. On the other hand, if you are committed to intense X-Fit or personal training you may find that you can train more effectively with a small amount of fuel on board before your session, as you will burn body fat more efficiently with a small amount of carbohydrate present. Good choices include a piece of fruit, a couple of crackers and a slice of cheese or a small energy bar. Once you complete your workout, protein and slowly digested carbs are your best breakfast choices. A toasted sandwich, omelette with a coffee, smoothie with protein powder, milk and fruit or a Bircher muesli with Greek yoghurt are all good choices.