So many of our clients complain of feeling hungry throughout the day and as a result, end up reaching for unhealthy snacks (such as crisps, chocolate, biscuits) to give them that “little boost” until meal time. Upon looking into their diet plans, more often than not we notice that they never (or very rarely) include protein in their breakfast. In the UK we have fallen into this trap of grabbing either cereal or toast for breakfast because its quick and easy to have on the go. But the consequence of this is that within an hour we need to reach for something else to satisfy us. More often than not, these convenience cereals contain high levels of sugar (or sugar substitutes), and what do we put on our toast? Jam, marmalade, chocolate spread even? Yet again, more sugar. These high levels of sugar will give us a great boost of energy in the morning – enough to get us to work, get the kids to school etc. Then by 10am we are grabbing the biscuits with our cup of tea – just to “get us through” until lunch.
Now, we are not saying there is anything wrong with snacking, we actually think that having 5 smaller meals a day is the most beneficial way to nourish our bodies. But reaching for unhealthy, sugar-laden snacks is not the answer.
So, how do we overcome this? Have you ever noticed that when you have a Great British fry up as a treat on the weekends, if fills you up for ages? Yes this may partially be because we have eaten larger portion sizes more than necessary, but the main reason is that this breakfast is laden with protein – eggs, beans, sausage, bacon – all protein! Again, this is not to say we should be eating a fry up every day – way too much saturated fat, but scrambled eggs with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms anyone? Yum! Healthy and satisfying!
Are you one of those people that can only stomach a smoothie in the morning? How about adding some protein powder to it? Another great alternative for those eating light in the morning is 0% fat Greek Yoghurt (higher in protein than natural yoghurt) with some chopped nuts, seeds and fruit. Or if you love to have oats for breakfast, why not add some protein powder or even egg whites for the last couple of minutes of cooking – stir them in well and add some delicious toppings (fruit, nuts, cinnamon) and you won’t even taste them. Or if you really can’t resist the toast in the morning, spread it with some natural, no added sugar, peanut butter on top – peanuts are a good source of protein if eaten in moderation.
Having natural, lower sugar, high protein breakfast helps us feel satiated and fuller for longer and stops the peaks and dips in blood sugar levels that make us reach for unhealthy snacks mid morning. This means we’re more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day, therefore helping with weight and fat loss. As well as making us feel fuller, protein is essential for healthy nails, skin, blood and of course, helps to repair those muscles after your workout!
On a final note, many people might say that they don’t have the time in the morning to make this sort of breakfast. But all it takes is 5 minutes more – everyone can get up 5 minutes earlier to ensure they make the right choices for breakfast. The fat loss and health benefits we enjoy from eating a protein rich breakfast will massively outweigh setting that alarm clock 5 minutes early? No More Excuses!!