A Non-Diet Approach to a Healthy Breakfast

Many chronic dieters start each day with a renewed sense of hope that “today is the day I am going to stick to my diet.” Breakfast then becomes the natural starting point for any diet, meal plan, healthy eating vow, etc. Now, I’m all for starting each day with a positive outlook, but sometimes, in regards to our diet, we aim for perfection and it backfires. For example, when someone starts a new diet they often times put a ton of energy into prepping and planning their meals. They may even wake up early to make sure they have time for the perfect breakfast. As time passes they may begin to put off food prep and start hitting the snooze button a few times and before you know it they’re back to a refined grab ‘n go breakfast, the drive through or worse yet – skipping breakfast all together.

A Real Life Example of How Simple a Healthy Breakfast Can Be:

Recently while helping a client plan some meals I pulled out my [imaginary] magic wand and asked her “If you could eat whatever you wanted for breakfast without worrying about your weight, something that would keep you sustained through the morning and that you like to eat, what would that be?” She reported back that her favorite breakfast is eggs, whole grain toast with real butter and coffee with cream. She also went on to say that this breakfast is easy for her to prepare, she likes it, and she feels satisfied through the morning when she eats this. Despite this, she was a bit shocked when I said “okay, we’ll start your breakfast meal plan with eggs, toast and coffee”. She felt that she needed to avoid carbs and up her protein and veggies at breakfast to lose weight. I did convince her to add in some fruit if she needed it but she really had already found a breakfast that was going to work for her. As I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, permanent results are about consistency not perfection.

I’d like to share some practical breakfast tips that will hopefully help you break the yo-yo diet cycle and shift your focus to feeling good and fueling your body with foods you love.

A Non-Diet Approach to a Healthy and Easy Breakfast

Create a Balanced Breakfast: If your breakfast only consists of 1 or 2 food groups then you are likely missing out on balanced nutrition. Aim to take in at least 4 food groups for breakfast. Here is a quick example, a small veggie omelet with cheese is 3 food groups, add in fruit and/or toast for a total of 4-5 food groups.

Have Back-up Breakfast Options on Hand: Let’s face it, we are all bound to have “one of those days” where we are lucky to make it out the door alive. That doesn’t mean your breakfast has to be sacrificed. It’s important to have some grab and go items on hand. I would still try to aim for at least 3 food groups. Fruit, a cheese stick, and a breakfast bar would be a nice balance.

What if You’re Just Not a Breakfast Person: I see it all the time. Many people just don’t have an appetite in the morning. I don’t support pushing ourselves to eat when we aren’t hungry but in this case you may need to try and stimulate a morning appetite. Start off by eating something small. A piece of fruit, toast or cheese. If that is still too much for you in the morning try juice or a small smoothie.

Ideas for Quick and Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Looking for healthy breakfast recipes that you can make quickly and easily? While most people have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many still don’t take the time to eat breakfast in the morning. If you skip breakfast on a regular basis, you probably are familiar with the slight headache and the attack of weakness that occurs halfway through the morning. The reason this happens is because you didn’t eat breakfast.

Why is Breakfast So Important?

So why is breakfast so important anyway? When you sleep at night, you are going for about eight hours without having water or eating. This means you are slightly dehydrated when you wake up, and your blood sugar is probably on the low side as well. For this reason, you don’t have a lot of energy. However, it’s time to rush around and get ready for your day, so you skip eating. When you skip breakfast, you continue to let your body stay dehydrated and your blood sugar can dip even more throughout the day. Then you end up feeling horrible and extremely hungry later in the day. In many cases, it’s easy to overeat later because you do feel so hungry.

Beyond the Cereal

Some cereals can be a great choice for a quick and healthy start to your day. Of course, you need to avoid cereals that are high in sugars. Whole grain varieties that pack in fiber and protein make great choices. Be sure to read the label, though – many so-called “healthy” cereals are packed with sugar.

Many people, though, don’t like having cereal in the mornings. The good news is that there are plenty of other quick and healthy recipes that you can use for a great breakfast. If cold cereal isn’t your thing, consider warm oatmeal or even cream of wheat for breakfast. Making your own oatmeal from scratch doesn’t take much more time than using “instant”, flavored oatmeal packets – and it is much cheaper and healthier. Add some berries and milk and you have a wonderfully tasty breakfast that doesn’t take too much time to make.

Fast Breakfast Options

If you have really busy mornings, you may need some breakfast recipes that are fast and easy to make. One great idea is to make preparations for your breakfast the night before. Make a breakfast casserole. On a day when you have some extra time, make a big batch of pancakes or waffles. Freeze them. Later in the week, all you’ll have to do is pop them in the toaster for a quick and tasty breakfast. Or whip up a batch of healthy bran muffins at the beginning of the week and enjoy them all week long without a hassle.

More Breakfast Ideas

There are many other great quick and healthy breakfast recipes that you can try in the morning as well. Consider poached eggs, boiled eggs or perhaps a toad in the hole. A quick omelet with veggies is a great option. Smoothies can be wonderful breakfast options. Mix yogurt and fruit together, blend in the blender, and you can drink it on the go for a healthy breakfast. Fruit and cheese makes a well-rounded morning meal that you can toss in a bag and take with you on the go.