Skipping out on the first meal of the day to save calories and lose weight? Not exactly the best plan, since saying no to breakfast can slow down your metabolism and cause your body to hold on to fat. But it's not only important to eat in the morning — make sure you avoid these six breakfast mistakes as well.
- I'll eat when I get to work: You wake up at 6 a.m. and are in such a rush to get ready, pack your lunch, and get to your nine-to-five job that you figure you'll sip coffee on your commute and just eat when you get to your desk. It's important to eat within an hour of waking, because just like skipping breakfast, it messes with your metabolism. Avoid eating too late by making meals the night before. If you don't have time to sit down and eat, pack a portable snack the night before that you can quickly grab and nibble on the way.
- I'll grab a drink with my breakfast: Liquid calories get you every time! Specialty coffee drinks, huge glasses of smoothies, and fresh juices can run you 300 calories or more. That on top of your breakfast can make calorie counts creep up fast. Go for coffee with a little bit of milk, drink a smaller-size smoothie with your breakfast, and eat your fruit instead of juicing it to consume fewer calories and more fibre.
- Oooh, a scone: When you grab coffee at the local café in the morning, who can resist the freshly baked muffins, quick breads, and scones staring at you from the counter? Avoid filling up on sugar in the morning: it doesn't sustain your blood sugar levels, so you will feel tired and fuzzy-headed. That, coupled with hunger pangs will have you reaching for more food within an hour, which means more calories consumed. Here are some low-sugar breakfast ideas to enjoy instead — all under 30 grams.
- I'll just have a banana: While fruit is a healthy choice, one little piece isn't enough. Your breakfast should be between about 300 and 500 calories. Not eating enough will have you so famished, you're more likely to reach for quick, high-calorie choices later.
- Yoghurt for me: Low-fat yoghurt is another healthy food, and although it's a great source of protein — which reduces your cravings for sweets — it doesn't offer any fibre. Be sure to couple your bowl with fibre-full cereals, whole grain toast, nuts, and fresh fruits such as berries — or add fibre to your yoghurt or muesli with psyllium husk. The protein will sustain your energy, and the fibre will take longer to digest so you'll have that full feeling all morning long.
- Breakfast food is my fave: While filling up on a hearty breakfast is a great way to start the day, there is such a thing as overdoing it. An enormous plate full of pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bacon may be a delicious weekend splurge, but over-indulging on 800 calories or more each morning won't help you cut calories. Be mindful of portion sizes by measuring out cereals, whole grains, yoghurt toppings, and beverages.