11 ways to get the most out of the first—and most important— meal of the day
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that may actually be true. A study of more than 50,000 adults ages 30 and older found that breakfast eaters were more likely to lose weight than those who didn’t eat a morning meal. Other studies link skipping breakfast with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. But it’s not just when you eat; it’s what you eat. Balancing carbohydrates with protein, fiber, and healthy fats is the key to a satisfying and nutritious breakfast. These tips will help you really rise and shine:
1. Eat even if you’re not hungry.
Although you might not feel like eating first thing in the morning, it’s a good idea to get something into your system. Eating within 90 minutes of waking up will jump-start your metabolism and keep you from getting hungry later, says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition NYC. Just a banana will do the trick.
2. Be boring.
Varying what you eat is a good idea in theory, but if you are watching your weight, you might want to stick with the same old menu. A 2014 British study found that people who allowed their breakfast calories to fluctuate (as measured by a five-day diet diary) had larger waists and a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome than folks who kept their morning calorie intake constant, no matter how much they ate the rest of the day. It’s not clear why your morning calorie count makes such a difference, but given that a larger waist size and metabolic syndrome can increase your chances of diabetes, heart attack, and stroke, it’s worth making the effort to hold it steady.
3. Add peanuts or peanut butter.
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