Monday, 11 Jul 16
By Jaime Rose Chambers
Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, but simply making sure you eat isn’t enough. What you eat and how much is just as important. Here are few brekkie mistakes many people make that might cause weight gain or derail a healthy lifestyle:
- Skipping the carbs – with grand intentions, many healthy eaters start their day with a protein-based breakfast of eggs, veges and avocado. Fantastic! But it’s missing a super important component: carbohydrates. Skipping the wholegrain toast means there’s no rise in blood sugar levels after a night of ‘fasting’ and no kick-start the metabolism, which means you’re in danger of being extra hungry later in the day and making up for it then.
- Overdoing the superfoods – smoothies and blended juices are a great vehicle for a super nutrient-dense meal but overdo it with some ingredients and you’ll end up getting your day’s worth of calories in that one meal. Think coconut oil, coconut milk, chia seeds, flaxseeds, banana, protein powders, cacao, apple, oats, nuts, seeds, almond butter etc etc…
- Right food, wrong portion – oats are a gold standard breakfast food but they are also incredibly energy dense and overdoing it is really easy. Free-pouring a bowl of muesli or cooking up some porridge can easily lead to two to six times the recommended portion size and a huge hit of carbohydrates to start your day. This is often the reason we feel SO satisfied from this breakfast we can sail right through to a late lunch without feeling hungry.
- Too light on the fibre - Fibre swells in our tummy and fills us up. Starting your day with a breakfast that is light on fibre means that we’re at risk of being hungry not long afterwards. It may also mean breakfast choices are processed grains such as white breads and sugary cereals that are low in fibre.
- Coffee calories – for most people, there’s no harm in having a good coffee with breakfast but it’s not the caffeine that’s the problem, it’s the calories, fat and sugar that come along with the type of coffee you order. Large size, full fat milk, soy milk, coconut milk and added syrups, flavourings and sugar all add up. For example a large soy vanilla latte will give you the equivalent of 9 teaspoons of sugar and 330 calories, the number of calories you should have for breakfast alone.
- Eating because you think you have to – many busy people scoff a quick brekkie racing out the door to work when they’re not actually hungry yet. This super early meal lengthens your eating day and means you need to eat again sooner. By just waiting an hour or so until you’re settled in at work give you a little more time to put together a healthy meal, eating slowly and thoughtfully is better for digestion and when you’re actually hungry so it’s often far more satisfying.
- Breakfast’ products – think breakfast biscuits, breakfast bars and breakfast drinks. These highly processed, minimally nutritious products often have a very long list of ingredients that include refined sugar and white flour causing a dramatic spike in blood sugar levels followed by the crash shortly after, making us feel tired – and it’s not even lunchtime yet.
- Snack for breakfast – sometimes all we have the chance to get down is a banana or yoghurt for breakfast as we run into a meeting or drop the kids to school. Although this is not unhealthy, it’s simply not enough. Having a snack for breakfast is likely to throw out your eating routine for the day and by 10-11am you’re starving.
- Drinking your breakfast – Smoothies, protein shakes and juices are very popular as an on-the-run breakfast option. They range in nutritional quality but the biggest issue with a liquid breakfast is that it’s often not terribly satisfying. The act of chewing is important for many people to feel satisfaction from a meal. Without that satisfaction from breakfast, we’re left with a void that needs to be filled. This may make you more vulnerable to more ‘satisfying’ foods later in the day.
- Skipping breakfast altogether – skipping breakfast is often due to a lack of time, lack of appetite or based on recent media reports that fasting until lunchtime may be beneficial for weight loss. There is no cookie-cutter way of eating for anyone but in my experience, a lack of appetite in the morning is usually because too much has been eaten the night before. Fasting until lunchtime isn’t for everyone and the downside is that if you’re starving by lunchtime this can make us susceptible to overeating and making less healthy food choices.
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