Growing up I used to dislike eating breakfast. I have traumatic memories of my grandma forcing me to eat two eggs, drink a full glass of milk, and peeled almonds were stuffed into my hands as I rushed out of the door. I couldn’t understand why she was so fussy about that routine but 20 years later, I’m doing the exact same thing by choice!
Kick-start your mornings
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you’re used to a busy day with millions of things to do, you need to make sure that your body has enough nutrition so that it can continue to burn the reserves of energy as you work. A healthy breakfast with protein, natural fruit sugars and a moderate amount of carbohydrates is enough to fuel your metabolism for the day. This helps you concentrate better, keeps you more productive and stabilizes your blood sugar and cholesterol level. If you’ve ever skipped breakfast, you’ll know the feeling of weakness and lethargy that sets in around 11am. For some (like me) this could cause a headache and some seriously loud grumbles from the stomach.
Feel fuller for longer
Of all the macro-nutrients, protein is considered the most important at breakfast. When your body needs energy, the first place it looks to burn calories is the protein you’ve eaten. This is why it’s important to tank up on milk, eggs, cheese, whole grain bread, oats etc. Studies have found that people who eat higher amounts of protein in the morning feel fuller for longer. My personal goal with breakfast is that it should make sure I don’t feel hungry before 1pm which is when I eat lunch. By eating a higher level of protein in the morning, you signal your body that your appetite has been satiated. Studies have shown that those who eat a higher protein breakfast, eat upto 135 calories LESS in the rest of the day, including snacking less at midnight.
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Lose weight and belly fat
Scientific studies have shown that two meals, both with the same caloric content but one with higher protein, had differential results. People that ate higher protein in their meals were able to lose more weight and cut down their belly fat significantly more than those who had lower protein for the same calories. This is exactly why people also say you shouldn’t stay hungry for too long or feel hungry too often. If you don’t eat enough (healthy) food, your body thinks you’re starving it so it starts to store more fat and for most people, the belly is where it shows first.
Some protein-rich foods
The list of protein-rich foods usually consists of eggs, milk, yoghurt, cheese, nuts, lentils, lean meat, chicken, salmon etc. While you may think non-vegetarians have it easier, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options that are protein-rich too. For example, you could replace one egg with one serving of natural peanut butter which has a higher protein and lower fat content. But most peanut butters have added oils, sugars and unnatural preservatives so make sure you choose an all-natural brand with as little of the bad stuff as possible. My personal favourite for breakfast is 1 brown bread toast with Happy Jars Jaggery Crunchy peanut butter, 1 boiled egg and a glass of milk. I still carry 5 almonds with me to work. I guess ‘dadi-maa-ke-nuskhe’ are hard to forget.
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Protein is one of the most important macro-nutrients that the body needs. It is an essential part of your diet, whether you’re trying to grow muscle or lose weight. With scientific benefits of a high-protein meal, breakfast is widely recommended as the best time of day to have your proteins. Whether you eat eggs, chicken, yoghurt or lentils, proteins will keep you feeling satiated and energized as you go about your busy day.
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