Some of my clients have improved their weight and health simply by changing their breakfast habits.
The current fashion is for carbohydrate only but this sets you up for rapid hunger, unhealthy snacking later on and weight gain. All carbohydrates are sugars, whether that’s added sugars or natural sugars, simple sugars or starches (which are chains of sugar and quickly break down into simple sugars). Cereal can be thought of as sugar, so can toast, fruit and fruit juices/smoothies; breakfast biscuits are mostly sugar. A bowl of cereal with low-fat flavoured yoghurt, and orange juice contains the equivalent of around 14 teaspoons of sugar and virtually no nutrients. Eating no breakfast is preferable to bad breakfast but what might be better?
Some people do well on porridge made from natural oats. Top with nuts and seeds. Beware the type in sachets as some contain loads of sugar. Muesli can be good – choose one with plenty of nuts and not much dried fruit. Top with full-fat plain yoghurt.
Smoothies are quick to make and easy to consume and digest.
Base them on coconut milk, avocado, ground almonds, flax, spinach, whey powder concentrate, natural oats etc.
Add just a little fruit for sweetness eg ¼ apple, 1” banana or a spoonful of berries.
I have a smoothie 3 or 4 times a week and last for 5 or 6 hours on it.
To save time, you can batch up all the dry ingredients in advance so that in the morning you just tip them into the glass on top of your veg and fruit.
Bought smoothies are usually made from fruit so can be very sugary. Also beware smoothie recipes on the internet as many of these include very large amounts of fruit.
Fry-ups can sustain you for ages. Choose from bacon, egg, black pudding, sausage, mushroom, tomato or do the Aussie thing – steak and egg – a favourite of mine, with wilted spinach.
Go continental with boiled eggs, ham and cheese (you can save time by hard boiling an egg the night before). Dip avocado or buttered, wholemeal toast ‘soldiers’ in soft-boiled eggs.
For a change, go fishy with a tin of mackerel plus half a pear and some seeds. Or indulge in smoked salmon, delicious with scrambled eggs and courgette.
Top tip: Eat a good breakfast.