An irreplaceable part of any great morning routine includes a super healthy breakfast.
You may have heard the saying that you make or break your day during the first two hours that you’re awake, and it’s so true! If you want to own your day you definitely have to start first thing in the morning.
Take a minute to read about the daily habits of the most successful people in the world. You’ll probably notice that pretty much all of them have one thing in common. They all wake up early and have a killer morning routine.
Wait-they do it every single day? Yes. Even weekends? And holidays? Yes, and yes!
Because the way you start your morning has a HUGE impact on the rest of your day, either for better or for worse.
And like I said, a killer routine isn’t complete without a healthy breakfast!
(Click here to get awesome recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks!)
You remember how your mom always used to say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, she was definitely on to something.
Not only does your breakfast set the nutritional tone for the rest of the day, but it’s the first step to hitting your daily macro goal.
Maybe you aren’t a morning person, which is fine-I totally get it! You don’t necessarily have to wake up at 5 AM to be successful.
But you can still rock your mornings with a great routine that includes, of course, a super healthy breakfast!
I’m here to help you design that breakfast. Take a look at my list of do and don’t tips you can use to start your morning off on a healthy note!
To make your breakfast super healthy, avoid these common pitfalls that often ruin the morning meal.
#1 Don’t Forget the Protein
Protein is important for building and maintaining lean muscle, supporting bone health, and sustaining healthy skin and nails.
But a lot of traditional breakfast foods are high in carbs and low in protein.
Fruit, cereal, bread, oatmeal, pancakes, and other common breakfast options are not great sources of protein.
Look to incorporate eggs, plain greek yogurt, lean meats, and other protein-rich foods into your morning meal.
Starting your day off with protein not only helps to ensure that you reach your daily goal. It will also help keep you feeling full for longer!
(Struggling to meet your morning protein needs? Try a protein shake!)
#2 Don’t Skip Breakfast
With everything we have going on in our hectic lives, it’s easy to find a reason to skip breakfast.
So many women start their day on an empty stomach because they simply don’t have the time to prepare a meal or to sit down and eat it.
That’s one of the worst things you can do for your morning!
When you skip breakfast, your body flips on the switch to starvation mode. This raises the signal to hold on to its fat stores.
It also promotes a catabolic state, so your body may start to break down muscle for nutrients.
Prioritize your morning meal. If you have to wake up a few minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast, then do it. It will definitely be worth it in the long run.
#3 Don’t Eat Dessert for Breakfast
Eating anything isn’t necessarily better than eating nothing though. Almost as dangerous as skipping breakfast is eating a breakfast that’s high in sugar and bad fats.
Try to avoid breakfast foods like donuts, pastries, and high sugar cereal or smoothies.
These treats are okay to be eaten on rare occasions. But they don’t have a place at the breakfast table and should be reserved for your cheat meal.
Additionally, be wary of breakfast foods that claim to be healthier than they really are.
Some granola, yogurt, and other foods are marketed as healthy breakfast options but can be laced with hidden sugar and unhealthy fats.
Eating dessert for breakfast sabotages your macro goal for the day and sends a message to your subconscious that you just can’t do it. This can put you in a negative mental state for the rest of the day!
The sugar rush you get will also soon turn into a sugar crash, leaving you feeling lethargic.
#4 Don’t Overdo It With Milk
Milk has long been a go-to breakfast beverage. It’s an obvious must-have in the cereal bowl and is commonly added to coffee, tea, and other hot drinks we like to sip on in the morning. It’s definitely a staple at the majority of breakfast tables.
But for some reason, it’s easy to guzzle it like water during breakfast without giving a second thought to the calories you’re drinking.
Milk is surprisingly high in sugar and can be one of those sneaky things wrecking your weight loss efforts.
Now, I’m not telling you to ditch the milk. It’s okay to pour a glass. Just realize that it does have calories and that they do need to be accounted for.
While there’s a handful of important breakfast don’ts, it’s more fun to talk about all the do’s of a totally awesome breakfast!
Eating a great breakfast can help you reach your daily nutritional goals, promotes effective weight management, and will help you to have more energy!
When planning your breakfast, keep a few things in mind.
#1 Do Prioritize Macros
Be aware of the fat, carb, and protein content of your meal, and plan breakfast with your daily macro goal in mind.
You don’t want to get to the end of the day and realize that poor planning left you below or above your goal for one or more of the macros.
Try to consume 20-30% of your daily calories at breakfast, and aim to have a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein.
For example, if your daily goal is to consume 2,000 calories, 30% of that would be 600 calories. To achieve a good balance of each macro, this 600 calorie meal would include approximately 200 calories each from carbs, fat, and protein.
Knowing the number of calories per gram each macro provides (4 cal/g protein, 4 cal/g carb, 9 cal/g fat), and plugging in a little bit of math (it’s easy math, I promise 😉) your breakfast macro breakdown would be 50g carb (200 cals ÷ 4 cals/g), 50g protein (200 cals ÷ 4 cals/g), and 23g fat (200 cals ÷ 9 cals/g).
Remember that this sample is based on a 2,000 calorie diet and is just meant to provide an example of how you would calculate your breakfast breakdown.
You definitely don’t have to stick to this template exactly, but it’s meant to give you a rough idea of what a breakfast should look like when you prioritize your macros.
(Looking for some awesome breakfast ideas? Check them out here!)
#2 Do Consider Your Carb Source
Carbohydrates can basically be classified as either simple or complex. Simple carbs, like sugar, are broken down quickly and typically result in a blood sugar spike, while complex carbs do the opposite.
Try to consume complex carbs from foods like oats, shredded wheat, nutrient dense bread, sweet potatoes, or even brown rice or quinoa during your morning meal.
These foods don’t result in the blood sugar spike elicited by simple carbs like sugar, and thus are less likely to be stored as fat.
Since they’re also digested more slowly, they eliminate the crash that comes after a high sugar breakfast and they can help you to feel full for longer.
# 3 Do Prepare Ahead of Time
Let’s be real. We all have a million things going on every day. With time in short supply most mornings, you might have to resort to a morning meal that takes little to no prep and that you can eat on the run.
But the fact is, a quick breakfast usually means an unhealthy breakfast.
One way to avoid this might be to wake up earlier, but you’re sleep deprived as it is, right?
An alternative option is to prepare your breakfast the night before so you can just grab and go in the morning.
This will help you reach your nutritional goals even when you’re running late. Prepare your meal ahead of time so you can prioritize nutrition without taking time out of your hectic morning.
(Meal prep isn’t just for breakfast-click here to learn how to prep like a pro!)
#4 Do Remember to Hydrate
Some of you might cringe at the thought of drinking a glass of water along with your morning meal. But it might just be one of the best things you can do for your body!
You may not think about it, but when you haven’t consumed any fluids for 8 hours or so, you wake up dehydrated to one degree or another.
This can leave you feeling sluggish and unable to concentrate as you go about your morning.
Rehydrate right when you wake to help replenish your fluid levels after a long night’s sleep and to provide a jumpstart to your system.
Whether you include it with breakfast or not, start your day off on the right foot and drink plenty of water in the morning.
Own Your Morning, Own Your Day
Master your first meal of the day and it will serve as one giant leap to help you hit your daily macro goal. It will also provide you the energy you need to power you through the rest of your day!
Whether your fitness goal is to burn fat, build lean muscle, or to gain strength, give yourself the advantage of a killer morning routine. Always remember that a great routine isn’t complete without a great breakfast.
The path to conquering your goals starts first thing in the morning. Own your breakfast so that you can own your day!