Breakfast has a number of benefits: it kick starts your metabolism; it keeps you fed until your next meal (usually lunch); and it gives you the energy you need to concentrate and focus in work or an early morning workout. To get these benefits you need to start your day with breakfast, but breakfast – like any meal – has a pretty wide scope: How big should breakfast be? When should you eat? What should you eat? Breakfast is important but if you eat too much or the wrong things it may end up working against your plans to lose weight. So what is the best breakfast for weight loss and energy – what should you eat in the morning and when?
What Should You Eat?
The best recommendation is a light, sensible breakfast. The plate of a traditional English or Irish breakfast (a fry) is, mostly, not going to fit that bill. Fried breads, sausages, butter and so on increase the morning calories by a substantial amount when you’re already eating enough to get the benefit of breakfast.
Avoid refined carbohydrates entirely. White bread, jams, a lot of popular breakfast cereals, bagels and pastries are going to spike your blood sugar. This will mean you will be hungry again before lunch. You want to eat a combination of complex carbohydrates, healthier fats (no trans fats), fiber and protein.
There are lots of tasty options when you approach breakfast this way:
Eggs are a particular breakfast super food – the protein and fat (nearly all good) keeps them filling. If you have high cholesterol you’ll probably want to limit the number of yolks you intake – though what a yolk actually adds to blood cholesterol is still an open debate.
Feel free to drink tea and coffee (no sugar; milk depends on your own preference) or water. I love a cup of coffee or two myself. The list above can be adjusted based on your specific diet needs and it is nowhere near (really absolutely nowhere) exhaustive – there are so many breakfast options from so many cultures worldwide.
When Should You Eat?
There are a lot of people who wake up without feeling hungry. There are not many who wake up and are still not hungry after an hour (unless the night before saw a lot of indulgence). Don’t feel that you have to feed yourself as soon as the sleep clears from your eyes.
Breakfast is still breakfast if it’s the first meal of your day. Just don’t be tempted to squeeze more meals in if you are up at midday and want breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Three meals a day” is a bit of an anachronism in this day and age originating as it did in a time when most adults were working very hard in factories (the industrial revolution) from very early in the morning until the evening.
The key thing about breakfast is, again, that it starts your engine and keeps you energised for your daily activities until you next need to eat without your total meals for the day going over your calorie limit. It has to be filling, healthy and energising.
Modern humans have wildly varying lifestyles. Food has to be made to fit our needs but we can’t go over those needs without gaining weight. It’s really rather simple.