Ah, breakfast. The oft-debated first meal of the day when you’re breaking your fast from dinner the night before.
I find that people typically fall into one of two categories when it comes to eating breakfast: They are either vehemently devoted to breakfast or quite indifferent to the meal with a “take it or leave it” attitude. Many times the die-hard breakfast fans have a few ‘go-to’ breakfasts that they don’t really vary from too much.
Some people must eat first thing when they wake up. Others like to wake up slowly and eat an hour or two later. Much of this is due to habit, hunger signals and even satiety hormones. It has also become common in the Paleo community to skip breakfast all together as part of an Intermittent Fast (IF).
While the occasional IF is healthy and can even serve as a great jump start to a cleanse or weight-loss plan, as a general rule, breakfast is pretty important.
It has been shown that people who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. One study even showed that women who ate eggs for breakfast consumed less total calories throughout the course of the day during a weight loss study. By setting up your day with a satiating breakfast you will be less tempted to reach for office treats that “3 pm” snack, or mindlessly overeat later in the day.
Your body does a lot of repair and detoxification work while you sleep. Hunger and satiety hormones also have daily patterns that correlate with these processes and your sleep-wake cycles.When you have a nutritious and balanced breakfast you help regulate key hormones like leptin, grehlin, and cortisol, all key hormones in maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day. Leptin and ghrelin are also responsible for signaling to your brain when you are hungry and full. Getting these two hormones working properly is critical to having a healthy relationship to food and weight maintenance. One way to start regulating leptin and ghrelin is to eat a healthy, filling breakfast with protein and fat within about an hour of waking.
What To Eat
The only thing you have to have for breakfast is a breakfast works for you. There is no sense in forcing down a meal you don’t like or that doesn’t make you feel awesome. It may take a little time and some trial and error to find your breakfast groove but a good rule of thumb is to find a breakfast that combines protein and healthy fats with a little fruit or vegetable. Here are a few ideas to help you start your day off with a nutritious meal:
- Breakfast smoothies are fast to make, nutritious and satisfying. Unsure about what to throw in the blender? Check out our five favorite Green Smoothies here.
- Eggs are a Paleo staple. Try making easy paleo egg muffins or a filling egg, ham and vegetable frittata that you can prepare ahead of time and enjoy for a few days.
- Paleo Banana Pancakes are a fun treat and are sure to convince even the most suspicious or picky eaters that Paleo eating is enjoyable and delicious.
- How about leftovers? Last night’s leftovers are a great and quick way to have a healthy breakfast. Re-purposing left overs from the Sizzling Sausage Skillet or Paleo Sloppy Joe is sure to please.
- If coffee is your breakfast of choice or you are following a low carb/ketogenic Paleo diet, Vic’s Mocha may be for you. A coffee with healthy medium chain triglycerides and healthy fats from coconut oil and grass fed butter will keep you energized all morning.
Finding the best breakfast for you may take a little experimentation, but you will know you have hit your breakfast stride when your morning meal leaves you energized and ready to tackle the day.
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