...and 3pm, and 4pm, and 9pm...
If you’re one of the many people out there who have overcome the ‘I skip breakfast’ hurdle and now start the day with a healthy, filling meal, well done, but there’s still progress to be made.
Eating a breakfast made up mainly of complex carbohydrates like oats or whole grains certainly gives your metabolism the kickstart it needs, but it might not be the most efficient way to promote a slow release of energy throughout the day. If you find yourself reaching for a sugar hit to go with your 11am coffee, two hours after that hearty bowl of porridge, it could be what you’re leaving out of your breakfast – not what you’re putting in – that’s to blame.
According to nutritionist Krista Yador Latortue, including a healthy dose of protein in your morning meal is key to keeping sugar cravings at bay throughout the day, and for increasing feelings of fullness until lunchtime.
“If you just have carbs at breakfast, your metabolism is off for the whole day,” she told Women’s Health. “No matter what meal it is, your plate should be half fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grain, and a quarter protein.”
The key to including protein is that it can work alongside carbs to promote slow energy release, while also increasing feelings of fullness and satisfaction. “If you don’t eat protein at breakfast, you’re going into lunch feeling ravenous. When you’re ravenous, you make poorer choices,” says Krista.
Another good reason to start the day with protein? Our body can only process around 30g of protein at a time, and given that the RDA for Irish adult females is at least 60g, it’s best to spread your intake throughout the day.
If the thought of eating chicken, turkey or other traditional protein sources in the AM makes you feel queasy, panic not. There are heaps of other ways to keep the protein/carb/veggie/fruit balance in check. Try an egg white omelette packed with veg and a slice of wholegrain toast, or porridge with fruit, a small handful of nuts and a couple of spoonfuls of protein-rich greek yoghurt. Sounds like a pretty perfect brekkie to us.
Want more inspo? Try our 5 Protein & Carb-Rich Breakfasts That Will Power You Through Until Lunch.
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