Although forgoing breakfast may seem like a smart way to balance out calories and prevent weight gain, the truth is, even if you wake up feeling full from last night’s holiday party free-for-all, skipping breakfast will just make you more likely to overeat later in the day. The key to getting back on the healthy train is choosing the right breakfast. After helping thousands of people lose weight, we’ve found there are a few guidelines you should follow to stay lean after a splurge.
Your bounce-back breakfast should…
…carry around 200 calories
Breakfast should be the size of a healthy afternoon snack, because, like a snack, its purpose is to tide you over until your next meal. Choose something small enough that you feel light, yet that still provides energy. It’s also got to be large that you won’t be tempted to overindulge at lunch.
…have fiber (think fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans)
Fiber typically goes hand-in-hand with the healthy carbohydrates that you need to fuel your brain and prevent cravings. It also helps to flush the left-over debris and toxins lingering in your colon from the night before and stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
…contain at least 10 grams of protein
Protein takes longer to digest and will help to prevent you from feeling hungry too soon.
…be appealing enough to make you want to eat, even if you’re not hungry
These three breakfasts meet all four qualifications:
Apple-y Vanilla Pie
Chop a small apple into slices about ½ inch thick. Coat the slices with 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or with ½ teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and microwave on high for 5 minutes. While apples are still hot and juices are still liquid-y mix them into a nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt. Look for a yogurt that’s about 130 calories or less to keep your total calorie count to around 200.
Pina Colada Yogurt
Add ½ cup crushed canned pineapple to 4 oz non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt. Top it with 1 tbsp toasted coconut. Note: You could substitute the pineapple with canned mandarin oranges. To toast the coconut, place the coconut in a small dry skillet over medium heat and stir often for about 5 minutes, until it’s golden. Or you can spread in a shallow baking dish and bake it at 350°F for about 5 to 10 minutes.
California Love Mug (this is a Hungry-Girl recipe–we’re big fans!)
- 1/2 c chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 c sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 c fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
- 2 tbsp diced tomatoes
- 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese
- 2 tbsp diced avocado
Spray a large microwave-safe mug with nonstick spray. Add spinach and mushrooms, and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Blot any excess moisture from the veggies. Add the egg substitute, tomatoes, and cheese wedge, breaking the cheese wedge into pieces as you add it. Microwave it all for 1 minute. Stir gently, and then microwave the mug for an additional 45 to 60 seconds, until the scramble has just set. Lightly stir the mixture, and allow it to cool slightly. Top it off with avocado, and eat up!
What do you have for breakfast after you over-indulge the night before?
—Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dieticians, certified personal trainers and authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.
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