Dumb diet mistake #1: bad breakfast

Here it is, the #1 Dumb Diet Mistake:

#1: Bad breakfasts.

Breakfast probably doesn’t sound that important, but it’s possibly the most critical step you can take get a handle on hunger and overeating.   And Bad Breakfasts come in two varieties:

  1. No breakfast at all.  You’re just too busy rushing out the door, and you’re not all that hungry anyway.  Probably because the giant evening meal you ate last night is still sitting in your stomach.  So you don’t eat anything until maybe lunch or afternoon.  You go through the busiest part of your day with no food.  Eventually your metabolism catches up with you.  You get hungry fast, and you spend the late afternoon and evening eating, just as your metabolism is slowing down for the day.  You go to bed stuffed, and start the process all over again the next day.  Not a great way to control calorie intake.
  2. Breakfast that’s too small and/or heavy on the simple carbs.  Examples: a giant mocha latte, just juice with no food, sugary cereal, pastries and sweetened coffee.  The effect ends up being the same.  By mid afternoon, the effect of a lightweight breakfast full of sugar hits you in the form of hunger.  And you eat your way through the rest of the afternoon and evening.

The solution isn’t necessarily a complicated sit-down meal of eggs and toast.  Nor is it necessarily a substantial meal eaten the minute you wake up.  Breakfast timing and food choices are very flexible.  Separate breakfast and lunch by about 3 hours, maybe more.  Avoid added sugar foods and beverages.  Eat high fiber whole grains, fruit or vegetables.  And include some protein.  It doesn’t have to be a massive portion.  One egg, a glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, cheese or peanut butter on toast will all suffice.

Whether you eat breakfast at home, on the road or at the office, you can find something healthy that will moderate hunger and help you avoid the starving munchies later in the day:

  • egg, toast, juice
  • toast or bagel with peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • yogurt fruit smoothie
  • whole grain cereal with milk and fresh fruit
  • burrito with egg, potato, beans and cheese
  • slice of cheese pizza loaded with vegetables
  • yogurt and fresh fruit
  • turkey sandwich on pita
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