Summer’s here and as the layers come off everyone’s paying attention to what they’re eating. Some of the foods that we love to have in summer are really good for us which makes it a bunch easier to eat healthily.
It’s healthy eating week and a survey of school kids found that almost one in five think fish fingers come from chicken! Hopefully you’re all a bit older and wiser to know otherwise - another thing the survey found was that loads of us aren’t eating breakfast. We’re probably all guilty of skipping breakfast every once in a while – usually in a state of panic and only having time to grab your bag before sprinting out the door.
A smoothie could be the perfect replacement for your morning coffee.
When we say breakfast, we’re not talking about a cup of coffee with three sugars. While this will definitely give you energy for the first few hours of the morning you’ll soon need another one to keep you going. Loads of us can’t function without a morning caffeine fix - so, if you feel like your brain doesn’t work without caffeine it might mean you’re having too much of it. Having a fruit filled smoothie in the morning could be the perfect solution. It’s much healthier and will give you a bunch of energy but you won’t crash halfway through the day.
Have a breakfast bar when time’s tight.
If you’re like me and often find yourself oversleeping, instead of skipping breakfast altogether there are loads of breakfast bars that you can get which will keep you going until lunchtime. Choose ones that are high in fibre and low in sugar and have them ready for those days that you just run out of time or sleep through your alarm.
Breakfast bars vary in calories – to get enough you may need to combine with a some fruit or juice or have a mid morning snack.
It really is the most important meal of the day but around two thirds of people in the UK don’t bother. Even though you may not see any problem with skipping breakfast, it slows down your metabolism and can leave you starving by lunchtime.
It’s true that if you don’t eat breakfast your body will go into starvation mode and your metabolism will slow down to conserve energy. It’s best to have your breakfast within 2 hours of getting up - the sooner you eat the quicker your metabolism gets to work. If you’re trying to get into shape for summer skipping breakfast could actually mean that you’ll put on weight.
Not eating until lunchtime can make you more inclined to eat unhealthily, or resort to having a cheeky snack to stave off hunger. By skipping this vital meal in a bid to lose weight you could be making a big mistake. An American study found that those who regularly skipped breakfast had 4.5 times the risk of obesity than those who didn’t.
You’ll feel way more awake and avoid overeating later in the day if you eat a decent brekkie. Your best bet is to have some good carbs and fibre with protein. If you’ve got time, an egg with wholemeal bread will set you up perfectly for the day. If you don’t have much time in the morning try having oatmeal with yoghurt and fruit – it’s a great summery breakfast and if you need to you can get it ready the night before and leave it in the fridge.
Make sure you eat enough in the morning – to get the full benefits of breakfast, experts suggest having 15–25 percent of your daily calories in your first meal which is about 300 calories (recommended daily calorie intake for women is 2000). This is only if you don’t have a snack between breakfast and lunch. You want to avoid things that are really sugary, even though they’ll give you a quick buzz it definitely won’t last the day. If you’ve got a sweet tooth and fancy something sweet in the morning opt for a drizzle of honey over some fruit or cereal.
Low-fat protein is good is good for the brain - the fat in bacon or sausages can make you feel sluggish as your body will have to work harder and use more oxygen to digest it. Having a poached or boiled egg is a good way to get your morning protein. One egg with two pieces of toast a bit of butter and a handful of fruit is perfect at 300 calories. Baked beans are a great source of protein. Having some beans with two pieces of toast is 291 calories. Nuts are also a great source of low fat protein - if you’re a cereal person, try a handful of nuts sprinkled into your bowl or get a variety that includes nuts and seeds.
So, when your alarm goes off tomorrow, instead of hitting snooze, get up and have some breakfast. You won’t miss that 10 minutes in bed and will definitely have much more energy and be ready to face the day. You might even find that at lunch you aren’t craving unhealthy food or wanting to snack throughout the day. There are loads of healthy and delicious choices and soon you may find yourself bounding out of bed and looking forward to breakfast.