From the doctor to your mom, you’ve probably heard many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting your morning with a satisfying meal helps to properly fuel your body for the day ahead, and many dieticians say that breakfast can actually help you lose weight by kicking your metabolism into gear.
While these breakfast benefits are valid, it’s important to realize that not all breakfasts are created equal. Some breakfast habits can actually thwart your weight-loss efforts, according to the experts at Cooking Light. So follow these three rules to ensure you’re eating breakfast the right way:
1. Eat right away. In order to jumpstart your metabolism and take advantage of your body’s early morning fat-burning mode, try to eat breakfast within 30-60 minutes of getting up. This will help jumpstart your metabolism so that you start burning calories right away. Eating early also helps moderate your hunger so that you’re not starving at lunchtime and dinner, which can lead to poor food selections and/or overeating. If you’re one of the many who has a hard time eating in the morning, sip on a smoothie packed with protein and fruit.
2. Focus on protein. Instead of grabbing that bagel or muffin for breakfast, choose a protein-packed option instead, such as eggs, greek yogurt or a protein shake. Protein helps you feel fuller, longer, so that you’re likely to eat less throughout the day. Protein also gives you sustained energy throughout the day since it takes longer to break down in your body.
3. Include a banana. Ever hear of resistant starch? It’s a substance that helps you feel full and burn calories as it forces your body to burn fat for energy. Add one to your smoothie, slice one into your oatmeal or add to a smear of peanut butter on whole-grain toast.
Best of all, starting the morning out right with a weight-loss friendly breakfast will put you in the frame of mind—and body—to make healthy decisions all day long.