How to Boost Your Metabolism at Breakfast
One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your metabolism is to make breakfast a priority. This gets your digestive juices flowing, gives you energy, and sets you up for a great day. By eating a balanced breakfast, making healthy choices, and selecting the right beverages, you can enjoy your morning meal and stay healthy, while giving your metabolism a kick.
Eating a Balanced Breakfast as Soon as You Wake
Eat breakfast within one hour of waking.You have probably heard the famous saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and it’s true! That is because when you wake up, you likely haven’t eaten for 8 to 10 hours. Your blood sugar is low, and so are your energy levels. You need to “break” the “fast” within one hour of waking up. A healthy breakfast will jump start your metabolism and your day, but waiting too long to eat can actually slow you down.
Avoid simple carbohydrates.Typical breakfast choices (such as a bagel with cream cheese or toast with jam) can give you some quick energy, but they will spike your blood sugar and leave you to crash. This can lead to insulin resistance, plus it will leave you feeling hungry again soon. Stay away from white bread and sweets in the morning.
- You'll want to stay away from donuts, waffles, pancakes, and white toast. Opt for 100% whole wheat toast instead.
- Watch out for added sugar in oatmeal or breakfast cereals.
- Refrain from adding sugar (or sweetened creamer) to your coffee.
Aim for a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.Instead, you need to eat a balanced breakfast that includes complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat at the same time. This nourishes you, and gets your metabolism rolling.
- Good sources of protein include eggs, plain Greek yogurt, beans, chicken, or fish.
- Your carbohydrates should come from fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
- Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, eggs, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds.
- A veggie omelet (especially one cooked in coconut oil) is a great example of a balanced breakfast with carbs, protein, and healthy fats.
Consume complex carbs.Instead of simple carbohydrates, you want to start your day with complex carbs. The best carbohydrates to boost your metabolism should come from whole grains and vegetables. These complex carbohydrates will keep you full longer and give you sustained energy throughout your day.
- Try having steel-cut oatmeal or brown rice porridge, with a side of carrots dipped in natural peanut butter.
Include some protein.You metabolism works the best when it is fueled by protein and complex carbohydrates simultaneously. Be sure to include some lean protein in your breakfast! Include a side of turkey sausage or add some Greek yogurt to your oats. Eggs are an excellent source of protein too!
Eat healthy fats.To really get your metabolism started in the morning, you must also include a serving of healthy fats. This can be as simple as adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to your brown rice porridge, cooking your omelet in clarified butter, or enjoying a spoonful of peanut butter. Add some healthy fat to your meal to rev your metabolism and feel full.
- However, keep in mind that there may already be fat in your breakfast from things like yogurt, milk, and breakfast sausage.
Fill up your plate.Not only does breakfast help jump start your metabolism and help give you energy all day, but the heartier your breakfast is, the better! A recent study shows that getting 22 to 55% of your total calories at breakfast may help you stay slim, whereas getting 0 to 11% of your calories from breakfast may lead to weight gain. So fill up your plate and get full at breakfast.
Making Healthy Choices
Eat unprocessed food.Food in its most natural form--such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables--take a bit of work to digest. This is a good thing! This fuels your metabolism, burns calories, and keeps you fuller longer. If you’re not used to consuming whole, unprocessed foods, this may take a bit of planning.
- Choose steel-cut oats, or even whole rolled oats, over instant.
- Try other whole grains, such as quinoa, for breakfast.
- Include lots of fresh vegetables.
- Include some fruit.
Prepare your breakfast the night before.If you are busy in the morning, it may help you to prepare breakfast for yourself the night before. One great option is to cook steel-cut oats in a slow cooker. When you wake up, you can just grab breakfast and go.
- Add 1 cup of steel-cut oats, 1 peeled and chopped apple, ½ cup raisins, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 3 ½ cups water (or unsweetened almond milk) to your slow cooker.
- Close the lid and cook on low for 7+ hours.
- Wake up to a delicious aroma and a fresh, hot breakfast!
Opt for a smoothie.If you don’t feel very hungry in the morning, making a smoothie might be a great way to get your nutrients and kick start your metabolism. This is also a great choice for breakfast on the go. You can throw the ingredients in your blender the night before. Then just wake up, blend, and hit the road.
- Use 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk or coconut water as your base (or ½ cup of each).
- Add ½ banana, 5 frozen strawberries, and 1/3 cup frozen kale or spinach.
- Add a scoop of protein powder of your choice (follow serving directions on packaging; look for something low in sugar).
- Add 1/2 Tbs. of almond butter.
- Add 1 tsp. of flax seed and 1 tsp. of chia seeds.
- Blend until smooth and enjoy!
- This smoothie contains fruit, veggies, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Selecting the Right Beverages
Start with water.As soon as you rise, begin your day with 8-16 ounces of water. This hydrates your body and helps to get your digestive juices flowing. Then, continue sipping throughout your day. If you are dehydrated, you may be burning up to 2% fewer calories than you should.
- Try to drink 50% of your body weight in ounces (200 lbs.= 100 ounces).
Drink coffee.Caffeine is a stimulant to your central nervous system, and as such, helps to speed up your metabolism. Consuming coffee in the morning can boost your metabolism 8-12%, meaning you’ll burn 98-174 extra calories per day.
- Beware of adding things to your coffee. Additions like creamer, half and half, or sugar can be high in simple carbohydrates, calories, and preservatives.
- Try taking your coffee and tea black.
Drink some milk.Calcium deficiency can slow your metabolism. Be sure you are getting enough calcium each day by including a glass of milk with your breakfast.
- You can also get calcium from other dairy products (like yogurt and cheese), or from green vegetables (like spinach, bok choy, and green beans).
Video: How To Boost Your Metabolism: Healthy Breakfast Drink Recipe
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