Related: 5 Fast-Food Breakfasts That Are Actually Good For You, According To Nutritionists
Instead, aim for a balanced meal that includes lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich carbs. ”Balancing foods give you a steady stream of energy,” heading off a sugar rush and hunger pains before your next meal, says Kristina LaRue, R.D. “Compare a donut to an egg omelet with veggies and a side of fruit. That balanced energy will help you power through the morning.”
To help you figure out if your breakfast hits the mark, measure your morning meal against this simple equation: Breakfast = Lean protein + healthy fat + fiber-rich carbs.
Stick with eggs, Greek yogurt, and lean breakfast meats, which helps control your blood sugar and gives you body the building blocks for strong bones and muscles, says LaRue. Combine your choice of lean protein with whole grains like oatmeal, whole-grain bread, or quinoa, and fruits and vegetables, which provide fiber and complex carbohydrates that help you feel full longer. And don’t shun fats like nut butters, avocado and olive oil. Your body need fat to absorb vitamins in your food, and they contribute to the “fullness factor”, says LaRue. (Meaning, they'll help you feel satisfied for longer.)
Here are 6 reasons why you should put the whole banana (peel and all!) into your smoothie:
And don’t be afraid to think outside of the traditional breakfast box, says Harbstreet. “If we expand options to include foods or ingredients more common in lunch or dinner meals, we introduce more variety and convenience,” she says. “In some cases, dinner leftovers from the night before can be one of the best choices to save time, cleanup, and effort in the early morning hours.”
If you need inspiration, here are some healthy breakfast options that make the grade.
- Overnight Oats: Try LaRue's High Protein Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats, which satisfies your sweet tooth while providing a good dose of protein, thanks to the addition of cottage cheese, and fiber.
- Breakfast Toast: Your morning bread doesn’t have to be just butter and jam. LaRue loves making savory breakfast toast. Top your toast with ricotta cheese, burrata, or feta cheese and veggies like tomatoes, avocado, or arugula. Add an egg, seeds or nuts and you have a balanced meal. Harbstreet also loves whole grain toast with peanut butter topped with fresh figs and dried cranberries.
- Baked Oatmeal: Harbstreet’s go-to recipe combines oats with milk, dried or chopped fruit and some egg to bind it all together. “I’ll bake them in muffin tins so they can be a grab-and-go option, or reheated in a bowl,” she says. “I pair them with a container of yogurt and handful of raw or roasted nuts.”
- Veggie Hash: If you have leftover veggies in the fridge, transform them into a hearty breakfast in under 10 minutes. Add them to two scrambled eggs and top with a small amount of cheese, says Harbstreet.
The article This Formula Will Ensure Your Breakfast Keeps You Full Until Lunch Every Day originally appeared on Women’s Health.