We know breakfast helps to set the tone for how successful your day will be but how the heck do we really make it healthier? Here are 10 easy tips to take to the bank when it comes to setting yourself up for a better morning.
1. Avoid your triggers: The reality is that you crave what you eat, so as you make healthier choices, your old cravings will weaken. So if you are in the habit of going out for donuts, guess what? You’re going to eat the donuts! Time to change the habit and retrain your tastebuds, which I talk about in-depth in my book “Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive.”
2. Balance your blood sugar: Research studies indicate that low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which can jeopardize your ability to make good decisions. To keep your blood sugar stable, eat a nutritious breakfast with protein and fat such as eggs, protein shakes, avocado, or nut butter. Plan to eat smaller more frequent meals throughout the day.
3. Eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbs: It’s best to go cold turkey. Eliminate refined sugars, sodas, fruit juices, and artificial sweeteners from your diet as these can trigger cravings.
4. Eat SLOW carb, not LOW carb: Eat carbohydrates that do not spike your blood sugar. Choose high fiber carbs that keep you fuller longer and help reduce your sugar cravings. You can increase your fiber intake by eating vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Fiber will assist in weight loss since it fills up your stomach and helps you moderate your portions. Carbohydrates are essential to good health and are not the enemy.
5. Drink more water: Sometimes hunger is disguised as dehydration. When you are dehydrated your body will increase your hunger level in an attempt to get more water to rehydrate. Try drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning before your meals to make you feel fuller and to help you moderate your food intake.
6. Make protein 30% of your diet: Protein fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer. It also regulates your blood sugar and makes your body release appetite-suppressing hormones.
7. Manage your stress: Starting the day by looking at the news or social media is the worst! Stress triggers hormones that activate cravings. Chronic stress has been associated with obesity, addiction, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and cancer. Adopt a daily stress management program that includes deep breathing exercises, prayer, and other relaxation techniques
8. Follow the 90/10 Rule: Give yourself a break. Make great food choices 90% of the time, and allow yourself margin to enjoy some of your favorite foods on occasion. This way you won’t feel deprived and you will avoid bringing on something you’ll regret later.
9. Get moving: Research shows that physical activity can curb cravings. Plan out your exercise for the week and schedule it on your calendar. Make the commitment to yourself just like any other important meeting or appointment.
10. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep: Sleep deprivation can increase ghrelin, the hormone that doesn’t know how to turn off the satiety button. Get good rest and set yourself up for success in the morning and cut the cravings for sugar and caffeine later in the day when the mid-afternoon slump sets in.
About Mareya Ibrahim Mareya Ibrahim, The Fit Foodie, nationally recognized food expert, founder of eatcleaner.com, and author of the #1 new release, “Eat Like you Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive” Mareya is a chef, holistic nutrition coach, author, and award-winning entrepreneur and inventor. She is the founder of Grow Green Industries, INC. and the creator of the Eat Cleaner line of food wash and wipes. Mareya is the author of “The Clean Eating Handbook,” a signature chef to the NY Times bestseller “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life” by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman and a featured chef on the Emmy-nominated show, Recipe. Her column, The Fit Foodie, has appeared in Edible Orange County Magazine since 2011. Mareya is also the host of the podcast “Recipes for Your Best Life”, was a featured chef on the Food Network, eHow.com, Livestrong.com. and the Emmy- nominated cooking show, Recipe Rehab. Mareya is the emcee and keynote speaker for dozens of events, including the Sustainable Foods Summit, The California School Nutrition Association Conference, the Western Food Service Conference, The Healthy Food Expo, The Fit Expo, and The Daniel Plan.
Here Are some of my favorite breakfast recipes
- Easy Naan Breakfast Pizza
- Egg Muffin Cups
- Sheet Pan Berry French Toast
- Poached Egg and Veggie Brekkie Bowl
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