What’s the one thing you can’t have at lunch?
Sorry for the cheesy joke! But isn’t that what numerous people do? Eating breakfast at the time of lunch or, even worse, not eating breakfast at all?
If someone asked me for one key fitness mantra, I would say – eat fiber and protein-rich breakfast every morning.
The Importance of Breakfast
The main focus of this post is on your fiber and protein intake. Since breakfast is the best time to consume those, let me touch upon the importance of breakfast too.
The meal you have within two hours of waking up classifies as breakfast.
After a night-long fast, if your body doesn’t get that fuel called breakfast, you’ll feel an energy zap for the rest of the day. By skipping that vital morning meal, you’re completely throwing off your body’s rhythm and messing with your blood sugar levels.
Breakfast also aids our system in kick-starting our metabolism, which helps us burn calories throughout the day. This helps a great deal with regulating your body weight. For overall good health, please don’t ever skip your breakfast.
The Need for Protein
By now, it’s common knowledge that most of us don’t get enough protein in our diet. In short, eating adequate protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. Because protein-rich foods:
- Aid in weight loss
- Help you feel full and satisfied with your meal
- Build and repair your muscles and bones
- Make your hormones and enzymes
- Act as your energy source
How Much Protein?
Nutritionists suggest that healthy adults should consume 10-35 percent of their calories from protein. To be precise, here’s a formula that can help you calculate the protein your body needs:
(Your Body Weight in kgs) * 0.8 = Protein/Day in grams
(Your Body Weight in lbs) * 0.36 = Protein/Day in grams
The above formula is for a sedentary person. If you’re a highly active person, you need a ton more than that.
On the same note, if you wish to figure out how much protein you’re consuming, here’s a basic chart for the same: Protein Content from Common Foods.
The Need for Fiber
Now, here’s a catch with protein.
Your body finds it challenging to absorb protein if you don’t pair it with fiber-rich foods.
Eating more soluble fiber also helps in the following:
- Reducing belly fat
- Reducing cholesterol
- Promoting healthy weight by slowing digestion
- Promoting blood sugar control
- Reducing constipation
- Improving gut health
- Reducing the risk of gastrointestinal cancer
When you have protein and fiber together in the morning, you will feel more satisfied with your food. That reduces binge eating during the day caused by low sugar and hormonal imbalances.
Women should aim for about 21-25 grams of dietary fiber per day, and men should target about 35-38 grams.
My Family’s Breakfast
As a starting point, I’m sharing my family’s breakfast plan here. Please customize your breakfast as per your need and taste.
I’m not an athlete, and my body needs lesser calories in general (a side effect of Sadhana). So, here’s what I have for breakfast:
- A protein shake (store-bought)
- For fiber: 1/2 apple, a handful of berries, one teaspoon of raisins, 4-5 almonds, and 1-2 walnut halves
My husband and son work out, play tennis, and then head to work/school in the mornings. Their hyperactive schedule demands two breakfasts! A mini one before their morning athletics and a full one after the sport.
Their Mini Breakfast (before morning athletics):
- A toast of bread with peanut butter
- A shake with: milk, banana, oats, green leafy vegetables, and protein powder (per requirement)
Their Full Breakfast (after athletics):
- An Indian-style porridge made of oats, ragi, barley, and flax seeds. I buy all the flours and mix them at home. Then, I boil the mix into porridge each morning for them.
- Additions to their porridge: milk, 1/2 banana, 1/2 apple, a handful of berries, one teaspoon of raisins, 4-5 almonds, and 1-2 walnut halves
If you experience intestinal issues like constipation or diarrhea, it helps to take the Psyllium Husk supplement for a few days.
Please note that this is more like medicine for fiber-related troubles. Long-term and routine intake of this isn’t recommended. Typically, Psyllium Husk is available as capsules or a powder to be mixed with milk or water.
This Time’s Goal
Schedule an apt time for your breakfast. Make a fiber and protein-rich meal plan. If nothing, at least start having a banana and a bread toast for breakfast.
A Recap of Habits
When we cultivate new habits, we tend to forget the old ones. It’s essential to keep working on the already discussed habits to achieve our fitness goals. So, here’s a recap of what you should be working on:
Recalling the Logistics
- I’ll share the next small fitness goal when I see at least five ‘DONE’ comments on this post (including mine).
- If you have questions, please ask them in the Q&A forum. The entire community, including me, will answer them there for you.
Please don’t take your breakfast lightly! It is the key to feeling energetic. Shake off your laziness now for your better future!