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Breakfast is the single most important meal of the day, yet too many of us think it’s a luxury and don’t make time to rise and dine. Instead, we resort to grabbing on-the-go foods that pack on extra calories, fat, and sugar, or worse, we skip eating breakfast altogether and overeat at our next meal. If you have a busy schedule, your best bet is to plan your breakfast meals ahead of time. Cook steel-cut oatmeal in batches and separate it into plastic containers to store in your fridge and reheat whenever you’re ready. Or, double up on preparing hard-boiled eggs, steel-cut oatmeal, or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Unlike greasy egg-and-cheese sandwiches and sugary pastries, these energizing foods are made with lean protein and fiber that will help you be energized all day and keep hunger and cravings at bay. To help you avoid making unhealthy food choices at breakfast, ask yourself if you’re making any of these common mistakes:
a glass of orange juice or other fruit juices with your meal. A glass of OJ or apple juice may be a standard part of your
breakfast tray, but it’s just not South Beach Diet-friendly due to the
concentrated sugar and general lack of fiber due to processing. Instead, we
recommend enjoying fresh whole fruits, like oranges, apples, strawberries, or cantaloupe,
which are packed with antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and other essential
nutrients, including fiber. As far as juice goes: You can enjoy a 6-ounce glass
of reduced-sodium tomato juice or vegetable juice blend.
an iced coffee with whipped cream and other add-ons. For some
people, a freshly brewed cup of coffee is the best way to start the day. But
what many people don’t realize is that coffee can contribute to weight gain,
depending on how you enjoy it and how often you have it. If buying coffee from
your favorite café is part of your morning routine, note that store-bought café
drinks may contain fattening add-ons like cream, white sugar, syrups,
flavorings, and whipped topping. It’s best to opt for a coffee with
no-sugar-added syrups, and/or fat-free or 1% milk. Be sure to also use a
recommended sugar substitute, like agave nectar, monkfruit natural no-calorie sweetener, or stevia. To add a boost of flavor, feel free to use your choice of extract,
such as pure vanilla or almond. Try our Iced Vanilla Coffee Milk
for healthy coffee inspiration.
a breakfast muffin, scone, or pastry to go. Muffins, scones, and
pastries are easy to pick up at your morning pit stop, but they are often made
with refined white flour and white sugar, which can contribute to cravings, not
to mention butter, which is high in saturated fat. Many breakfast pastries
these days are also outrageously large, some adding up to more than 500
calories on their own. We recommend that you prepare our Pear Bran Muffins (Phase 2)
instead, which use whole-wheat pastry flour, low-fat buttermilk, and canola
oil, and a sugar substitute of your choice.
on the cream cheese. Everyone loves a “shmear” but you need to
choose your cream cheese wisely. As a healthier alternative to full-fat cream
cheese, use 2 tablespoons of light cream cheese on occasion or dairy-free cream
cheese substitute as part of your daily fats/oils allowance. Instead of a huge
white-flour bagel, enjoy half of a small
whole-grain bagel or a piece of whole-grain toast on Phase 2. Or, when you have
more time, consider trying our tasty Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese “Sandwiches”,
which are made with thinly sliced whole-grain bread and a chive-flavored,
reduced-fat cream cheese.
for full-fat Greek yogurt. Like other full-fat dairy products,
full-fat plain Greek yogurt is high in saturated fat and calories. Also watch
out for fat-free Greek yogurt that contains fruit. Even though some brands
claim to use “real” fruit, they are often made with sugary, processed fruit
syrup and not with actual fruit itself. Look at the amount of added sugars in
such products, particularly if you have cravings for sugar.
breakfast platters that come with home fries and white toast.
Unfortunately, many breakfast foods served at diners and family chain
restaurants come with buttered white toast and fried white potatoes. Instead,
just get the eggs and ask for one slice of whole-wheat toast or a side of sweet
potato hash (Phase 2).
- Adding ham or pork bacon and full-fat cheese to your breakfast sandwich. Layering your breakfast sandwich with salty ham or pork bacon strips and full-fat cheese piles on the sodium and bad saturated fat. As a healthier alternative, make an open-face sandwich with one slice of whole-wheat toast, Canadian bacon or turkey bacon, and with reduced-fat cheese. Canadian bacon has the same smoky flavor but less fat than regular bacon.