Two common mistakes people make with the first meal of the day
But if, like Callie, you’d prefer not to—or don’t have the opportunity to—snack between breakfast and lunch, eating a bigger breakfast will make that possible. And just as an aside, although it’s a myth that food eaten after 8 or 9 pm in the evening is more quickly converted to fat, cutting down on evening snacking can go a long way toward invigorating your morning appetite.
For more diet and nutrition myths, check out my two e-books: How to Win at Losing: 10 Diet Myths that Keep You From Succeeding and Nutrition Zombies: 10 Diet Myths that Refuse to Die
Mistake #2: Not Eating Enough Protein
The other common mistake people make at breakfast time is to skimp on protein. Typical breakfast foods like cereal, toast, bagels, muffins, fruit and fruit juice are primarily carbohydrates, which are relatively quickly digested and absorbed. Even if you’re following my advice and choosing low-sugar, high-fiber cereals and eating whole fruit instead of drinking juice, you may still find yourself running out of steam mid-morning.
To dramatically increase the staying power of your breakfast, try adding some protein to those healthy carbs. Cottage cheese, Greek-style yogurt, eggs, smoked salmon, or peanut butter are all good options. And there’s no need to limit yourself to conventional American “breakfast” foods, either. The Japanese typically start the day with a bowl of miso soup; in India, spiced lentils and rice are common; in Israel, you might be served a breakfast salad of feta, watermelon, and cucumber. So, free yourself from your preconceived notions about what breakfast should be: Have some vegetable soup or a salad. Heat up leftovers from last night’s dinner. Or, check out my episode on how to make the perfect smoothie.
Not only will it keep you from getting hungry as quickly, but a higher-protein breakfast can also help you concentrate and perform better on mental tasks throughout the morning.