Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume lets us in on how to tackle breakfast based on our sleeping patterns.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “I’m a morning person” or perhaps more often, “I’m not a morning person” – but how does that affect your diet?
Nutritionist and UNCLE TOBYS Ambassador, Kathleen Alleaume gives us the down-low on what food you should favour as part of your daily schedule, starting with breakfast.
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Is brekkie even important in the first place?
Yes! Breakfast, as the name suggests, breaks the overnight fasting period.
This is important to refuel your body (and brain) and replenish energy stores. Many people find that eating breakfast sets them on the right eating path for the rest of the day.
Eating a well-balanced breakfast can also help stabilise blood sugar and insulin levels – both of which are critical in appetite regulation – meaning you are hopefully less likely to consume excessive energy throughout the day to counteract the deficit.
What makes a balanced breakfast?
A nourishing and well-rounded breakfast will contain a balanced combination of whole grain carbohydrates – which generally also dish up a side of fibre – to avoid energy slumps, combined with a serve of protein.
So, a bowl of rolled oats with nuts and berries, or a slice of whole grain toast with eggs and avocado will do the trick. Choosing a breakfast with both fibre and protein is also key to helping support good digestion and regulate appetite.
Does it actually matter what time you eat breakfast?
The reality is, not really. The problems occurs when we are making the wrong choice, which often tend to correlate with fostering unhealthy eating habits for the rest of the day. For example, a poor breakfast decision can throw off your energy and blood sugar levels for the day ahead.
The best way to foster a healthy eating pattern overall is consistency. As much as possible, plan each meal and snacks at times that are relatively distributed throughout the day.
But depending on whether you prefer to wake up early to kick your day off with a bang or prefer more of a slow-burn into the late hours of the night, what you might choose to eat throughout the day.
If you’re an early riser:
Opt for high quality carbs to keep your energy levels high and to kick start your day, and foods that contain a source of protein to keep you full for your busy morning hours.
A couple of slices of whole grain toast or a bowl of porridge made from rolled oats with banana and peanut butter could be the perfect fix, with the oats and banana providing whole grain carbohydrates for sustained energy as part of a healthy varied diet, and peanut butter providing protein to help keep you feeling full.
If you love a late night:
Sleep deprivation can affect appetite-regulating hormones, which may result in overeating energy-dense foods so make sure to get a quality 8-hours and start your day with healthy choices full of whole grains and contains protein.
If you don’t have time for a proper sit-down breakfast, high-fibre options like UNCLE TOBYS Breakfast Bakes contain the same amount of whole grain oats as a bowl of porridge (based on a 34g Original Quick Sachet) and can be easily eaten on-the-go with a piece of fruit or yoghurt and some water for a healthy start to your day.
A chia pudding made with milk, or a savoury spinach and egg frittata muffin can also do the trick!
What about the rest of the day?
One of the best ways to prevent mindless in-between meal munchies is by having higher quality/nutrient dense snacks available on-hand whenever you may need them, including in the car or at work, especially if you’re eating the bulk of your meals closer towards bedtime.
Similar to your choices at brekkie, ensure snacks, as part of a healthy varied diet, contain a source of quality carbs to keep your energy up and protein, a key nutrient to help keep hunger at bay. Nutritious combos that I love include:
- A whole grain wrap with cheese or avocado
- An UNCLE TOBYS Honey & Oat Slice
- A homemade popcorn, fruit and nut mix
- Whole grain crackers with hummus