Ever wondered whether to train fasted or not?
Remember that body composition depends on overall energy balance. The difference between fasted and non-fasted exercise is likely small, assuming nutrition is dialed in the remainder of the day. Focus on exercising when you feel the best and you will have the most superpowerful workout.
When we venture to the land of “nutritious breakfasts” we might notice:
- Less body fat, lower cholesterol and/or fewer chronic, non-communicable diseases
- Improved mood, energy, learning and/or retention
- Better food choices later in the day leading to balanced blood sugars, improved bowel movements
- Muscle preservation and increased strength
Translation: A nutritious breakfast is probably a good idea.
Making time for breakfast
Nearly 90% of Americans acknowledge that breakfast is a good idea, still, about half don’t eat it.
And of those eating it, what are they choosing? When we last checked, sales for the fast-food breakfast market will reach about $11.5 billion in 2023.
You’ll find that most of the meals healthy people are eating require more than a few minutes (unless it’s prepared ahead of time). In America, the average adult spends 32 minutes each day on food prep and clean up. Divide that by 3 meals, and it means about 10.7 minutes are dedicated to breakfast.
It takes roughly 4 minutes to whip up a delicious, nutritious Super Shake with protein, fruits and/or veggies and healthy fats, compared to waiting in a Starbucks’ or Dutch Bros’ drive through line.
The daily morning meal is a great time to take care of your body. Take a few ideas from those who have been sticking with it for years and make the commitment to a healthy breakfast habit.
What are healthy people eating for breakfast?
While some people intentionally skip breakfast to drop body fat, it doesn’t seem to work in the long run, as those who skip are up to 5 times more likely to be obese than those who make it a daily habit.
We’re highlighting some of the healthiest nations and what they typically choose for breakfast below for inspiration. Among them are the leanest, longest lived, least depressed, lowest cancer rates, lowest heart disease rates and best digestive health.
Keep in mind that some of the “typical” breakfast meals we outline below would be slightly different depending on the region of the country, income, traditions, etc. Still, it gives you an idea what people are eating in other, healthier parts of the world for breakfast, and how they compare and contrast from each other. How do your breakfast choices compare?
Low levels of depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and postpartum depression despite long winters and little sunlight.
- Whole grains (focusing on rye and oatmeal)
- Bilberries and other fruits
Longest life expectancy on the planet; low levels of various chronic diseases; active into old age
- Steamed rice, rice porridge, rice cakes
- Seaweed & sea vegetables
- Green tea
- Miso & noodle soup
- Veggie stir-fry
- Broiled/grilled fish
Low levels of cardiovascular disease
- Toast/whole grain breads
- Yogurt with honey
- Greek coffee
- Olives/olive oil
- Feta cheese
Copper Canyon Mexica (Tarahumara Indians)
Low levels of type-2 diabetes
- Corn Tortillas
- Corn meal
Low levels of cancer; Optimal digestive health
- Matoke (like a banana)
- Steamed breads (plain or with meat/veggie fillings)
- Soy milk
- Hard boiled eggs
- Rice porridge
- Flour/rice noodles – cooked with tomato, vegetables or eggs
Consider how the breakfast selections and outcomes of the countries above differ from North America below.
70% overweight/obese; 1 of every 2 deaths from heart disease or cancer
- Cold cereal
- Cow’s milk
Some ideas to consider when putting together breakfast:
- Take your time and pace yourself when eating, if you don’t want to allow time in the morning, prepare food ahead of time
- Include some protein dense food
- Eat enough food
- Swap highly processed food (cereal, protein bars, bagels, sausage, etc.) for less processed food (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, eggs, Greek yogurt)
- Don’t be afraid of vegetables, or eating “dinner food” (like chicken and salad, or turkey/vegetarian chili) aka leftovers for breakfast
- Try whole grains (real whole grains like oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, sprouted grains, etc.)
- Establish a routine that you can stick with
Have questions about how to level up your nutrition and fitness?
The health and fitness world can sometimes be a confusing place. But it doesn’t have to be.
Let us help you make sense of it all: book your consultation here today.
During our consultation, you’ll learn the best eating, exercise, and lifestyle strategies — unique and personal — for you.
Kant AK, et al. Association of breakfast energy density with diet quality and body mass index in American adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1999-2004. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;88:1396-1404.
Cho S, et al. The effect of breakfast type on total daily energy intake and body mass index: results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). J Am College Nutr 2003;22:296-302.