When we first consult with a bene-fit client, we talk about lots of things - exercise history, health status, weight goals - but perhaps the most surprising every time is diet.
"I eat pretty well," a client might say, holding a chemical-filled Diet Coke and stomach growling from a skipped breakfast. "Most of the time I try to be healthy," says another, remembering the wine-fueled cupcake overdose from the night prior. Regardless of the exact euphemism, it is often food that brings one to bene-fit as much as fitness.
And let's be honest - for many, the diet element of total wellness is the harder part. Though exercise can be difficult, it also feels great - heart pumping, sweat dripping, endorphins jumping. Dieting, on the other hand, can feel repressive and empty. No sugar? No carbs? NO WAY!
That said, we at bene-fit like to believe that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step - and for lots of diet-deprived folks, that can mean just adding breakfast! Eating breakfast is one of the easiest, fastest, and most satisfying ways to restructure your food intake in a healthier way.
But what to eat? And how much?
Surprisingly, most people underestimate the calorie demands of breakfast - remember, this meal is fueling the better part of your active, working day - so you want to aim for 250-500 calories (depending on your height, weight, gender, and activity level, of course). You also want to go for a balance of complex carbohydrates and healthy lean protein to make sure your meal "lasts" until lunch, and adding a vegetable or fruit serving makes a good meal even better.
Of course, we also want to make it as easy as possible to get your breakfast prepared and ready - so we've compiled a list of bene-fit-approved, four-ingredient-or-less breakfasts to get you out the door full and healthy:
--OATMEAL with 1/2 chopped apple, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp brown sugar
--LOW-SUGAR GRANOLA with 1/2 chopped pear, 1 TB flaxseeds, and 1 tsp honey
--WHOLE WHEAT ENGLISH MUFFIN with 1 slice low-sodium ham, 1 scrambled egg, and 1/2 cup cantaloupe
--LOW-SUGAR BLUEBERRY MINI-MUFFIN with 1 hard-boiled egg
--WHOLE WHEAT BAGEL with 1 TB natural peanut butter and 1/2 mashed banana on top
--OPEN-FACED TURKEY SANDWICH on 1 slice wheat bread with 2 slices turkey, 1 slice low-fat cheese, and 1 leaf lettuce
--PROTEIN SMOOTHIE with 1 scoop zero-carb protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen fruit, and 1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt
Never forget that even a small change makes progress toward a larger goal - so try some of our bene-fit breakfast ideas tomorrow morning and watch your energy, spirits, and overall health start to soar!