Beat the Breakfast Blues

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What happens when you're sick of the usual breakfast options, are too busy in the morning to prepare one or simply don't like breakfast foods? With a little imagination, your first meal of the day can be one of the best. Don't be afraid to include some unorthodox breakfast foods. Just remember breakfast is an imperative part of losing weight. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism for the day.

Studies show that breakfast eaters burn calories more efficiently throughout the day than non-breakfast eaters. In addition, breakfast eaters are more likely to be thinner than non-breakfast eaters. A breakfast consisting of fiber and protein is the ultimate combination because these nutrients will fill you up on the fewest calories. Below are some healthy and tasty options for your morning meal_

I hate breakfast foods:There are no written rules about what foods to eat and when you can eat them, so go ahead and mix your meals up. Freeze your leftovers and pop them in your microwave for breakfast. You may be surprised that a whole-wheat slice of pizza with veggies and low-fat cheese is a well-balanced combination of fiber and protein which will keep you feeling satisfied till lunch.

Breakfast foods are boring: Breakfast doesn't have to be a bowl of cereal and milk. For a breakfast that will fill you up without filling you out, create your own omelet by using egg whites with a side of whole wheat toast. Spray a pan with Pam or use a non-stick frying pan, and dice up any of your favorite fiber-filled veggies like, spinach, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, peppers etc. and low-fat cheeses.

Make oatmeal your way. Feel free to add a splash of skim milk; it'll thicken up the oatmeal and add just the right amount of flavor. Try mixing in a handful of fruit such as blueberries, chopped up apples or bananas, 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped up walnuts or pistachios. You can also add 1 teaspoon of honey or brown sugar if the oatmeal has no added sugar already

I eat at the office:Don't grab the donut at your 9 am meeting! An office boardroom can wreak havoc on anyone's efforts to eat healthy. Take advantage of your office refrigerator and stock it with non-fat yogurt, fat-free cheeses and skim milk. Pair these with instant oatmeal packets and high-fiber cereals that you can keep in your desk drawer for the perfect breakfast combination. You can also create your own healthy trail mix to keep stashed in your bag. (Think high-fiber cereal, whole-wheat pretzels, peanuts, and raisins)

I need caffeine:Coffee alone, if made with nonfat milk, contains some protein, but has no fiber. Often one pairs their coffee with a muffin or donut which will only satisfy you in the short term and add 600 calories to your day. Pairing your coffee with a fiber food is your best bet. Some delicious options are GNU Flavor and Fiber bars or 4 fiber crackers with peanut butter and sugar-free jelly.

I'm always on the go:If a fast food restaurant is usually your first stop in the morning before your hectic day begins, be very careful. There are about 400 calories in a bagel before any toppings are spread on it. Prepare your breakfast the night before. Wrap up your favorite veggies, egg whites and lean protein in a whole-grain tortilla. Stick it in the fridge and in the morning you have your very own on-the-go breakfast burrito.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto