I’m always looking for ways to get more out of my morning workout and eating the right breakfast might be my newfound secret. I was psyched to read that eating a breakfast made with “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, 3 hours before I exercise may help me burn more fat, according to a recent study. Here’s why: in the study eating “slow-release” carbohydrates didn’t spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates, such as white toast. In turn, insulin levels didn’t spike as high and because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower levels may help you burn fat.
While I like oatmeal, I can’t eat it every day. So here are 5 delicious breakfast recipes to help fight fat:
1. Scandinavian Muesli: Serve this Scandinavian cereal with low-fat yogurt or nonfat milk to start your day off with whole grains and some protein and calcium-rich dairy. You can substitute any combination of chopped dried or fresh fruit for the raisins—apricots, apples, figs, cherries or cranberries would all be delicious. Try walnuts or hazelnuts instead of the almonds if you like. Ground flaxseeds stirred in at the end provide a boost of heart-healthy omega-3s.
2. Wake-Up Smoothie: With a stash of berries in your freezer, you can jump-start your day with this nutritious, tasty smoothie in just minutes. It provides vitamin C, fiber, potassium and soy protein.
3. Quick Breakfast Taco: A smaller cousin of the breakfast burrito, the breakfast taco made with reduced-fat Cheddar and egg substitute is a satisfying and healthy breakfast option.
4. Breakfast Parfait: A little low-fat dairy and some vitamin-rich fruit and you've just started your day right, nutritionally speaking.
5. Banana-Bran Muffins: Ripe bananas are just right for these moist bran muffins. Add a handful of dark chocolate chips to entice children to enjoy a fiber-rich treat.