Breakfast is the start of pretty much everyone’s day, but a healthy breakfast isn’t always an easy thing to achieve. As with any meal, you are seriously spoiled for choice with what’s out there, but unlike most other meals, people tend to stick with a couple of the classics for years on end. Diversity just isn’t there as much as it could be. For a lot of people, especially those training for specific fitness goals, this can actually counteract a lot of hard work if you aren’t careful. You can really explode your workouts, your energy and your progress, all by making a few little changes.
We’ve already written about the different macro and micronutrients and what they do for your body, and once you’ve figured out which you need to add in and cut out, you can start to create the perfect meal to help you on your way. That goes for your training days and your rest days too.
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- Breakfast Carbohydrates
- Fats in Breakfast
The first stop has to be looking at carbohydrates since they’re the source of most of your energy to get you through the day, and they’re the most common thing to see in breakfast foods as a result. That also means that there are tonnes of great options out there to choose from, but a lot of things you need to avoid, too, if you’re trying to minimise your carb intake.
High Carbohydrate Breakfasts
Starting with high-carb healthy breakfast foods is a breeze. Pretty much anything you think of when it comes to breakfast is going to be full of it. The issue is that a lot of these are full of sugar, and that’s not a good thing for anyone. Here are some of the healthiest high-carb options.
Fruits are one of the more surprising but more common sources of carbs, and they’re full of other excellent nutrients too. It’s earned its place on the list. Sweeter fruits have a little more sugar in them, so take it easy, but things like bananas, apples and even melons are all great places to start and easy to eat with anything or on their own for a healthy breakfast!
This one is pretty obvious, but like fruit, it needs to be said. Bread is one of the most common sources of carbs you can find. The problem is that not all of it is particularly healthy (we’re looking at you, white bread). Try and get some seeds on there or at least more wholemeal options to maximise the health benefits. Toast is one of the most famous forms of breakfast for a reason.
Oats / Porridge
The last high-carb healthy breakfast we’ll hit is oats or porridge, in particular. Another iconic breakfast, porridge or oats, in general, are almost entirely carbohydrates. Full of the stuff! Choose a healthy option, and don’t go too hard on the toppings/sugar, but it’s tough to go wrong.
Low Carbohydrate Breakfasts
Carbs aren’t always a good thing, especially if you’re taking a rest day or you’re trying to lower your overall calorie intake. For that reason alone, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some low-carb food options too. Everything seems to be carbs, so it can be really tricky.
One of the best options here is yoghurt since it’s all protein and fats (which we’ll go over below). The temptation is to put fruit with it, and that’s not a bad thing at all, but make sure you’re checking their carb intake too (although healthy carbs aren’t a big issue, and the pros of fruit outweigh the cons). Watch out for sugar content here, though, as a lot of yoghurts is full of it, and that’s the simplest form of carbohydrate out there!
Eggs are awesome and amazingly low in carbs too, which makes them another excellent healthy breakfast choice if you’re trying to cut them out of your diet. Like a lot of the other foods on the list, eggs have a huge range of variations that you can go for if you want to get the most out of them. You can choose anything from scrambled and fried all the way through to healthier options like poached or boiled. It’s up to you, and all of them have different health benefits depending on how you cook them.
Last but not least, we have meat substitutes like tofu and Quorn. Meat is a great way to maximise fats and protein with carbs, but the issue, especially with breakfast, is the amount of salt and unhealthy fat that gets involved. They make the food incredibly unhealthy, so tofu and Quorn are a great way to get the good without the bad. You can get pretty much Quorn anything, so bacon and sausage aren’t out of the equation either!
Fats in Breakfast
Fats aren’t a rarity in breakfast either, and that needs to be appreciated too. Like carbs, though, there are some typical healthy and typically unhealthy fats out there, so even when you’re trying to get more of one, you need to know what to look out for.
High Healthy Fat
Starting with healthy fats, the list is similar to low-carb options, but there are still some shining stars here.
One of the most famous sources of healthy fats in any food, especially healthy breakfasts, is avocado. It doesn’t really matter what you do with it, either. It’s a fruit, so it’s very difficult to get it wrong. If you’re on your rest day especially, this is an awesome way to help out your muscles and recover in the best way possible.
As we said before, yoghurt is an easy ingredient to use as you can add pretty much anything to it to make sure it’s what you are looking for, and it’s full of excellent fats you need in your diet. There are options that come in low-fat varieties, so make sure you avoid those, too, if you’re looking for all of the benefits.
A recurring theme here is eggs since they’re such an awesome way to get a bit of everything in your diet without the carbs to match. The possibilities are just so good that they need to be mentioned again and again. Avoid grease and excess fat to keep it healthy, and don’t go hard on salt, either.
Low-fat options are still well sought after when it comes to healthy breakfast ideas, especially for those of us who are dieting for better health and lower calorie consumption at the same time. The two really go hand in hand, and fat can definitely be one of the more unhealthy ways to make a bad diet.
Not only is Quorn low carb, but it’s also low fat too. It’s high in protein and low in fat, and that makes it an awesome way to get what you need in your diet, especially if you’re likely to notice the absence of meat. It can be great for cutting fat AND for keeping you on track, so it’s well worth a look for any meal, including breakfast.
Smoothies are renowned for being an incredibly healthy way to start your day, and because of what goes into them, they’re usually low in fat. It’s important to keep an eye on what you’re putting into them, i.e. milk and yoghurt, but with the right substitutes, you can really make a vitamin-packed beverage of awesomeness. (Just watch the sugar intake for the rest of the day!)
Finally, we’ve got protein. It’s the third part of the spear of health, and if you’re trying to build mass or even tone up, it’s vital that you get enough of it in your diet. If you’re trying to get more, some foods are better than others, and if you’re trying to get it in every meal, here’s what you need;
Oats and porridge, again, are awesome for protein, especially if you use healthy milk options to make it. It packs a punch in every single macronutrient category for the better, and that makes it potentially the best healthy breakfast you could ask for.
Animal produce is naturally high in protein, so yet again, eggs, as well as other meats, need the limelight. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, tofu or Quorn can be the answer there, too, so there’s no need to miss out!
Finally, dairy is naturally high in protein and fat, so yoghurt has to be on the list again. It really is full of goodness if you can avoid the sugary varieties, and because you can do so much with it, it might just be the breakfast of champions.
Ultimately, just keep an eye on what’s going into your cereal, and eat in a way that’s healthy and still sustainable. Balance your diet and your fitness goals to perfect harmony, and still try to cut out excess sugar and salt to keep you in the caloric green zone and avoid any nasty health surprises. Breakfast is what you make of it, and it’s easy to make it healthy and fit your goals!
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If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.