Discover the true importance of eating a breakfast that is high in protein. Learn why you should be adding a breakfast ritual to your daily self-care routine for weight loss & weight management as well. The subject is covered by someone that has lost and maintained over 100 lbs of weight (after having had four babies and battling binge eating disorder for 15 years, & defeating it).
This is the 11th post in Sarah’s free fitness series, make sure to check that series out here.
*Please note that this post is written by a woman schooled in hard knocks, I am no Dr. or expert of any sort, nor do I claim to be one in any way, shape, or form… this is just me sharing my personal experiences and thoughts about what developing the habit of eating a healthy, protein-rich breakfast has done for me. So please keep that in mind while you are reading, and always run any dietary or exercise changes by your healthcare professional first.
Before we get into it, if you need a visual of how big of a change it is to lose 100 + lbs (and need the extra motivation to stick with it), you gotta check out my before and after comparison post, because it is nuts how far I have come in my fitness journey.
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Why Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day:
The matter of why eating breakfast is important has been discussed repeatedly, studied extensively, and is often the topic of health experts and nutritionists alike… but to me, I have found, that the things that I accomplish the first two hours of my day are the things that set me up for success for the rest of my day. This includes my breakfast routine.
Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal Of The Day?
It is for me!!! Remember, that most of your fitness journey is trial and error and learning which healthy habits set you up for success (on a personal level, what works for some may not work for all so keep that in mind) and then building on those healthy habits…so, this is me sharing yet another healthy habit that works for me on a personal level and once you have given it some trial on your end, it could be something that helps you in your battle of the bulge too.
What makes breakfast the most important meal?
The plain and simple reason it is so important to eat breakfast is that eating breakfast gives you the opportunity to nourish your body before you get caught up in the busy bustle of the rest of your day.
I don’t know about you, but as a single mom of four (with the bulk of the custody of those rowdy-but-loveable children) that is running her own business… I literally have to force myself to sit down and make it a priority to eat my first meal of the day, so that I can function properly the rest of the day.
How is breakfast the most important meal?
I feel like breakfast is a part of self-care that often gets overlooked… but you actually need to look at it as if it is of the same importance as how when you are on an airplane and they tell you that “in case of an emergency” you need to put your own mask on first before you start helping your kids with theirs… yeah, same goes for taking the time to make your body, and its needs, a priority and eat a breakfast that includes some nutritious food that has healthy fats, whole grains, and a good amount of protein.
I promise that you’re going to be functioning better (in mind, body, and spirit) if you’re taking care of those basic nutritional needs for yourself first, because you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Taking care of yourself will set your whole family up for a better day if you’re not running on fumes, allowing yourself to get grouchy or “hangry”, and then resorting to shoving (or shoveling) whatever is just convenient to eat into your mouth later in the day.
Benefits of high protein breakfast
Eating breakfast, knowing when to eat breakfast, and the foods that I chose to add to my own personal breakfast “ritual” (yes, I call it my breakfast ritual because it is THAT important to me) have become the building blocks of hitting all of my nutritional markers for the day…which, surprisingly enough has helped me to lose over 100 lbs, and maintain it.
Hitting those nutritional markers became especially important when I added strength training to my fitness routine…that is because I needed a high protein breakfast for muscle gain, and I also learned that I needed a high protein diet to lose belly fat (my stomach is flatter now after having four babies and losing all the weight than it ever has been)…so take my advice or leave it…but I strongly suggest taking it…wink wink…lol.
Hitting those markers for nutrients, and getting a good dose of protein typically keeps me full until lunchtime too, so it’s a built-in defense against snacking/grazing between meals too.
Keep in mind that a high protein breakfast is just a piece of my high protein diet, here’s the post that I wrote about determining how much protein I needed for weight loss.
I do typically eat the same thing for breakfast every single day…and I know that some of you would get bored by this…but I feel like it gives me a bit of a sense of control in my eating (which is something particularly important for someone that has fought an eating disorder), routines may be good for kids, but I have found that they’re also good for adults too.
If you’re looking for my go-to high in protein recipes for weight loss, you’re also going to want to check out my Egg, Meat, and Cheese Pockets recipe…it’s my fitness secret sauce recipe that I use for my biggest meal of the day when I want to create a calorie deficit (to lose weight)… they literally keep me full for hours.
If you’re looking for some high protein breakfast ideas, I suggest checking out this post from BBCgoodfood.com, it’s a handy resource as they have some great ideas and recipes on high protein breakfast foods. It may be a good idea to look it over and see what works for your personal needs.
Breakfast is just the first meal of the day (whether you call it that or not) you are “breaking your fast”, from the night before because you couldn’t eat while sleeping…ya silly…j/k.
So when should you eat this breakfast? I actually try to be pretty strategic about when I eat my first meal of the day. This part is for those of you that make a point of it not to eat at night, or go so far as to do some intermittent fasting to reach your fitness goals.
I have found that if I make sure to not eat my high protein breakfast until I have hit the mark of fasting for 12 hours in a row, and then do my most intense part of my workout after the 12 hour mark too… it seems to make my workout more beneficial, and actually dips directly into my fat stores for the energy for the workout.
I can’t remember where I got that tip years ago, but it seems to be pretty accurate from my own experience and personal opinion. I do a daily 12-14 hour fast, so I don’t eat after 7pm and then I try to do my workouts between the hours of 7-9am just before I do my breakfast ritual.
*I do not have any type blood-sugar regulating issues, so always run anything like this by your Dr. if you want to try it too.*
To be blunt, if you don’t change your habits, you’re always going to get the same results you got before.
Isn’t the definition of insanity something like “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”…? That’s what insanity is to me anyway.
The secret to getting healthy and fit, is owning your mistakes, learning from them, and then implementing necessary changes to fix them.
Establishing your own breakfast routine/breakfast ritual is your chance to start your day doing something right for yourself… and if you are trying to hit a lot of your nutritional markers, you actually are less likely to fall on your face later in the day because your body won’t be craving things that are bad for you as much… at least that’s how my body works, which is what I discovered once I actually started listening to it.
Like I said before, everyone has different nutritional needs. This breakfast ritual is just what I eat to hit a lot of mine.
I put all of these things on a serving tray so that I can carry it with me wherever I need to go until I have finished:
*One quart of water (which knocks off 1/4 of my daily water intake goal)
*One container of light greek yogurt (I slather it as the topping on my waffles)
*Two Squares of my healthy protein waffles (made with whole grains, avocado oil, & chia seeds)
*One 11.5 Oz Fairlife Nutrition Plan Protein Shake (here’s the link on Amazon, though I suggest getting them at Costco to save money.)
Then, I add my daily supplements to the tray (just what my personal body needs to function properly, your needs may be entirely different):
*A quality multi-vitamin
*A high quality Iron/Folate Supplement (I struggled with Anemia and Folate deficiency related weakness and even depression for years until I discovered this particular supplement and added it to my routine…healthy body= healthy mind).
*Vitamin C (improves Iron absorption)
* A Probiotic (it’s the “good” bacteria I need for a healthy gut, a healthy gut makes me more able to absorb nutrients)
*My morning “cup of nasty”, which is two scoops of Collagen Peptides (get it at Costco, or on Amazon here), mixed with one Tablespoon of Hemp Seed Oil, then mixed with about a 1/2 cup of warm water…you can read why I take that here.
And that is my breakfast ritual…I force myself to sit and eat it and it puts me in a much healthier position for the rest of my day.
I don’t have time to make my protein waffles everyday, so on the weekends I do a “high protein breakfast meal prep” and make a batch (they freeze well and can easily be microwaved or put in a toaster), which lasts me all week long…which I don’t know about you, but during the busy work week I need my high protein breakfast quick and easy.
My ritual is a high protein breakfast without protein powder (I don’t consider collagen peptides a protein powder, though some probably do), and I don’t have to sit there and make a full meal every morning…which in my fitness book is win/win. I save the fancier meals for when I have time on the weekends.
As with any meal…breakfast is only as good or as bad for you as the ingredients that you choose to eat. So, do a little reading and research for yourself, or ask a nutritionist which foods are going to hit your own personal nutritional needs/markers, and make the conscious choice to eat things that are going to be good for you.
Remember how I mentioned that my habits the first two hours of my day set me up for the rest of the day? Well, my morning goes like this (yes, I go to sleep early like an old lady so that I can get up early and be consistent in this every day):
*20 minutes light therapy (I shine a Verilux light in my face, indirectly into my eyes…it gets boring just sitting there so I watch a show or turn on an audiobook/podcast to learn something new).
*I make my bed.
*I exercise for at least 20-30 minutes (Monday ,Wednesday ,& Friday I strength train & do some cardio, the other days just walking..how much depends on what goals I want to hit in my fitness journal).
*I shower and get ready for the day (hair and makeup is important to me…looking good, and feeling good because I look good, makes me more efficient and confident in general)
*I prepare, and do my breakfast ritual.
To some of you, that may sound like a lot (it gets easier when your kids get older), but I find that getting in the habit of doing all of those things for myself boosts my confidence and self-esteem for the rest of the day. It makes me want to try harder and do better to improve myself, and my circumstances, throughout the rest of the time…kind of creating a “snowball” effect for productivity.
An added bonus to my morning routine is that getting in the habit of moving my body each morning, for a set amount of time, makes it super easy to reach my daily step goals.
(Note: It has taken me years to become this disciplined, and to learn that my needs need to be a priority too (yes all you parents out there… even if you’ve been told otherwise by someone that is abusive…YOUR NEEDS MATTER TOO), so please don’t get overwhelmed…just do your best, and keep adding healthy habits once you get good at juggling the one you’re working on.)
How did adding a high protein, nutritious, breakfast improve my life?
To sum it all up…making my breakfast part of my daily self-care routine has changed my life drastically for the better. There’s just something magical that happens to our bodies when we really start listening to it and dial in on our individual nutritional needs.
I’m physically healthier than I have ever been, so much so that when sickness gets passed around the house now… I seem to get the muted version of it and I get better quickly (I used to get sick for weeks on end sometimes).
I went from being so heavy and out of shape that I could barely walk sometimes (any time I weighed over 260 lbs I would run into this issue…I would get a searing pain in my feet which further encouraged a sedentary life), to now I can spend an hour on an elliptical machine (right after having done strength training) and I’m not weak, in pain, or fatigued in any way… like I said, it’s magic!
My mental health is now top-notch, I’m still my feisty, red-headed self, but I never go through bouts of depression anymore…and those ultra-high anxiety levels I used to experience are almost completely non-existent these days.
An added bonus, on why eat breakfast?…a nutrient dense one anyway…
I was shocked to find that once I really started focusing on hitting my nutritional needs, within a mere three or four weeks, my hair started growing strong and healthy again like it did when I was young…like no joke, my hair is now thick and healthy and incredibly soft…in better shape than it ever has been.
Which was surprising to me because the quality of my hair seemed to have gotten worse over the years because of various stress-factors…including after giving birth to each child (yes, I was one of the unfortunate women whose hair falls out in clumps postpartum…or for those of you that don’t speak “baby”…after I gave birth to each kid).
Yep, there’s a possibility you could also end up with hair like a Disney princess if you start hitting your nutritional needs, and make them a daily priority, starting with breakfast, but also make sure that you’re drinking enough water too.
Well, that’s really all that I have to say about why I think that everyone needs to make an active choice to eat breakfast each and every single day to become both physically fit, but to nourish our bodies & minds too.
I have found that the best part is that if you make breakfast part of your daily fitness routine in the morning, even if you fall on your face with your eating later in the day, you’re still getting most of the nutrition in that you need to perform well in every aspect of your life.
I promise, I am jumping off my “you need to eat breakfast” soap box, but I really hope that you found what I had to say about it beneficial on some level, to help you along in your own personal fitness journey…or even so that you can just get some awesome healthy hair…lol.
Fitness is incredibly hard to figure out alone, and I really try to only share things that I wish that someone had told me when I was morbidly obese and completely clueless on how to take care of my body on a basic level.
*Remember, healthy habits = healthy body, healthy mind, and maybe even some healthy hair. It’s all connected!*
I seriously can’t say enough good things about the ritual of breakfast!
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If you would like to check out all of my high protein posts, go here.
Here are direct links to the other pieces of my free fitness series puzzle, they are in order of what I deem the most important information. (Also note that they are continually updated as I learn and grow):
Free fitness series links:
Step 2: How to understand fitness in general:
*This post was originally shared to this blog on November 21st 2022, and has since been updated to improve user experience, add video instruction, as well as to make it as shareable as possible across the social medias.