Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Breakfast Under 300 Calories

Most of the time, our biggest problem is not just what we eat, but how much. Don't get me wrong; some things are pretty bad for you, but when you take a look at many of the food options out there, if we control our portions, we can go a long way in controlling our caloric intake. 

A reader asked me about healthy breakfast options, and I thought about it. A lot of the items we eat for breakfast are not necessarily unhealthy, but we eat more than we should. So I thought it would be a great idea to give you all some good breakfast ideas under 300 calories:

2-egg veggie omelette and toast: Omelettes are great, as long as you don't overdo the oil. I would use very little cooking spray instead of oil. Fill your omelette with vegetables like spinach, peppers, and tomatoes. Eat it with a slice of whole grain toast, and just a teaspoon or less of butter. You can also replace the veggie omelette with scrambled eggs with vegetables.

Yogurt parfait: Parfait is great because most of it is yogurt, but make sure you are not filling it up with more granola and topping than you are with yogurt. A 6-ounce cup of yogurt and one low calorie granola bar or about half a cup of granola will do.

Whole grain bagel: Bagels are yummy, but you have to be really careful with the size. I look at some bagels and they literally scare me. A medium whole grain bagel topped with a teaspoon of cream cheese or peanut butter will be just under 300 calories.

Whole grain waffles or pancakes: Yes, you can have pancakes too. Just make sure you limit them to about 2, and don't kill it with syrup or toppings. I would suggest only about a teaspoon of honey or jam (preferred) or syrup (if you must).

Oatmeal: To be perfectly honest, this is what I find myself eating most mornings because it is simple, and you cannot go wrong with oats. Half a cup of dry oats are only about 145 to 150 calories, so even after you add in some milk, honey or sugar, and some fruit, you'd still be under 300 calories. Plus, oats are a great way to eat natural food because the only ingredient in oats is really just oats.

Cereal: No, cereal is not the devil. As long as you look at your cereal box, and it has a low number of calories (don't forget to factor in the milk!), and you understand what most of the ingredients are, you are usually covered. I wrote a whole post on cereals here: The Healthiest Breakfast Cereals. There is a great table to help you make good decisions as you pick out your breakfast cereals.

Smoothies: As long as you know exactly what is going in your smoothie, you can make better decisions about what is healthier. A great low calorie smoothie is the strawberry banana smoothie that is made up of real strawberries, real bananas, low-fat yogurt, and ice cubes. Be very careful when you buy smoothies from restaurants as most use syrup as an additional flavor. Always ask!

Muesli: No one needs to tell you that muesli is a very healthy natural option for breakfast. Pair about 1 cup of muesli with low fat milk or yogurt for a low calorie breakfast.

Breakfast wraps: Breakfast burritos and other wraps can be healthy too as long as you stick to smaller sizes of whole wheat wraps, and fill them with eggs and beans, and not sausages, bacon, or other processed breakfast meats.

Fast food breakfast sandwiches: Yes, McDonald's and Burger King have advertised new breakfast options that are under 300 calories. It may seem like a fable, but it is true. Try to stick to plain egg sandwiches, and skip the ham, bacon, and even cheese where you can. Forget the fried sides as well because that is where they get you.

You now have some great options! Make sure you also consider your drinks as you make healthy breakfast choices. A cup of 'designer coffee' (yep, Starbucks) can contain a ridiculous number of calories. Stick to plain coffee with low fat or soy milk. Or just have some tea :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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1 comment:

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