You eat something different every day
According to a recent British study, people with the most day-to-day variation in the calorie count of their morning meal were 90 percent more likely to have a large waist, a heart disease risk factor.
Your meal is too skimpy
Diabetes patients who ate a large, nutritious breakfast for three months had a reduction in blood sugar and blood pressure three times greater than that of people who ate a smaller meal, according to a 2013 Israeli study. Breakfasts high in protein may lower levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” These are other healthy breakfast habits for diabetics.
You eat cereal with small flakes
Pennsylvania State University researchers crushed a wheat flake cereal to 80 percent, 60 percent, and 40 percent of the original size. As flake size decreased (the cereal looked more crushed), participants poured themselves a lower volume of cereal but still consumed more calories compared with a bowl containing bigger flakes. Also, try making these healthy breakfast recipes a few times a week to keep a good diet.
You opt for butter over peanut butter
Overweight women who added peanuts or peanut butter to a breakfast of OJ and Cream of Wheat reported feeling fuller for up to 12 hours afterward, found a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Nuts increased levels of peptide YY, a hormone that helps you feel full after meals.
You wait too long to eat
If you never wake up hungry, take a look at your eating habits—you might be eating too much at night, says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition NYC. Even if you don’t feel like eating, it’s a good idea to get something in your system (just a banana will do the trick) within an hour and a half of waking up to jump-start your metabolism and keep yourself from getting hungry later, she says. These other common habits also slow your metabolism.
You grab and go
In the rush to get out the door, you might be tempted to grab a granola bar or bagel. But if you don’t focus on what you’re eating, you could end up unsatisfied. “When we’re not paying attention to what we’re eating, we’re more likely to feel hungrier soon after,” says certified holistic nutrition coach Andrea Moss, founder of Moss Wellness. “Eating on the go can lead to impaired digestion from quick chewing.” If you do have to take your breakfast with you, plan a nutritious meal ahead of time, she says.
You eat instant oatmeal
Oatmeal is praised for aiding weight loss, reducing cholesterol, and delivering a healthy dose of fiber. Sounds like a healthy choice, right? Not necessarily. “Those little microwaved packets are often filled with simple sugars that can lead to weight gain, lower energy, and reduced health,” Moss says. “Whole, rolled oats (bonus points for steel-cut oatmeal!) are a different oatmeal entirely.” Rolled or steel-cut oats digest slower, keeping you full longer and steadying your blood sugar levels, she says.
You pour a bowl (or three) of cereal
Cereal can be a surprising sugar bomb. Depending on the brand, more than half of your bowl could be made of sugar, and it’s often paired with little protein to keep you full. Eating that much sweet stuff at once will spike your blood sugar, making your tummy rumble when your blood sugar levels come crashing down, Shapiro says. Plus, if you’ve ever measured a portion of cereal, you probably know that the serving sizes are smaller than a typical bowl. “Most of my clients who eat cereal pour twice the amount they should and still don’t feel satisfied,” Shapiro says. If you can’t give up your daily bowl, find a brand with at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 8 grams of sugar, she says. Check out this portion control trick to pour the perfect bowl of cereal.
You always opt for skim milk
Fat-free milk might seem like a virtuous choice, but what you save in calories is lost when your body can’t absorb its nutrients. “The vitamins milk is fortified with are fat-soluble, so it’s important to have some fat for those nutrients,” Shapiro says. She recommends using 1 or 2 percent milk, or unsweetened almond milk. Here are more dairy myths you need to stop believing.
You use sweetened nondairy milk
Soy, almond, and coconut milk can be healthy alternatives to dairy milk—if you buy versions without added sugar. But ask your barista if it’s an unsweetened version, or you could be sipping more sugar than you realize. “Sweetened soy milk has sugar in it, and no one is counting that,” Shapiro says. “Don’t drink your calories.”