We are super excited to start our 6-week Fuel Your Body Nutrition Challenge! If you haven’t heard of it yet, be sure to read this post to see what the challenge is about.
We’re sure you will love it, so instead of just sitting there and thinking that you should take part of it, just jump in. Join our private Facebook group to share your experience and get in touch with fellow members of the 12 Minute Athlete Community to get the most out of this nutrition challenge.
Being a part of the community will not only help you to stay accountable with your own goals, but also see how others are doing, find support, share your successes and struggles, and of course, get some great, new meal ideas.
Every week, we’ll focus on one thing that helps us to improve our diet and keeps us on a healthy eating track.
Nutrition Challenge Week 1: Eat a Protein-Packed Breakfast
Our first week’s focus is on eating a tasty, protein-filled breakfast. Including a good amount of protein with your breakfast will make sure that you won’t be starving again in an hour or two.
The result? Less hunger, more energy, better workouts!
That Terrible Morning Rush
At this point, we all pretty much know about how important it is to eat breakfast. Yet so many of us run out the door in the morning without eating anything.
Sure, not all people are the same and not everybody wants to eat a large meal first thing in the morning. Yet, so many of us stop by at Starbucks to grab a coffee and a scone or other pastry, and gobble them down on the way to the office.
You can make better choices than that.
Pastries and sweet coffee drinks are high in sugar and low in healthy nutrients. Having something like this as the first meal of the day causes the following effect: your blood sugar spikes up and makes you feel good for a short amount of time, but then drops drastically, leaving you hungrier than before and making you crave more sugar.
As a result, you won’t only be hungry, you will also become hangry… and a very unpleasant person to be around.
And what about high quality, filling and nourishing nutrients? Nope, you didn’t get many of those from your frappuccino and chocolate croissant either.
Why Breakfast Matters
As I mentioned above, not everybody is built the same way and not all of us need to eat first thing in the morning. But waiting until you get absolutely famished is not a great idea either.
Because we’ve all been there: when we are super hungry, we’re unable to even consider whether the food that goes in our mouth is healthy or not, we just want something. So the result is that we just grab whatever is there.
So eat your breakfast if you don’t want to find yourself terribly depleted by the lunchtime. Having a healthy breakfast, even if it’s just something really small, helps to keep your blood sugar stable and saves you from those crazy cravings that seem to appear out of nowhere.
Eat Protein With Breakfast
There are three types on macronutrients in foods: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. While they’re all absolutely important, this week we are focusing on protein.
Protein is an awesome nutrient, for the following reasons:
First, protein has high thermic effect. It means that to break down protein, our body has to use a lot of energy…more than for breaking down fat and carbs.
Using energy means burning calories.
Second, out of the three macronutrients, protein is the most satiating. In other words, by eating foods that contain a lot of protein, we stay full longer.
That lets you to focus on your work, workouts or other commitments without feeling hungry too soon after your meal.
How Much Protein You Need With Your Breakfast
So, how do you know how much protein you exactly need? The answer is…the good ol’ and unpopular “it depends.” You can read more about the topic here. According to general guidelines, physically active people who want to build muscle and stay lean should eat about one gram of protein per one pound of bodyweight.
A good goal to aim for is to get 20-30 grams of protein with breakfast.
This could be something as quick and easy as a protein shake, adding a scoop of protein powder to oatmeal, or adding a few egg whites to your scrambled eggs. It’s harder than just wolfing down a bowl of sugary cereal, but it’s worth it.
Put in a Little Effort into Making Your Breakfast
If you have time to swing by at Starbucks, you also realistically have time to make your own breakfast. Frying a couple of eggs, whipping up a bowl of oatmeal or blending together a satisfying smoothie takes you about five minutes, and eating this meal another five to ten minutes.
Adding fifteen minutes to your morning routine is a small price to pay for your health.
Breakfasts On the Go
If you know your mornings are rushed, you can pre-make a breakfast that you can simply pull out from the fridge and bring with you to enjoy at work. All it takes is a little preparation a day or couple of days before.
For example, boil a bunch of eggs beforehand, then bring two of them with you in a ziplock bag. Add a handful of almonds to up the protein.
If you are used to having your blueberry scone from a coffee shop and don’t want to give up on it, make some blueberry muffins at home and bring a couple of them with you. Make your own coffee in a thermo cup, so that you don’t even need to go to a coffee shop.
Even just this small change makes a big difference!
Here’s exactly how big of a difference:
Starbucks Blueberry Scone
Total calories: 420
Protein: 5 g
Carbs: 61 g (out of 20 g sugar)
Fat: 17 g
Fiber: 2 g
Total calories: 120
Protein: 12 g
Carbs: 15 g
Fat: 2 g
Fiber: 2 g
Join Us for the Nutrition Challenge!
Join us for the first week of the nutrition challenge and make some great protein-packed breakfasts next week! Join 12 Minute Athlete Facebook Group, chime in with your pictures of your protein-filled breakfasts and share your thoughts, comments and struggles.
We’re super excited about seeing your pictures and helping you progress towards your goals 🙂
We would absolutely love if you shared your recipes too, so also others can try your delicious breakfast ideas.
Let’s do this!