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Improve your entire day with these easy breakfast ideas

(BPT) – Want to keep the weight off? It starts at the breakfast table. Seventy-eight percent of those who successfully maintain their weight loss eat breakfast each day, according to the National Weight Control Registry

Why does breakfast seem to make the difference?

Anika Christ, registered dietitian and senior program manager of Life Time Weight Loss at Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company, says eating breakfast – especially a high-protein breakfast – will leave you with sustained energy throughout the morning. Rather than feeling famished mid-morning, many people find when they make the right breakfast choices, they can easily last until lunch time before they need to eat again.

During the morning rush, you may be tempted to skip breakfast for extra minutes of sleep or simply getting yourself and your family ready for the day ahead. But as many experts maintain, breakfast may be the most important meal of the day and certainly it’s the one that could give you that extra morning energy kick you’ve been looking for.

Christ says that Life Time’s nutrition philosophy builds off of a nutritious breakfast, and suggests that a healthy breakfast can be easy, even on the go, with a little bit of prep.

“What we want to avoid is sugary, highly processed breakfasts, like cereal, that start our bodies on a glucose roller coaster,” says Christ. She adds that a well-rounded breakfast will include a quality protein, carbohydrates, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. Here are her top three fast and filling breakfast recipes:

Breakfast smoothie

Breakfast smoothies make for a quick morning meal for the whole family. They’re a go-to favorite, and can be made to taste preference with nut butter, fruits and/or veggies. Just blend the single-serve ingredients with ice, or batch it for a family.

* 8 ounces of milk or a milk alternative

* 1 tablespoon of natural nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew)

* 1 cup of fruit and/or veggies

* 1 scoop of whey protein

Energy bars

Energy bars can be great options if prepped on the weekends. Make a batch for the week, and it’s easy to grab and go.

* 2 1/2 cups of raw oats

* 3 scoops of whey protein powder, vanilla

* 2 1/2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed

* 1/4 cup organic honey

* 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 ounces chopped almonds

* 1/4 cup dried fruit, chopped

Mix the oats, protein powder, flaxseed, honey, applesauce, baking soda and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Press the mixture into a pre-sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely and cut into 12 bars. 

Egg scramble

Still looking to cook in the morning? Eggs are loaded with protein and can be a great, quick-cook option. Use thawed, frozen vegetable mixes to save more time.

* 1-2 cage-free eggs

* 1 cup of precut vegetables

* 1 ounce of natural cheese, mozzarella

* 1 cup of fruit

* 1 teaspoon organic butter (for cooking)

Scramble vegetables, eggs and cheese over a medium-high heat until fully cooked. Serve with fruit on the side. 

A good breakfast reduces your desire to reach for sweets or snacks mid-morning and sets you up for success for the rest of the day. Try it for a week and you’ll realize investing those extra couple of minutes in the morning will pay dividends later.

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