Everyone has faced it at one time or another. It’s that urge to eat anything with sugar, even if it’s the white packet in the breakroom. It causes outrageous craving for sugary treats, chocolate bombs and anything that resembles pastry. In order to find the best breakfast ideas that help reduce afternoon cravings, you need to know the reasons for those overwhelming cravings. Most of the time, it’s because of low blood sugar, hence the search for anything related to sugar. Those quick fixes are just that. They’re the duct tape of the diet and good to get you through the moment, but not good in the long run.
There are other reasons you crave food mid afternoon.
Some people, make that—most people, eat out of habit. If it’s 6pm, it must be dinner time. Your brain and body just automatically do it. No matter what you eat for breakfast, that won’t change your habit of snacking midday, only you can. Lack of sleep is another big reason you might have a sugar craving later in the day. Lack of sleep decreases the hormone leptin that trigger the feeling satiety and increases that hunger hormone, ghrelin. No matter what you eat at breakfast, you’ll get twinges of hunger if you’re tired. Finally, you simply haven’t consumed enough calories throughout the day and really need to eat. Both sugar lows and lack of caloric intake can be helped by eating the right breakfast.
Boost your protein intake in the morning.
You’ll feel less hungry in both midmorning and afternoon when you eat foods higher in protein, you boost leptin and that feeling of satiety. Including some lean meat or eggs in your breakfast will keep you feeling fuller longer than a bowl of cereal with milk and sugar. Of course, the sugar gives you a quick boost, but then you know that with every spike in blood sugar comes a dramatic low…which often occurs around three!
Include fiber, healthy fat and protein in your breakfast.
While increasing protein is important, so is increasing healthy fat and fiber in your diet. The protein keeps you feeling fuller longer, while the fiber definitely makes full immediately. As for the healthy fat, well that helps the satiety hormones do their job and convince the body you’re full. Nuts contain all three, avocado is high in healthy fat and eggs are high in protein. When fiber is missing, a bowl of oatmeal can fill the void.
- If you’re eating on the go, create a healthy egg, avocado, tomato and cheese sandwich on a high fiber bread, like meusli bread or healthy seed and nut bread. It’s the trio of satiety that will keep you going for hours.
- Eat a bowl of oatmeal with crushed nuts and fresh fruit on top. Better yet, make that high protein oatmeal made with rolled oats, eggs, milk, ground flaxseed, cinnamon and mashed ripe banana all cooked together and topped with berries and nuts.
- Create an open face sandwich with avocado, baby lettuce, smoked salmon, tomatoes, whole grain bread and eggs. Top it with sprouts. It’s yummy and will keep you full for hours.
- If you’re in a hurry, don’t skip breakfast. Slather up some sliced apples with almond butter or other nut butter. Make some high fiber toast and top it with nut butter and berries or a banana. It’s quick, filling and good for you.