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A Healthy Breakfast: Protein vs Carbohydrates

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Coffee! If you are a busy mom, this is probably your go-to source for consciousness, your sanity, and comfort (and we totally get that). But if that’s all you’re drinking first thing to begin your day, you may be robbing yourself of precious energy stores that could keep you going far longer than a couple of hours. With all the hype of the myriad of options like Keto, Vegan, Paleo, Plant-based, Gluten-free, or eat-whatever-you-want, let’s break it down to either protein-based, carbohydrate-based, or perhaps a combination-based breakfast. Simplicity is key as a busy mom, especially in the mornings when you really don’t want to think about what your energy levels will like be at 3pm.

Types of “Carb” Breakfasts

Whether or not you pair your cup of Joe with your breakfast, let’s be clear on what types of foods are considered “carbs”. These will include but limited to:

  • All Fruits (apples, oranges, grapes, pears, etc.)
  • All Grains (crackers, breads, pastries, pasta, rice, quinoa, etc.)
  • All leafy Vegetables (loose leaf greens, mixed greens, etc.)
  • Starchy Vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, etc.)
  • Root Vegetables (carrots, onions, rutabaga, etc.)
  • Cruciferous Vegetables (arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Nuts & Seeds (cashews, chestnuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, etc.)
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Types of “Protein” Breakfasts

  • All Animal Products (beef, poultry, fish, eggs, pork, etc.)
  • Dairy Products (cottage cheese, cheeses, plain yogurt, etc.)
  • Shrimp
  • Some beans, seeds, & grains (quinoa, oats, pumpkin seeds, etc.) 
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Your Healthy Breakfast: Does Body Type Matter?

Before we get into what will help energize you all day long with which breakfast type you eat, it’s important to understand your particular body type and what exactly it will do with the food you put into it. There are three main body types: Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph.

Ectomorph: thin individuals with smaller bone structures and thinner limbs (i.e. endurance athlete)

If you have this kind of body type, you typically have a high metabolic rate (you burn calories easily and don’t tend to store the excess as fat) and can tolerate more carbohydrates in your diet. Good news! Yes, you can eat more carbohydrates (not necessarily pastries) without needing to overload on protein, a moderate amount is good, and some fat.

Daily Mom parents portal healthy breakfast body type

This body type might be around 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat. Just think “higher carbs and lower good fats”.

Ectomorph women example meal:

1 palm of protein dense foods at each meal

2 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods at each meal

1 fist of vegetables at each meal

0.5 thumb of fat dense foods at each meal (may increase if you are feeling unsatisfied or craving sweets)

Ectomorph men example meal:

2 palms of protein dense foods at each meal

3 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods at each meal

2 fists of vegetables at each meal

1 thumb of fat dense foods at each meal

Endomorph: big bone structure with larger amounts of total body mass and fat mass (i.e. football lineman, Serena Williams)

This kind of body type does tend to burn off excess calories when they are constantly moving and active. However, if you are naturally less active, the excess intake (particularly carbohydrates in the form of sugars and grains) will more than likely be stored as fat. You’ll have more energy stored as both lean and fat masses in your lower body. But be careful, carbohydrates aren’t your friend when it come to weight management and excess sugars will more than likely cause you to have energy fluctuations throughout the day.

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This body type might be around 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. Focus on higher good fats, protein, and lower carbs (vegetable based is best).

Endomorph women example meal:

1 palm of protein dense foods at each meal

0.5 cupped handful of carb dense foods at each meal

1 fist of vegetables at each meal

2 thumbs of fat dense foods at each meal

Endomorph men example meal:

2 palms of protein dense foods at each meal

1 cupped handful of carb dense foods at each meal

2 fists of vegetables at each meal

3 thumbs of fat dense foods at each meal

Mesomorph: medium sized bone structure and athletic body (i.e. a gymnast)

These body types are fairly active, say 3-5 days out of the week with a good amount of lean mass distributed evenly over their body. Men and women with this body type may tend to have the hormone testosterone more dominantly (women would just have a higher percentage than “normal”). You’ll find that if you have this body type, it’s fairly easy for you to gain muscle mass/definition while having a lower body fat percentage overall.

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This body type can play around with a mixed diet consisting of balanced carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If you wanted to break it down, it may look like this: 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat as an example.

Mesomorph women example meal:

1 palm of protein dense foods at each meal

1 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods at each meal

1 fist of vegetables at each meal

1 thumb of fat dense foods at each meal

Mesomorph men example meal:

2 palms of protein dense foods at each meal

2 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods at each meal

2 fists of vegetables at each meal

2 thumbs of fat dense foods at each meal


Which Are You & What Will Energize Your Day?

Now that you see the different body types, consider what is most likely yours. Based upon that, experiment with your breakfast. You don’t necessarily have to rid your cup of joe in the morning, simply enjoy it with your breakfast of choice based upon your body type. Notice if your energy levels increase, drop, or balance out. You have a lot going on during your day, if you can maximize your body’s usage of the foods you eat, you’ll maximize your energy levels right at the start.

If you tend to just be a cup (or pot) of joe kind of person, chances are you’re dragging yourself as if you’re on the end of a wire hanger just trying to make it to 4 PM. Coffee is a stimulant and once that stimulant wears off, your body will just look for another (typically something sugary). So consider this alternative instead…if you like having energy that is.

A healthy breakfast isn’t just about choosing carbs or just proteins… it’s probably a smart combination of both. Choose your nutrient-dense carbs according to your body type paired with the recommended proteins and fats, and watch what happens, energizer bunny momma!

WANT TO READ MORE?
You might also like: The Busy Mom’s Guide To eating Smart.

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Photo Credit: AndiL.  | Unsplash | Pixabay | Margo Brodowicz  |  Melissa Belanger

Sources: Coachmag, Precision Nutrition


About admin

I am a father of three and my wife is a registered nurse specialized in children.

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