There’s no doubt about it, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Apart from providing all the energy you need to face the day ahead of you, it also breaks the fast (hence, the name) which means it gets your metabolism back to work. If you skip this meal, you’ll find yourself sluggish and lacking in energy. It’s also harder to concentrate with an empty stomach. Not to mention, ditching the first meal also slows down your metabolism because the brain will convince the body to go into starvation mode.
So do you know how many calories you need to take in during this meal? There’s no definite number for everyone since people have different needs when it comes to caloric intake. The rule of the thumb is that your breakfast should be 20 to 25 percent of your total day’s caloric intake. For example, if you’re a woman who measures 5’4” in height and weighs 140 pounds, your basal metabolic rate is 1,200 calories.
This means your breakfast should be about 240 to 300 calories. You do need to increase your caloric intake though if you’re going to engage in moderate to strenuous physical activity. Therefore, you should increase your breakfast calories as well. To know how much you’re getting each day, here is the caloric count for traditional breakfast items.
When you think of breakfast, omelet would be first thing on your mind. If you’re going to have a big serving of omelet consisting of three large eggs and an ounce of cheddar cheese for the rich taste, you’re taking in about 330 calories. The eggs give you 215 and the cheese accounts for the 115 calories.
Scrambled Eggs and Bacon Ensemble
Bored with omelet? How about scrambled eggs for a change? Scramble two large eggs and that’s 143 calories for you. If you add three strips of irresistibly crispy bacon, you’re packing in 138 calories. A half cup of hash browns would give you 207 and to complete the meal, you’re going to throw in an extra slice of toast, preferably whole wheat for another hundred calories. Do the math and you get 588 calories.
Hard-boiled Egg and Fruits
There are times when you just don’t like eggs that are fried or scrambled so you go for the hard-boiled one. A large egg gives you 78 calories. But since this won’t keep you full until lunch time, you may want to munch on some fruits slices. Two cups of your favorite fruit salad gives you 200 calories. That’s 278 calories all in all.
Oatmeal is another popular breakfast item. It’s great because of its high fiber content that can aid in digestion and excretion of wastes from the body. Cooking a half cup of rolled oats hands you 150 calories. That’s it if you don’t add anything else. But if you want to make your breakfast tastier, you’ll probably want to add a small chopped apple (77 calories), a teaspoon of cinnamon (6 calories) and a tablespoon of honey (64 calories). The grand total would be 297 calories.
Don’t you just love blueberry pancakes in the morning? They’re absolutely a heavenly treat that can start your day right! Three blueberry pancakes provides 253 calories. If you add some maple syrup to sweeten it up further, that’s an additional 99 calories per one ounce maple syrup. That would be a total of 352 calories.
Having a bowl of cereal? A cup of cereal has about 140 calories. Pour in a cup of skim milk for 91 calories and munch on a banana for 90 calories. That would be 321 calories.
Yogurt With Fruit and Granola
Yummy yogurt plus fruits and granola—this breakfast ensemble can surely work up your appetite. A serving of nonfat vanilla yogurt (which is about six ounces) packs in 120 calories. A cup of blueberries sets you back only for 83 calories. And a 1/4 cup granola means 172 added calories for you. That’s a total of 375 calories.
Some people’s entire week won’t be complete without a least a day of French toast breakfast. Two pieces of French toast is good for almost 300 calories. If you glaze it with a 1/4 cup of maple syrup, that would be an additional 200 calories for a total of 500 calories.
If you prefer Belgian over French, you’ll find that it’s even heavier in terms of caloric count. Just one piece of waffle amounts to 390 calories and 1/4 cup of maple syrup gives you 200 calories. That’s almost 600 calories.
These are only some of the most popular breakfast items and should act as a basis for you to determine the right amount of food and calories you're getting for breakfast. When possible, eat breakfast at home to make sure your calorie intake doesn't peak at the first meal of the day. It's very common for restaurant chains offer a breakfast combination meal for a great price. Remember that these establishments make their money by preparing delicious meals and making sure you leave full. Calorie count is of little consequence when eating out.