So for free day yesterday, we went a step closer to a healthier day. It started out with a “classic” complete breakfast. We went with our normal cereal and fruit, because that’s healthy and we actually like it–and we were running low on eggs, which is what we normally have on free day. Then, because it was free day, and we wanted it to be special some how, we added two pieces of bacon per person (which we needed to use up any way) and some orange juice. This got me thinking about the classic “part of your complete breakfast” commercials. I’d already decided that there was a lot of food on our table, but I figured, for curiosity’s sake, why skip the last ingredient of the classic breakfast: toast. We also had some bread we needed to use up anyway.
Now, after having eaten it, I want to know who decided that that was the complete breakfast that everyone should be having? It’s a lot of food, even if you believe that breakfast–as the food that jumpstarts your body for the day–is the most important meal of the day and can be made up of more of your calories (percentage-wise) than the other meals. I actually took the time to figure up the calories of what we ate:
2 pieces bacon: 104 calories
1 serving cereal: 120 calories
1 serving 2% milk: 120 calories
1 serving mandarin oranges: 80 calories
1 slice of toast: 60 calories (although I’d like to point out that two slices is listed as having 130 calories, which doesn’t work out properly going by the math I learned in school…)
1 serving of margarine: 100 calories
1 serving of cinnamon & sugar: 15 calories
1 serving jelly: 50 calories
Total with cinnamon & sugar: 599 calories
Total with jelly: 634 calories
Now, if you’re going by a 2000 calorie diet, which is what all the DRV information is based off of, and which is generally accepted as a “healthy” calorie amount for people–although I feel obligated to point out that it really depends on age, gender, height, current weight, activity level, and whether you want to maintain weight or lose weight–then that leaves you with 1400 calories left for the day (approximately). Factor in five more “meals” left to eat for the day and you’ve got only 280 calories per meal. Now, I’ll admit that that’s doable, but it’s also a small enough amount that you have to be careful. It’s easy to hit that 300 calorie mark without even thinking about it.
And if you’re trying to loose weight? You’ve only got (for me, anyway) 1000 to 1200 calories left for the day, meaning 200 to 240 calories a meal. If you notice above, I would hit the 240 calories just by having 1 serving of cereal (3/4 cups of Life, in this case) and 1 serving of 2% milk. That really isn’t a lot, even if I have it five times. The couple of days that we’ve had just cereal for breakfast (without the addition of the fruit), I’ve ended up hungry within about 1 or 1 1/2 hours, which is half the time it takes me to get hungry normally.
So, my conclusion? The complete breakfast is, really, more calories than I would want to put into one meal (even though it’s doable) and when I look at the components of it, is more carbohydrates than I’d want to invest in one meal. However, if you stick to portion sizes, it’s not as bad as I initially thought. It’s just not the way I want to spend my calories.
To my readers: What’s your complete breakfast?