I know, I share a lot of frittata recipes, but don't judge!
There are few better recipes for clearing out your fridge AND setting you up for a solid, fat-burning day that the frittata or its relatives: omelets, scrambles and quiche.
If you're a woman trying to get leaner, one of the best things you can do improve your body composition is to start your day with the right kind of breakfast.
That means ditching your low-fat yogurt and granola parfait for some eggs, meat, vegetables, and low-sugar fruits like berries, apples, pears, for example. And it SURE as hell means never eating breakfast from Starbucks, as even their breakfast sandwiches are marketed as "high protein" because they have an egg and some meat, they still miss the mark for burning fat and building lean muscle.
Meals don't happen in isolation. What you eat at one meal impacts your blood sugar and brain chemistry and greatly determines the kinds of foods you'll crave and choose at your next meal. If you've ever started your day off with donuts from the office break room, you already know this is true. Not only did crushing several hundred calories' worth of empty carbs leave you jittery, fatigued, and still hungry, but I bet you also felt like a sugar-seeking fiend for the rest of the day.
"But don't you get tired of eggs every day?" - the question everyone asks.
"Not really. Don't you get tired of eating yogurt and cereal every day?" - my answer.
I didn't start a personal training and nutrition coaching business to land sponsorship deals with purveyors of sugar bombs masked as health foods, so you won't see me hocking Chobani yogurt or Nature Valley "Protein" granola any time soon - or ever. (Notice also that this website is free of ads. That is not an accident.)
These healthy, traditional breakfast foods may taste good to you, and you may love them and be very attached to them. Heck, if you're into endurance sports like half-marathons or triathlons, you may even feel that the extra carbohydrates (mostly from sugar) give you energy. That's fine.
But if you're a woman trying to get leaner (meaning: you want to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass), then Chobani and Nature Valley Granola are your worst enemies.
At the bottom of this article, you'll find a recipe for a better breakfast. It's high protein, high fiber, has NO sugar and also contains healthy fats.
Now, if you're already fretting about the lost calcium and fiber from eliminating your beloved yogurt and granola breakfasts, hang on...
Not All Calories Are Equal
Yogurt, granola, and cereal are all marketed as healthy foods, so you may be wondering where you'll get calcium and fiber from if you're not eating them.
You can get the same nutrients from poultry, fish, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, and plants, but with far more BANG for your fat loss buck.
The best part is that these foods have a more beneficial effect on fat burning because of their high protein, high fiber, high water, and low sugar content, so not only will you FEEL better eating them, you're also priming your body up to burn fat for fuel instead of store it.
Fat loss breakfasts may have roughly the same calories as what you're eating now, but where those calories come from and what they do to your body is vastly different.
DONUTS vs. CHICKEN
A Krispy Kreme donut has about 200 calories, but so does a boneless skinless chicken breast. (That's kind of surprising, right?)
As you might imagine, the donut is very low in protein and fiber, and its high carbohydrate content comes almost entirely from sugar. The chicken breast (again - roughly the same calories!) is almost entirely protein, with a trace amount of fat, and zero carbohydrates.
How many donuts can you eat? (Confession: I could put away 4-5 without blinking...)
How many chicken breasts can you eat? (I'm good to finish 1...)
Which one will keep you fuller longer? Which one will send sugar cravings through the roof? Which one will give you steady, focused, energy? Which one sends signals to your body to store fat? Which one sends signals to burn fat?
I know that a donut may seem a far cry from the healthy bowl of yogurt and granola, and there are a few differences, but really? They're in the same sugary, insulin-spiking, energy-sucking camp.
This graphic below from Metabolic Effect demonstrates how the make-up of carbohydrates differs. All calories are not equal, nor are all carbohydrate sources equal:
SO What SHOULD I eat?
I'm a big believer in providing practical solutions, so of COURSE I'm going to share one here!
Exactly what you eat is up to you (we don't do meal plans around here), but here's a good place to start: our Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Frittata (recipe below) is a great high-protein, high-fiber breakfast recipe. Add a side of berries or a grapefruit, and you'll be firing on all cylinders for sure.
Sausage, Bell Pepper and Onion Frittata
7 large eggs
1/2 c. egg whites
1/4 c. half & half (optional, omit if desired)
8 oz. breakfast sausage (pork, chicken, or turkey)
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1 c. Cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces reduced-fat Smoked Gouda cheese, grated (omit to make dairy free, or substitute your favorite cheese)
1 tsp. dried oregano
sea salt & black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a glass 8x8" baking dish with olive oil or grease lightly with butter to prevent sticking.
2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, egg whites, and half & half (if using.) Season lightly with a little salt & pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add sausage and cook until browned, using a wooden spatula to break it up as it cooks. Add peppers and onions, stirring occasionally, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Remove sausage and vegetables from skillet and set aside to cool.
4. In the empty skillet, add a little olive oil and sliced mushrooms. Saute until browned, and season lightly with sea salt and black pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.
5. Add the cooked sausage and veggies to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add 2 ounces of grated cheese and stir again. Pour mixture into prepared 8x8" baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top and sprinkle evenly with dried oregano.
6. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until center is set. Let cool slightly, slice, and serve.