As you navigate your fitness journey, it’s important to remember how crucial it is to start each day off on the right foot with a healthy breakfast. Truthfully, many of the most popular breakfast options (including a lot of our personal favorites) aren’t very healthy. While it may be tempting to indulge in a sugary pastry or low-fiber cereal in the morning, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of fitting a good amount of protein into your breakfast, especially if you want to lose fat and build muscle over 40.
Protein contains essential amino acids that help to rebuild and repair your muscles, as well as help preserve muscle mass as you shed pounds. (This is especially important for people over 40, as muscle mass starts to take a natural decline with age.) This macronutrient can also help boost your metabolism thanks to its high thermogenic effect, which can do wonders for fat loss. All of this goes to show that starting your day with a healthy dose of protein is a good habit to implement for optimal fitness as you age.
To discover one of the best ways to do just that, we spoke to certified personal trainer and certified exercise nutrition specialist Rachel MacPherson, CPT. She told us that protein oatmeal makes a great choice. Learn more about the benefits of this tasty, nutritious food below.
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Protein oatmeal benefits for muscle building and fat loss
Oatmeal is already packed with health benefits. In fact, it’s one of the best breakfast foods out there for weight loss thanks to the fact that it’s rich in fiber and complex carbs. When you add some extra protein to the mix, you’ve got yourself a breakfast of champions that’s perfect for helping you build muscle and lose fat.
“Oatmeal is a higher protein grain, and when combined with complete proteins such as eggs and dairy, can increase muscle protein synthesis that leads to muscle gain,” MacPherson explains. “Moreover, protein and fiber from the oatmeal plus the high volume of this meal will keep you full for a long time, stifling cravings and preventing overeating to support a healthy weight or weight loss.” Perfect!
She adds that “oatmeal also has complex carbohydrates, which are also vital for energy levels and for building muscle.” We’re sold—now how can we make it?
How to prepare protein oatmeal
MacPherson recommends a few different ways to prepare protein oatmeal. For starters, she said, you could add egg whites. “Egg whites actually make oatmeal fluffy and creamy while adding a ton of protein without any obvious egg taste,” she says.
Another method is to cook your oatmeal in milk. “Cooking your oatmeal in milk can also add creaminess and protein,” MacPherson suggests. Just be sure to choose a healthy, sugar-free milk for the job!
Additionally, banana and cottage cheese could be great additions. “Cook oats with milk and half a banana for sweetness and nutrients, then fold in cottage cheese at the end for a creamy, high-protein breakfast,” she instructs. “Add a dollop of peanut or almond butter and some berries.” Yum! Those berries can really take your breakfast to the next level, as this antioxidant-rich fruit offers up a wealth of health benefits, too.
No matter what method you choose, you’ll be doing your body a major favor. When you follow up this hearty meal with a killer workout routine, you’ll be making strides towards your fitness goals.