If you are New Mexican, or have visited the Land of Enchantment, chances are, you’ve had a breakfast burrito. After all, Tia Sophia’s in Santa Fe lays claim to inventing the breakfast burrito in 1975. If you have a breakfast burrito on a regular basis, you are doing a good thing, and perhaps a not so good thing.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it helps to jump starts your metabolism. Research indicates that people who consume breakfast tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day and weigh less. We need to fuel our body and our brain, “breaking” the 8-12 hour “fast.”
The beloved breakfast burrito that so many New Mexicans go for in the morning is a convenient grab and go breakfast. But here is the bad news: those convenient concoctions are potential disasters to your diet. A “basic” burrito of tortilla, two eggs and potatoes starts at 740 calories and 31 g fat. This is a burrito with NO cheese and NO meat. Start adding cheese, beans, bacon, sausage, carne adovada, and/or chorizo and the calories and fat grams quickly add up to 1,000 – 1,200 calories (or more if you smother it in chile). Additionally, you can easily get an entire day’s worth or sodium in a single breakfast burrito. So, even though you are eating breakfast, you could be ADDING weight, because you are taking in too many calories by starting your day with about half of your calories needs for the entire day.
What Can You Do
Continue to eat breakfast, but get control by making your own. Don’t have time? Think about this: going to get your breakfast burrito each morning is likely taking you the same amount of time or more to drive thru or walk to get your burrito than it would to make something yourself = about 10 minutes. Don’t believe it? Time it! Also, cutting back on the breakfast burritos to once a week, or even better, once a month, will not only help you save the calories, but cash (especially on the $4 breakfast burritos).
Here is what you need to know: Aim for about 20-25% of your total calories needs in the first meal of the day. For someone who needs 2,000 calories a day, that is 400 – 500 calories. Breakfast should include whole grain carbohydrate, lean protein, and fruit (or vegetable if you want chile).
- Whole wheat tortilla, 1-2 eggs, and salsa or green chile (8” tortilla is better than 12”)
- Hardboiled egg, 1 ounce of cheese (string cheese) and 6 ounces of 100% fruit or vegetable juice (toss in purse or backpack for a to-go breakfast).
- Whole wheat English muffin, egg and Canadian bacon (breakfast sandwich) and slice tomato.
- Fat free yogurt with frozen mixed berries and 2 tablespoons whole grain cereal
- Whole grain toast, peanut butter and banana
- Whole grain fruit and nut cereal and low-fat or fat-free milk
- Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts and low-fat or fat-free milk
- A breakfast burrito — once in a while!