A lot of stars go a little crazy with dieting before their wedding, adopting completely different eating plans and sometimes cutting out entire food groups. But not Julianne Hough. The Dancing With the Stars alum took a refreshingly practical approach to pre-wedding nutrition by sticking to her regular eating habits. “I don’t want to look different than what I look like normally,” she told People magazine.
Still, the star is clearly doing something right because she has one of the most enviable physiques in Hollywood. How does she do it? While staying active is obviously a key component, we have a sneaking suspicion her go-to breakfast plays a big part in looking and feeling great as well.
So what is this magical morning meal? According to an interview with Elle, Hough opts for steamed eggs with avocado and tomato just about every morning. She’s so fond of her breakfast, she even did a cooking demo of her method with Rachael Ray.
Apart from sounding delicious, this breakfast seems really well-balanced. Frankly, it’s probably even more nutritious than it seems at first glance. So, let’s dive a little deeper.
Nutritional breakdown: Eggs
Eggs are a no-brainer for breakfast, which is definitely a good thing. They’re packed with an impressive array of nutrients, and boast 6.3 grams of protein and 78 calories per egg. But the quality of that protein is what’s really impressive. The Journal of Sports Science & Medicine points out eggs have an extremely high biological value, a measure of how efficiently your body uses the protein you consume. This means you could actually eat a smaller portion of eggs than, say, beef and still get just as much protein bang for your buck. Smart choice, Hough. Smart choice.
Nutritional breakdown: Tomato
Fruit is a pretty common choice at breakfast, but Hough opts to keep things sightly more savory with sliced tomato. She definitely gets kudos for this pick because tomatoes are loaded with vitamins while maintaining a very low calorie count. And perhaps you’ve heard of lycopene. This antioxidant has been pretty heavily researched as a possible way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and one review reported eating tomato-based foods is likely a better option than taking lycopene supplements.
Nutritional breakdown: Avocado
If you’re not already on the avocado bandwagon, get ready to jump aboard. In addition to tasting phenomenal, avocado offers a huge dose of heart-healthy fat and a respectable amount of fiber. Hough’s choice to use it in tandem with tomato is particularly great because the vitamin A inside the red fruit is fat-soluble. Healthline explains you need to consume fats along with these particular vitamins in order to fully absorb them. Without adding avocado (OK, or eggs, or olive oil, or another healthy type of fat) to the equation, you’d effectively be eating a less nutritious piece of produce.
Why breakfast matters
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In order to reap the rewards of Hough’s A+ breakfast, though, you need to actually eat breakfast. And while there’s some debate about whether eating breakfast is really necessary, nutrition experts consistently favor starting your day with the meal. Megan Moore, R.D., tells Today’s Dietitian eating breakfast helps to get your metabolism started, and it also seems to encourage smarter eating choices later in the day. We can’t say the same is true if you eat a doughnut in the a.m.
Should you eat the same breakfast every day?
This is probably one of the biggest questions surrounding eating the same breakfast almost every day, so it’s worth looking at both sides of the argument.
Pros: The reason a lot of people opt to eat the same thing for a given meal, or even multiple meals, is convenience. You don’t have to decide what to eat for breakfast because you already know what you’re going to have. There’s also the weight-loss factor to consider. Men’s Fitness explains allowing more variety means you’re also allowing more chances to eat unhealthy food, which can undo a diet pretty fast.
Cons: If you’re a food lover, sticking to the same breakfast every day will soon start to feel boring. You’re also likely to miss out on certain nutrients because no food, no matter how healthy, has everything you need. Lastly, Prevention says you may be inadvertently limiting bacterial diversity in your digestive system by eating the same thing too frequently, although we’re not 100% sure how detrimental this could be in the long run.
Variations that are equally as healthy
Given a lot of us like a little more variety, consider how you can use Hough’s go-to breakfast as a basic outline. Instead of rigidly choosing the same thing every time, try thinking about getting roughly the same balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, including fiber. Maybe one day it’s eggs paired with an apple and almond butter, and the next it’s eggs with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Don’t dig eggs? Swap in black beans — they’re packed with protein and will give you an impressive dose of fiber.