“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”
Seriously. It really is. What happens when you set out for you day on an almost empty tank of gas? I’m talking about in your car. Sure, on a good day, you will probably have enough to make it to work, but you will be in desperate need of the nearest gas station after you punch out for the day. Most likely, you are going to give yourself a bit more insurance by making sure your tank is sufficiently full.
The same thing goes for your body’s own energy tank. Food is energy. So why would you start your day out on empty? Skipping breakfast slows your metabolism and pushes you into “survival mode.” If you’re trying to lose weight, this is one of the worst things that you can do that will crush and bury all of your hard work. The less fuel you provide, the less calories you’ll burn.
Still feeling skeptical? Prevention will back me up here.
If you don’t eat breakfast because you are not hungry in the mornings, try eating something small within thirty minutes of waking (like a banana or some whole-wheat toast with a light spread of peanut butter). Do this every day, and your body should slowly become accustomed to this new ritual. Eventually, you will develop a natural hunger when you wake up and will most likely increase the size of your breakfast. Try to keep your meal around 400 calories and include a healthy serving of lean protein with minimal carbs and fats.
For most people, a common reason for skipping breakfast is that they do not have enough time. Breakfast doesn’t need to be a grandiose ordeal though. Know your schedule and plan around it. If you just do not have an extra 5-10 minutes in your morning routine, do a little prep work the night before so that you can grab-and-go.
Instant oatmeal with a splash of milk (or milk alternative) and topped with a handful of nuts and dried fruit can make a satisfying meal that you can take with you or prepare at the office. If that sounds to overwhelming, try some overnight oats.
A personal favorite of mine is the breakfast burrito. All you need is tortillas, scrambled eggs (you can even cook the eggs in the microwave if you’re super strapped for time), salsa and a pinch of shredded cheese. Throw all your ingredients on the tortilla, roll, wrap and go!
No desire or time to cook? Ok, then…try one of these winning combinations:
ProBar (these babies are a full meal—around 300+ calories per bar) and 8 oz. of milk
Apple slices with nut butter
Fruit smoothie (purchased from Tropical Smoothie, Smoothie King, etc.) *Note, opt for no sugar or “half sugar” and skip any indulgent additives like chocolate
Plant-based protein powder (these tend to have a higher nutrient profile than regular protein) with 12 oz. of skim or 2% milk OR 16 oz. of almond/soy milk
Yogurt parfait – Non-fat Greek yogurt with granola or hemp hearts, dried fruit and a drizzle of honey
PBJ Waffle or rice cakes (I think these are pretty self-explanatory)
And if fast and steady metabolism isn’t enough motivation to quit hitting that snooze button, then keep the following reasons in mind for enjoying breakfast:
It gives your brain a boost by providing it with the glucose it needs to operate
People who skip breakfast have a tendency to have higher cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease
Many studies show that those who are able to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight share the healthy habit of eating breakfast each day
It helps you reduce cravings and enhances your ability to avoid junk foods come lunchtime
Living a healthier lifestyle includes properly nourishing your body and to do this, you need to be eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods frequently throughout your day. Every person has unique needs so assess what yours are and plan accordingly. Your brain, skin and even your mood will show vast improvements from what you could consider a small and simple change.