We’ve all had those mornings: You wake up late and fly out the front door while zipping your pants and then it’s 2 o’clock and you wonder why you have a pounding headache and a distinct urge to slam the door on the day and go back to bed.
On those kinds of days, it’s no wonder we forget to eat. Even on the days that have a calmer start, though, I know many of us tend to skip breakfast since our hunger hasn’t caught up with us yet, or simply because we don’t know what to eat.
This meal is SO easy to skip, but it’s also the worst possible meal for you to skip in the first place. Seriously. Study after study has shown this. So, here are 3 reasons NOT to skip breakfast, and my super duper no excuses simple deluxe solutions!
# 1 – Do you really want to be overweight, sluggish or have an even harder time losing weight? I think not!
Countless studies have shown that skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism, boosts cravings, and lowers your blood sugar. These are all things that contribute to being overweight, tired, hangry and stuck with those lingering pounds you’ve been trying to shake off forever.
The whole idea behind breakfast is the same one behind warming up a car in cold weather: Running the engine first to heat up the car, to make it more comfortable and help it perform better. Your body’s that car in cold weather!
Run your engine in the morning by giving your body some healthy fuel to burn! By having a lean protein and fiber in the morning, you’re jump-starting your day with a prolonged energy boost from the healthy foods, and this in turn will help keep you full until lunch (which helps keep your cravings down, which helps you keep from unnecessarily snacking), AND it helps keep your blood sugar at a stable level.
#2 – You’ll be healthier overall!
This goes hand in hand with #1, but breakfast eaters not only generally tend to have lower cholesterol, lower rates of heart disease, and also tend to get closer to their daily recommendations of vitamins and minerals.
When you extend your fasting longer than necessary by not eating breakfast, you’re technically taxing your body in a not so great way that could ultimately lead to insulin sensitivity, which in turn can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. It’s an ugly and subtle domino effect, but thankfully, it’s totally preventable!
#3 – Set a good example for your family!
You’ve heard me talk about my boys’ awesome responses to seeing me maintaining my commitment to working out (and enjoying the heck out of it), and I know I’m not the only mom out there who’s seen that happen. So, on top of having a good fitness regimen, it’s important that your kids (and your “other half”) see you starting off the day by taking care of your body and health with a good breakfast.
Here’s my super duper no excuses simple deluxe solution!
You don’t need to go crazy with breakfast. Don’t have time to cook in the morning? Or are you simply not that hungry? No problem! Munch on a small handful of almonds (8-9 almonds ideally) as you get ready in the morning, and BOOM! There’s a small dose of heart-healthy fiber, protein and healthy fat to start off the day.
Then, for your true breakfast, why don’t you have one of the following:
- Whole grain toast with peanut (or other favorite nut) butter, banana slices, honey and cinnamon on top
- A hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit
- A piece of fruit and yogurt or cottage cheese
- 5 prunes and piece of toast with your favorite nut butter on top
- Make your favorite smoothie or shake (hello Shakeology!) and soak the blender with some soap to clean when you get home
Or, if even that’s too much for you, get your baking on over the weekend to prepare for the week and make some healthy oat or fiber cakes, or banana or zucchini bread. Or, make a nice big batch of oatmeal from steel-cut oats, divvy it up into little tupperwares with your toppings of choice (fruit, nuts, etc.) and it’s ready to grab and go!
Again, you don’t need to go crazy with breakfast by making pancakes or scrambled eggs or anything that’s overly complicated. Make it easy for yourself, and whatever way you go, think about balance. The ideal breakfast should have a combination of protein, fiber and some fat. The protein gives you staying power, the fiber helps keep you full longer and the fat does both.
What’s your grab-and-go breakfast? Have something that you love that helps you start the day off right? I’d love to hear from you!