Sometimes there is simply not enough time in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast, let alone even grab a donut on the way out. That snooze button is so tempting offering you just ten more minutes of sleep. Next thing you know you are rushing out the door, flinging your jacket on, shoes still undone having completely forgotten or forgone what should be a vital part of your morning routine; breakfast. It may seem that giving up breakfast is a harmless little trick to save time, possibly even beneficial to your weight loss goals. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. Here are 3 reasons why you should never skip breakfast.
1. Nutrient Intake
Multiple studies have shown that those who consistently eat breakfast also had steadily higher intakes of micronutrients throughout the day. These micronutrients include calcium, dietary fiber, iron, folate, and vitamin B-12, which are shown to be regularly lacking in most U.S. diets. Eating in the first hour or two after waking up allows your body to get a jump start in attaining its daily nutritional needs.
2. Weight Management
Skipping a meal here and there may seem like a good way to cut calories and drop a few pounds, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is especially true when it comes to breakfast. A nutrient dense breakfast has been shown to aid in weight loss as well as weight management. After a long night of sleep, it is important to “break the fast”. Eating breakfast wakes your system up and gets your metabolism going, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day. Skipping breakfast, however, works in the opposite way. It sends your body into conservation mode, slowing down your metabolism and decreasing the amount of calories you burn throughout the day.
While skipping breakfast may temporarily spare you the calorie intake, you are more likely to binge eat later in the day. Perhaps you skip breakfast before work and the next opportunity to eat is not for several hours. By the time lunch rolls around, you are more likely to choose something high in fat and calories to satisfy your hunger. These poor eating decisions throughout the remainder of the day will ultimately earn back the calories you were attempting to avoid at breakfast. And with a slowed metabolism, these calories will not be easily burned off.
3. Cognitive Function
Growing up, kids are always encouraged to eat breakfast before heading off to school for obvious reasons. However, a not so obvious reason for eating breakfast is that it has been shown to improve cognitive function in children and adolescents. Studies show that the observed traits of those who ate breakfast included improved attention and behavior as well as reduced absence and tardiness. Similarly, in adults, eating breakfast provided energy boosts as well as an overall more positive attitude.
It is clear to see that eating breakfast is important for many reasons, so here are a few tips from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for eating a quick and healthy breakfast:
- Pick 2-3 foods, including at least one from each of the following food groups:
-bread and grain (i.e.cereal, toast, muffin)
-milk and milk product (i.e. low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk)
-fruit or vegetable group (i.e bananas, apples, carrots)
- Pick up portable breakfast items when at the grocery store. You should buy foods like fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole grain breakfast bars, or granola bars for those mornings when you have to eat breakfast on the go.
- Replace or accompany that morning cup of coffee with a glass of orange juice or milk.
- Make an omelette! You can shorten preparation time by chopping up your vegetables ahead of time.
- Get up 15 minutes earlier. You can fix and consume a healthy breakfast in 15 minutes or less.
- Plan ahead to eat breakfast. This means you should decide what you are going to eat for breakfast before the next morning. You can save time by putting out the box of cereal or cutting up some fruit the night before.
For more healthy breakfast options, take a look at these 10 healthy breakfast recipes.