Whether you’re scrambling your eggs or scrambling to get out the door in the morning, at some point in your life, you’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The truth is that your mother didn’t lie to you all of those years, but have you ever wondered why it’s the most important meal of the day? Most Americans skip breakfast and many breakfast places don’t serve the healthiest or “ideal” options that give you all the benefits. According to Livestrong, there is an average eight to 12-hour time block between dinner the night before and breakfast the next day, which is why the word itself means that it’s the meal that’s supposed to break your fast. Here are some ways how breakfast can literally make your day sunny-side up and how even the busiest people can add it to their plate.
Why is Eating Breakfast Important?
HELPS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
When we suggest eating breakfast to maintain a healthy weight, that doesn’t mean to drench a giant stack of pancakes in a pool of maple syrup. Many of us skip it with the misconception that adding those extra calories to your daily diet will make you gain weight, when in fact, eating a balanced breakfast filled with essential nutrients will actually do the opposite.
According to ABC News, not only does breakfast boost your metabolism and help your body burn more calories throughout the day, but skipping it is actually a predictor of future weight gain and increases someone’s chances of becoming obese. A 12-year study that was presented at the Experimental Biology annual meeting in San Diego, California showed that people starting with a normal BMI who skipped breakfast ended with a larger waist circumference and saw the most overall weight gain. Simply put, this is because come lunch time, non-breakfast eaters feel deprived, which results in over-eating and poor food choices.
BOOSTS ENERGY AND CONCENTRATION
Just like how breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism, it also can boost your energy during workouts and help you focus throughout the day. Think of breakfast like power for your brain. It keeps you alert and aids in problem-solving skills, creativity and your attention span, according to Livestrong. If you don’t charge your body with the right foods first thing, then you won’t reap these wonderful possibilities.
HELPS WITH AN OVERALL HEALTHY DIET
Starting your day with something that fuels your body sets you up for success for the remainder of the day. Not only do you need nutrients like calcium, vitamins C and D, iron and fiber, but you’re much more likely to choose wisely come time for lunch and dinner if you’ve already filled your body with a nutritious breakfast. This applies especially if you’re someone who works out in the morning. Livestrong says that ultimately, lack of breakfast equals lack of daily needed nutrients.
WHAT KINDS OF BREAKFAST FOODS SHOULD YOU ACTUALLY EAT? WHAT IF YOU’RE ON THE GO?
For us busy folks who don’t usually have time to fill up a plate Monday through Friday, packing our breakfasts the night before is usually our saving grace. According to Healthline, coffee without all of the added cream and sugar is one of the best things you can start your day with because of the caffeine. Aside from the obvious pick-me-up, it can enhance your mood and help your metabolism. If you’re someone who absolutely needs to sweeten your coffee, try using skim milk with a little bit of real sugar. If you’re not a coffee drinker, sip on some fresh green tea with honey. Green tea contains an antioxidant known as EGCG, which helps protect the brain, heart and nervous system.
When it comes to food, many of us get in the habit of quickly grabbing a granola bar on our way out the door thinking it’s healthy but are unaware of all the added sugars. Healthline says that eggs are one of the best things you can eat for breakfast. They’re packed with good fats and protein, which help keep you fuller longer and can reduce calorie intake during lunch and dinner. Instead of rushing to cook eggs in the morning, make hard boiled eggs the night before and take one with you in the morning.
For cereal lovers, start your day with good carbs like a half cup of plain instant oatmeal. Sweeten it up by squeezing some raw honey on there, add a dash of cinnamon, and pack it in your gym or work bag. For extra sugar and antioxidants, add some fresh fruit like blueberries or strawberries. For more good fats, add raw walnuts or almonds. According to Healthline, nuts are a great addition to breakfast because they are filling and help prevent weight gain. If you’re not someone who likes any of these options, grab a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter for potassium and a quick protein fix.