We’ve heard it repeated that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And yet, around 10% of Americans skip breakfast1 altogether. Even more find it a constant struggle to consistently eat a healthy, well-rounded meal first thing in the morning. Is breakfast really such a big deal? Should you go through the effort of forcing it down even if you don’t really want to? We put those questions to the test, did our research, and came back with seven reasons that might make you value eating breakfast a little more:
1. People who eat breakfast make better food choices overall. Skipping the first meal of the day often results in overindulgence throughout the rest of the day. This may be in part due to the fact that calories eaten earlier in the day are more satiating than those eaten later on2.
2. Breakfast eaters are slimmer. Not only do breakfast eaters shed pounds more easily, they also keep them off better. Research shows that among people who lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for at least a year, 80% were breakfast eaters3. And as far as preventative measures go, another study showed that participants who ate breakfast consistently weighed less3 than those who skipped.
3. Eating breakfast boosts your metabolism. Getting your body started each morning with a high-protein, nutritional breakfast sets the tone for you to burn more calories. Yes, eating breakfast might actually make you feel hungrier sooner, but that’s good because it means your body is already up and working, burning energy.
4. You’ll have more energy if you eat a healthy breakfast. In order to function properly, your body needs fuel – which equals calories. When you first wake up, your body has just spent eight hours fasting. Not refueling soon after waking puts strain on your body. Most experts agree that breakfast should be eaten within two hours of getting out of bed4.
5. Your brain will function better when you eat breakfast. Research repeatedly shows that eating breakfast helps the brain work better by replenishing glucose levels5. This is especially true for children, who on average will function better at school2 and get better grades than their friends who skip breakfast.
6. People who eat breakfast have a lower BMI than those who skip. It’s true! In one five-year study6, individuals who ate breakfast had more energy and a lower BMI than people who skipped eating breakfast. The effect was especially true for women.
7. Eating breakfast will help keep your heart healthier. Researchers found7 that the risk for heart issues increased 27% among men who didn’t eat breakfast. The main reason is linked to the stress prolonging the nightly fast puts on the body, which (among other things) leads to high blood pressure.
Hopefully you’re convinced that you’ll be doing your body a huge favor by choosing to eat breakfast! If you’ve struggled in the past to make breakfast a habit, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Tips for Getting Started
Rule #1: Don’t eat sugar. Not eating breakfast at all is almost a better option than eating sugary, high-calorie foods. It’ll just start your day with the cycle of high and low blood sugar that creates the unhealthy cravings that’ll get you off course.
Rule #2: Eat protein and whole grains. You’re looking for foods that will fill you up and keep you full and energized for longer. The best foods to make this happen are lean protein and whole grains. Eggs and Greek yogurt are some good high-protein go-to’s, while oatmeal is a common grain choice.
Rule #3: Think outside the traditional breakfast food box. Breakfast foods really not your favorite? That’s ok! You don’t have to eat eggs and bacon. A sandwich is just fine. Many people also find adding a fruity protein shake is an easy way to check off breakfast while at the same time getting quality protein and healthy servings of fruit. Looking for delicious breakfast shake recipes? Check out our 310 Shake free recipe collection HERE.
Rule #4: Just eat something. Refer to rule #1, but if you really lack appetite first thing in the morning it’s ok to not eat a huge meal. A spoonful of peanut butter or a high-protein granola bar is still better than nothing.
Now what are you waiting for? Make a choice to eat breakfast, create a strategy to make it happen, and stock up on the ingredients you’ll need to make your delicious meal first thing tomorrow morning!
- Try incorporating some of these 8 Health Hacks into your breakfast for a healthier meal!