Yet, somehow, it’s often the most commonly skipped meal of the day.
People who skip breakfast may go 15 hours or more without eating, putting a major stress on the body. Later in the day, excessive hunger causes overeating that more than makes up for the calories not consumed at breakfast. Studies show that people who don’t eat in the morning are more likely to do impulsive, unplanned snacking throughout the day.
Eating breakfast can also help you concentrate and think more clearly. It has been shown over and over again that children who eat a nutritious breakfast perform better academically in school. Studies also show that adults who eat breakfast also have better memory function than those who skip breakfast.
And when nighttime rolls around? Many people who skip breakfast have the habit of eating too much late in the evening. (Some find it easier to be careful about portion size and food choices during the day but simply ‘lose it’ at day’s end). As a result, they wake up in the morning feeling sick to their stomach and not wanting to eat breakfast.
To break out this vicious cycle, start by having something very light for breakfast (such as a little bit of yogurt or a piece of fruit). Over the next week, aim at eating progressively less late in the evening and more at breakfast. Establishing this type of healthy eating pattern will not only help prevent overeating but may also improve the quality of your sleep.
What to eat?
Though any breakfast may be better than no breakfast, the quality is also important. Slow-to-digest breakfast causes a moderate and slow rise in blood sugar and provides you with enough energy to last through the morning. Getting enough protein for breakfast reduces food cravings later in the day and helps you lose more weight and keep it off on the long term.
Here are several quick-and-easy breakfast suggestions:
• Omelet (with veggies, meat, tofu, or cheese)
• Poached eggs
• Scrambled eggs (with veggies, meat, tofu, or cheese)
• Sunnyside up/Over-easy eggs (use cooking spray)
• Eggs with salsa
• Eggs with turkey sausage, turkey bacon, or Canadian bacon
• Hard boiled eggs
• Frittata (bake in a muffin-shape baking dish, freeze or refrigerate serving to pull out and microwave)
• Greek nonfat yogurt with fruits (add Splenda/Stevia if you wish; sprinkle with chopped almond or walnuts for a bit of crunch)
• Cottage cheese with fruits
Protein shake or smoothie
Blend protein powder, milk/soy milk/water/nonfat yogurt/silken tofu & fruit.
Prepacked low-carb protein shakes:
• Pure Protein Shake (Costco or Trader Joe’s)=3 protein boxes
• Muscle Milk Lite Shakes (Safeway)=1 protein box
• Proti or Healthwise Protein Shakes (at Greenlite Medicine)=2 protein
Healthwise Cinnamon (cold cereal)=2 protein
Healthwise Oatmeal (at Greenlite Medicine)=2 protein
Written by Michal, Greenlite weight loss educator and nutritionist.