Let’s face it… for us busy moms, mornings can be hectic… maybe so hectic that you forget to eat breakfast? Or maybe you are lucky to grab the easiest, most accessible thing without any thought of nutritional quality? But you hear it all the time… “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” So, is it really?
I say BREAKFAST IS INDEED IMPORTANT, as are lunch and dinner!
But for now, let’s focus on Breakfast.. the first meal of the day…the meal to “break the fast.” So think about yourself sleeping through the night. During sleep, your body is in it’s most sedentary state, in which your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories at rest) is at it’s slowest. In addition, you are in a fasting (not eating) state, which after several hours, can slow the metabolism even more. So it’s a good idea to “break the fast” by eating something within an hour or two after waking up. By putting some fuel in your body, you will get your metabolism and energy going for the day. For this reason, breakfast plays an essential role in weight management, along with fueling your body and brain to tackle the day!
So if you tend to skip breakfast, and are usually not hungry in the morning, I recommend this… Start eating something (even if it’s small) at the same time every single morning. If you repeat this day in and day out for at least 3 weeks, a couple things should start to happen… 1) you will develop a habit of eating in the morning, which just becomes part of your daily routine, and 2) your hunger hormone (ghrelin) will begin kicking in at that time of the day, and in turn, you may notice that you begin feeling physically hungry in the morning. Because of this, the desire to eat breakfast will become more natural.
Even if it’s small to start, the key is to begin your day with something of nutritional value. Try to include both fiber and protein which will keep you satisfied and provide sustainable energy. Here are some simple ideas to try:
- 1-2 slices whole grain toast with 1 egg
- 1 slice of toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana
- Low fat yogurt with berries and/or granola
- Bran (or other high fiber cereal) with low fat milk
- Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
- Low fat cottage cheese with fruit
- Smoothie made with fruit, lowfat milk, and yogurt
- Breakfast sandwich (whole wheat english muffin, 1 egg, low fat cheese, and spinach and/or other veggies)
- Fiber/granola bar (with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving) and 1 cup low fat milk
TAKE ACTION!: If you skip, or just feel you could make better choices at breakfast… Eat something from (or similar to) the list above within 1-2 hours after waking up, and repeat every single day for the next 3 weeks. Please share what you’ve been eating for breakfast and what it’s doing for you!