It’s a commonly accepted notion that eating a healthy breakfast is key to starting the day on the right track. But is breakfast the most important meal of the day? And if so, why?
Studies show that 15-25 percent of your energy intake should be consumed at breakfast. But only about 25 percent of adults eat breakfast consistently.1 Chalk it up to a busy daily grind or differing priorities, but some people might find it hard to grab a nutritious breakfast first thing in the morning.
But here’s the deal: You don’t have to sit down to a full-course breakfast as soon as you roll out of bed. It’s more about being intentional about what you eat for your first meal of the day. What you eat first each day sets the stage for the remainder of the day.
Read on to learn more about Tony Horton’s take on skipping breakfast and the benefits of breaking the fast the best you can. You may never skip breakfast again.
Attention Breakfast Skippers: Eat Breakfast To Support Weight Loss
As it turns out, skipping breakfast isn’t the best way to cut calories. In fact, experts believe it’s actually counterproductive.
Eating a good amount of healthy calories for breakfast wakes your body up and gets it out of calorie-conserving mode. When you don’t eat breakfast, your metabolism slows down. This supports research that says people who regularly skip breakfast actually have a higher Body Mass Index, or BMI – a measure of body fat based on height and weight.2
When you’re in fasting mode (including when you’re asleep or if you’re intermittent fasting), your body relies on its stores of glycogen to regulate your blood sugar. When you awake, you need to replenish the energy and nutrients lost overnight. A delay in doing so can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. This, in turn, might affect your caloric and energy intake and retention throughout the day.3
Furthermore, skipping the chance to eat something hearty and healthy for your first meal of the day means you’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices throughout the day. This means you might end up giving in to cravings and binging – consuming more calories than you had planned (or actually need to). And the calories you consume might not be the kind which are beneficial to your fitness goals.4
Eat Breakfast To Support Your Health
Ultimately, prioritizing breakfast helps support your healthy weight loss goals. In addition to helping your metabolism stay in tip-top condition and supporting calorie-counting strategies, eating breakfast might also help decrease the risk of developing certain health issues.
People who eat a healthy, hearty breakfast are more likely to meet their daily recommended vitamin and mineral needs. This alone might help support overall health.5
As it turns out, people who eat breakfast consistently may be able to better manage their weight or even lose weight. They also tend to lead more active lifestyles. This may help support healthy blood sugar levels, heart health, and more.6 All the more reason not to skip breakfast.
A Good Breakfast Helps Support Mental Health
When you eat a healthy breakfast, you’re helping to promote stable blood sugar levels. This can have a positive effect on your brain function and your mood.7 Furthermore, there is evidence linking eating breakfast to an improvement in the quality of life among people who report high stress levels.8
Your Choice Of Breakfast Foods Matters
Now, this isn’t just about downing a bowl of cereal and calling it a day. The foods you choose to break your fast with is what makes all the difference. Breakfast is a good opportunity to increase your intake of calcium, protein, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates — fuel you need for your day.
A balanced meal of protein, fiber, and carbs may help up your satiety levels, reducing the likelihood of cravings throughout the day. Fiber, especially, can help keep you feeling full for longer.9
It’s also important to avoid falling into a sugar trap first thing in the morning. Many popular breakfast foods actually contain a lot of hidden sugar. Choose wholesome and homemade breakfast food (like a boiled egg and sliced avocado smashed on some whole grain toast) instead of “instant” or pre-packaged breakfast foods that might contain lots of sugar.10
Start Simple With Healthy Breakfast Ideas
These easy healthy breakfast recipes and ideas can help you get on the right path to eating a healthy breakfast each day. They’re all fast and simple, and they use basic pantry staples you might already have — further motivation and proof that breakfast is something even the most bleary-eyed can hurdle in the A.M.
- Avocado and poached egg toast
- Breakfast wraps with egg, veggies, and cheese
- Breakfast muffins with quinoa, eggs, and your choice of green leafy vegetables
- Homemade smoothies with frozen bananas, greens, chia seeds, and your choice of dairy milk
- Pancakes made with wholesome ingredients and interesting spices (like cinnamon)
- Overnight oats with nutritious fixings, like chia seeds and superfoods
- Banana bread11
Meal planning and prepping for a week’s worth of breakfasts could be a good way to start being more intentional about breaking your fast — and reaping the benefits of this good habit.
Mindful Eating This Year: How To Stop Food Cravings Before They Start
Check Out These Healthy Pantry Staples That Should Be In Every Kitchen Pantry
Plant Based Meal Prep Ideas For A Vegan Meal Plan