Eating breakfast

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance.

Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast can give you:

  • A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
  • Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
  • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
  • Lower cholesterol

In general, breakfast eaters are leaner, more energetic and have a better memory than non-breakfast eaters.  The National Weight Control Registry has identified eating breakfast as one of the keys to successfully losing weight and keeping it off.

What if you aren’t hungry in the morning? There are two things you can do.  1) eat just a little bit.  Maybe you’ll have a piece of fruit or a bit of yogurt.  Odds are, once you train your body to eat in the morning, it will become acclimated and you’ll feel more like eating in the morning.  2) Take something to eat a bit later in the morning.  Pack a yogurt, smoothie, hard boiled egg or some other portable breakfast to eat later.

The origin of the word breakfast literally means to “break the fast”.  By the time you wake up it has likely been 12 or more hours since you last fueled your body.  If you can re-train your body to eat at regular intervals, you’ll likely start to want breakfast when you wake up.  Many people skip meals, including breakfast, which increases the likelihood that you will overeat when you do have a meal.  Eating regularly helps your body utilize food as fuel more effectively. Multiple studies have also shown that skipping breakfast increases rates of depression and has a direct impact on mood.

Need some ideas for easy, healthy breakfast?  Here are a few quick and easy ideas:

  • Yogurt with berries. Choose yogurt that doesn’t have a lot of added sugar.
  • Smoothie made with your favorite fruits. I recommend frozen fruit to make your smoothie thick. Use the milk of your choice and whey protein or yogurt for an added punch of protein.       Protein helps curb your hunger throughout the morning.
  • Breakfast burrito. I like scrambled eggs with cheese, and salsa for dipping. On the weekends I go all out and make my eggs with mushrooms and spinach.
  • How about a bar? Granola bars or other snack bars such as Clifbar or Larabar are better than not eating at all.
  • Rice or quinoa. I like leftover rice with a sprinkle of sugar and milk. Really tasty! Quinoa tastes great with a little fruit added.
  • Fruit and cheese. Simple and delicious.

Despite all the coverage breakfast has received, I still know people who skip breakfast regularly.  Eat something (healthy) for breakfast!  Your mom was right, it is the most important meal of the day.

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.