Do you jump out of bed, make a beeline to your closet to get dressed for work and head out the door? If so, you’re missing out on something important – a good breakfast. Some people skip breakfast in a misguided attempt to lose weight. Not so smart. In fact, research shows that successful losers begin their day with a healthy breakfast.
Why is refueling in the morning so important? It jumpstarts your metabolism and satisfies hunger so you’re less likely to snack on the wrong foods later. It also replenishes glycogen stores so you won’t feel tired later in the morning. If you don’t munch on something substantial in the morning, there’s a good chance your energy will ebb before lunchtime. Who wants that?
One of the most common reasons people give for skipping breakfast is a lack of time, but even the most time-challenged people can find time to fuel up in the morning. Here are some ways to make time for breakfast even if you’re time strapped.
Prepare Breakfast Overnight
Buy an inexpensive slow cooker, and fill it with old-fashioned oatmeal or another whole grain like quinoa or barley and water. Turn it on low, and let your morning cereal cook overnight. When you wake up you’ll have nutritious, fiber-rich cereal that you can dress up with nuts, berries and milk. Oatmeal is high in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that’s heart healthy and helps to fill you up. With breakfast ready as soon as you get out of bed, there’s no excuse to head out the door on an empty stomach.
Keep Some Grab-and-Go Breakfast Items Handy for Emergencies
Everyone has days where they over sleep their alarm and have to rush around to make it to work. Be prepared for those days by stocking the refrigerator and cabinet with breakfast items you can eat on the go. Good options are a container of yogurt, Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs, cottage cheese mixed with fruit, apple slices spread with peanut butter or a protein bar that has less than 5 grams of sugar. Keep a few hard-boiled eggs and packages of string cheese in the refrigerator for grab-and-go protein.
Drink Your Breakfast
Get out the blender, and use plain yogurt and frozen fruit to whip up a smoothie you can sip on the way to work. The yogurt provides protein, calcium and probiotics, while the frozen fruit gives you healthy carbs, fiber and natural antioxidants. Make your smoothies at home rather than pulling into a fast food restaurant for one. Too many smoothies you buy from fast food restaurants and smoothie stores are loaded with sugar.
Choose a Breakfast That Contains a Combination of Protein and Healthy Carbs
You need healthy carbs for energy and protein to help stabilize your blood sugars and reduce hunger. An egg and a bowl of oatmeal, plain yogurt and fruit, a slice of whole-grain toast and peanut butter or even a turkey sandwich on whole grain brain meets this requirement. Stay away from cereals that lack fiber and are high in sugar, white bread, croissants and bagels. These foods raise and drop your blood sugar too rapidly. That can lead to hunger or a headache later in the morning.
The Bottom Line?
You may be strapped for time, but there are still ways to fit in a healthy breakfast. Do a little planning, wake up a little earlier and be prepared with some fast breakfast items you can eat on the go.
Obes. Res. 2002 Feb: 10(2): 78-82.