Bring Back Breakfast
Choose the best breakfast:
A. Leftover cold cheese pizza and orange juice
If you chose A, B, C, D, or E, then you're correct! The best breakfast is the one that you'll eat regularly (and is relatively well-balanced).
The Neglected Meal
Gone are the days when it was unthinkable to start the day without a good hearty breakfast. Now people have more excuses than you can shake a spatula at for why they cannot or do not eat a morning meal. Do any of these sound familiar?:
The Case for Breakfast
We have all heard it—breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But you know what, it is true. Here are some reasons why:
Breakfast is the time to refuel. After fasting for the 8-12 hours after dinner and during sleep, your body needs to replenish its energy supply. The brain is especially in need of a fill-up, because it has no place to store its main energy source: glucose, which comes from the foods we eat. Without eating you won’t be able to think or concentrate. Muscles also rely on glucose for a portion of their energy.
Eating breakfast is associated with better attitudes about work and school. People who pass on a morning meal are often tired, irritable, or restless in the morning.
Eating breakfast regularly is associated with maintaining a healthful weight. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat at snack time and other meals throughout the day.
Breakfast can add to the healthfulness of your diet. Breakfast food can be an important source of the following nutrients in your diet:
No More Excuses
Now it's time to let go of those excuses.
I do not have time. A little planning may help.
I am not hungry in the morning. Eat something small, such as toast, juice, or an egg, at breakfast time. Bring along a snack for when you are hungry mid-morning.
I am trying to lose weight. Studies have found that people who regularly eat breakfast cereal regularly tend to have lower body mass indices. Skipping breakfast sets you up to be ravenously hungry later in the day, which can lead to overeating. Of course, you still need to make healthful choices. Be aware of portion sizes. For example, many bagel-shop bagels and muffins are much higher in calories than you think. Also, stay away from some of the traditional, fatty breakfast foods, including:
I do not like breakfast foods. Anything can be a breakfast food:
When I eat breakfast, I'm more hungry mid-morning. Hunger pangs are a healthy, normal signal from your body. Bring along a healthy snack for these times. Or try eating a little more protein or fat with breakfast to keep you feeling full longer.
Back to Breakfast
Eating a healthful breakfast helps prepare your mind and body for the day ahead. Try some of these ideas to bring breakfast back into your routine.
Eat Right: American Dietetic Association
Fruits and Veggies Matters
Dietitians of Canada
The importance of breakfast. University of Floriday IFAS Extension website. Available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/he550. Accessed September 12, 2012.
Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated August 16, 2012. Accessed September 12, 2012.
Overcoming excuses for skipping breakfast. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. Available at: http://www.eatrigh.... Accessed September 12, 2012.
Start every day the healthy way. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. Available at: http://www.eatrigh.... Updated February 4, 2008. Accessed September 12, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Brian Randall, MD