“I’m not hungry in the morning,” “I don’t have time to make anything,” and “Well…I eat a donut or a muffin every day for breakfast and that’s enough for me!” are common excuses people make for not eating breakfast. Little do they know that they are negatively impacting their health and not eating breakfast could be causing weight gain, tiredness, and problems concentrating.
We will begin proving the first excuse “I’m not hungry in the morning” wrong. Sure, you may not feel the physical symptoms of hunger such as a grumbling stomach right when you wake up. Most mornings, you haven’t had anything to eat for at least 7 hours (if you are getting proper amounts of sleep). Of course your body is going to be starving, and even if you do not feel hungry it is still extremely important to eat something. If you aren’t hungry now, you are going to be later and eating something for breakfast will prevent you from snacking throughout the morning, making poor food choices, and overeating at lunch. Another interesting fact to know is that when your body is in “starvation mode,” your metabolism decreases, which means the rate at which your calories burn decreases as well. The calories you take in later in the day are more likely to be stored as fat because your body tries to resist starvation. This is why people who are on weight loss diets need to emphasize eating a nutritious breakfast; otherwise they will lead themselves in the opposite direction.
“I don’t have time to make anything,” is simply a poor excuse. Plenty of breakfast foods take about two minutes to make. You can prepare oatmeal, cereal, peanut butter toast, or a fruit smoothie within a reasonable amount of time that allows you to complete other tasks in the morning. Better yet, you can eat these breakfast foods while you are getting ready for the day. If a few minutes is just too much time and you aren’t a multi-tasker, set your alarm clock for a few minutes earlier every day. If you’re worried that waking up earlier will cause you to be more tired, eating breakfast will make up for that. It gets your metabolism going so that you have more energy throughout the day. When you aren’t tired, you get more accomplished, are more pleasant to be around, and will most likely have a better quality of life. So before you walk out the door without eating breakfast, think about the positive effects it will have on your day.
If your excuse is “Well….I eat a donut or a muffin every day for breakfast and that’s enough for me,” good for you for providing your stomach with something. But think about the nutritional value of most doughnuts and muffins. These convenience foods are typically made up of tons of calories that come from fat and sugar, with no fiber or a significant amount of other nutrients. They might seem small but they will not keep you full for long. Even though you are providing your body with food when it needs it the most, doughnuts and muffins do not have the right nutrients to provide you with the energy you need to function. You will still feel more tired during the day than you would after eating a piece of toast and a nutrient-dense brand of cereal.
A healthy breakfast should include foods that are high in healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Some examples of these are yogurt (also a great source of probiotics), eggs, sausage, whole grain toast with peanut butter, whole grain cereals and oatmeal, and fresh fruits and vegetables. When choosing bread, cereal, and oatmeal types at the store, be sure to compare labels. Choose the highest fiber food possible. A high fiber food choice has 4 grams of fiber or more. Remember that eggs and meats are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, so eat them in moderation. Popular breakfast food items that are not appropriate for a balanced diet are Poptarts, waffles loaded with syrup, high sugar cereals such as Froot Loops and Cocoa Puffs, and of course doughnuts and muffins.
Brianna Elliott is a regular contribitor for ProbioticSmart.com and PSCLife.com, a student at UW-Stout, and NEVER makes excuses for not eating breakfast.