Breakfast Basics for Busy Days

We hear it all the time – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And yet, it’s the one we’re most likely skip when pressed for time.

Breakfast Basics for Busy Days | Foodal.com

We know it offers many health benefits, but still it seems to be low on our list of priorities. In 2011, the Kellogg’s company conducted a survey of 14,000 adults. Half of them said they’d like to eat a morning meal, but only one third actually did.

So, why the discrepancy?

The main reason people give for not eating an early meal is a lack of time, followed by not being hungry first thing in the morning. 

We may understand that a healthy lifestyle includes a nutritious start to the day, but we don’t seem to believe it. At least, not enough to make any significant changes in our eating patterns.

To that end, let’s explore a few of the reasons why we should make the effort to take morning nourishment on a regular basis, and how we can incorporate simple changes to benefit from “breaking the fast.”

The Science

Research conducted over 16 years by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), and published by the American Heart Association journal Circulation, found that men in the ages 45-82 who regularly missed their morning meal had a “27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary disease” than those who do dine early (1).

And the non-breakfast eaters were also more prone to risk factors including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Another study conducted by the HSPH, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found a 20% increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for women who go without breakfast only one day per week (2). 

And these risks increase proportionately the more often this meal is missed, particularly as women age. The report also states that increasing evidence of skipping this important meal is “directly associated with weight gain and other adverse health outcomes.”

Tired At Work - No Breakfast | Foodal.com
If you don’t consume a proper breakfast, you’re at risk of low blood sugar and low energy later in the day.

The problem, it seems, is a matter of timing. When we sleep, our metabolism is in a holding pattern – we’re in a state of rest and don’t require a lot of energy. But, when we wake, our bodies begin to rev up and break their metabolic fasting state, and we need fuel to function efficiently and effectively. 

If we don’t eat until mid-morning or lunchtime, our blood sugars are more likely to spike and then crash. After enough of this spike and crash cycle, the pancreas can’t cope and a ramped-up production of insulin in response to these high sugar cycles may develop into diabetes.

As if that wasn’t enough, extended periods of low morning blood sugars can result in low energy, a lack of concentration and diminished alertness.

So clearly, there are plenty of reasons why we should partake in a morning meal. But, that still leaves us with the problems of not having enough time, and not feeling hungry when we wake.

Busting the No-Breakfast Cycle 

Let’s address both complaints to find some solutions:

1. Not enough time.

Fair enough – kids, work, commuting, working from home, appointments and other obligations squeeze our time tighter than two coats of paint. But, what if you could find an extra five or ten minutes? Would that help to start a healthier morning routine?

Here are a few ideas from dietitians and nutritionists, to help us find the time to fuel up before starting the day:

The ideal morning meal should be a combination of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, veggies and/or fruit, some lean protein and a wee dram of healthy fat. So, take a few minutes before bed to decide what you’re going to have in the morning.

Is there any fruit or berries in the fridge? These go well with oatmeal and cereal. Prep by getting out the oatmeal and a cooking pot, or put the cereal on the table with the dishes and cutlery you’ll need, and prepare some fruit so everything’s ready to go when you get up.

You can even use quinoa to make a protein-rich, gluten-free hot breakfast cereal that’s quick to make. 

Fruit and berries go great with yogurt, too. Make up a yogurt parfait with berries or fruit and some low-fat granola, then refrigerate in a small container overnight to take with you.

How about veggies? They’re perfect for a veggie omelet. We even put them in pancakes, like our sweet corn pancakes. Prep some veggies, get out the pan, and set the table.

Any bread in the house? Put it on the cutting board with a banana and a jar of almond butter, then pop a slice in the toaster for a quick, nutritious bite while getting ready.

Do you like wraps? Make a morning wrap of avocado and low fat cheese, and store in the fridge overnight. Keep some hearty homemade muffins in the freezer to grab on the go, make these easily adaptable pinwheels, or prep a healthy loaf like banana nut bread and top slices with a smear of cream cheese.

2. Not hungry in the morning.

Well, there’s an easy solution to this one:

You don’t need to eat as soon as you get out of bed. Eating within an hour or two (at most) of waking is sufficient to provide the fuel that fires up our metabolism. 

Not Hungry For Breakfast | Foodal.com

It’s really about making a few small changes that will develop into a healthier routine. Check out the links above for savory breakfast-style breads that freeze well – make a batch when you have a bit of time, and you’ll always have something to start your day right. 

Any other ideas from the regular breakfast-eaters out there to help us out? Leave us a comment and share your knowledge.

References

With thanks to our reader Christian, for the idea about breakfast-wise prepping.

(1) Harvard School of Public Health – American Heart Association, Circulation; Circulation. 2013; 128: 337-343 doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001474. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/128/4/337.abstract

(2) Harvard School of Public Health – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug; 98(2): 436–443. Published online 2013 Jun 12. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.057521. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712552/

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About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

120 thoughts on “Breakfast Basics for Busy Days

  1. I’m a huge believer in breakfast as I used to work long days. I would always have a croissant or something at least before I left the house or boil an egg and eat that. I do think that breakfast is important in the long run as blood sugar levels fall quickly and that’s when you reach for a snack that may not be as healthy to curb the cravings.

  2. My mom instilled in me the importance of eating breakfast since childhood. Having breakfast in the morning is just automatic for me now. It’s like I can’t start my day without having breakfast first. It doesn’t have to be some big elaborate meal. Something as simple as plain yogurt with fruit and chia seeds or a nice smoothie are just right to hit the spot.

  3. I’m not a fan of breakfast at all. It takes a while before I start feeling hungry, so I tend just to eat at lunchtime. I don’t start feeling hungry for a few hours after waking and just can’t stomach anything then.

  4. I struggle from the not enough time in the morning problem. I enjoy my sleep and don’t feel I get enough of it to begin with. I push it to the limit everyday which leaves 0 time for any type of cooking in the morning. I did get into making an oatmeal bake on the weekends which was filling and easy for me to grab on the way out the door. I just need to get in a better habit of preparing things in advance.

    My other struggle is all the conflicting diets, fads, and nutritional information out there. Don’t eat ANY grain. Do eat WHOLE grain. Don’t eat bananas, they are too much starch. DO eat bananas they are good for you. I just struggle with where I should focus. Everyone has an opinion and I try to form my own but feel like I am doing it all wrong.

    I do appreciate the tips though. This gives me some motivation to start breaking the fast!

    • I think your right on about the time problem daniconk, it’s about developing a habit that can be sustained. And trying to determine what’s the ‘right’ way to eat can be confusing… I guess the proof is in the pudding. The pudding being the way you, and your body, feel in terms of energy, vitality and health.

      We all need motivation sometimes, glad you found a bit here.

  5. This article really addresses the real life issues about eating breakfast. I think it is important because it has so many repercussions: blood sugar, weight, diabetes, mood, energy and ability to function. I appreciate your explanation of how the fluctuation of blood sugar leads to diabetes. I have had challenges with my blood sugar, and eating breakfast does help me. I have to plan ahead and just focus on eating by a certain time. It is real annoying when I am not hungry, but I will either have something light, like a shake, or something tasty, to kick start my appetite.

    • Thanks aphil, I never used to be a breakfast person, but with increasing weight and a family history of diabetes I decided I could learn. And am glad I did. A smoothie of yogurt, chia seeds and berries is my ‘go to’ solution when I’m not hungry. As you mentioned, planning ahead and focusing on the outcome helps to bust resistance.

  6. It’s hard to beat the ‘not hungry in the morning’ blues. I understand we can wait an hour or so but I’m just usually not hungry at all until lunch. I try time & time again to jam something in my face but it seems like more of a chore than anything. Even when I don’t eat anything after 6 pm I’m still not hungry.

    • Have you tried changing your morning routine a bit Joan? A couple of large glasses of warm water helps to kick start the metabolism as we’ve also been fasting from fluids as well, and this seems to help kick start hunger signals. Or maybe a short 20 minute walk, or busting some dance moves for 10 minutes might help to get your tummy growling.

      • I exercise every morning. It’s my version of coffee. Well, that & tea I’m afraid. As for the warm water bit: I always felt like warm water (or tea) is filling. Is that just myself? Maybe I’ll try supplementing the tea for just water for a few weeks & see where that gets me. Thanks.

  7. This is very true. I solve the problem of not having enough time by waking up early. Usually I’m up by 5am and the first thing I do is I drink a glass of water; that always seems to get me hungry after a half an hour. I cook oatmeal and eggs for myself and my family which takes about 15 minutes so it’s not that time-consuming.

    • The water trick seems to be helpful for a number of people, myself included – quite warm water seems to work better for me. Sounds like you’ve got a good routine going for you and your family Tommy.

  8. I’ve no doubt that breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. I myself know a food scientist who has repeatedly told me that skipping breakfast will have a big effect on not only my metabolism but also my energy levels throughout the day. Now, I make a point to eat, even if I’m not in the mood, whether it be a quick muffin or croissant or a fuller breakfast.

    I also want to point out that breakfast doesn’t have to consist of “breakfast foods” like eggs and bacon and such, it could also be leftovers from dinner the night before. Heat it up in the microwave and you’re good to go.

  9. Now…i have sort of a problem here, my mornings come later in the day 🙁 that’s because am burning the midnight oil most of the time… therefore my breakfast is combined with lunch {brunch?!}…i know its a mega problem, but i’ll ease into changing my schedule {working} somehow, that article has me spooked up…i really need to change, for the sake of my health.

    • When I worked nights, I was always hungry when I got up. Now that I get up in the morning, I rarely feel like eating. I’m going to try the water trick, I guess. I’ve also stopped eating late at night, hoping that I would wake up hungry. My stomach rumbles, and I am hungry, but I still don’t have an appetite in the morning. Nothing sounds good until I’ve been up for a few hours.

      I did used to plan ahead for the kids when they were little, but still, I didn’t eat breakfast. I made sure they had something though. I used to make up breakfast burrito fixins’ on the weekends. I’d scramble eggs abd ham and freeze it in serving size portions. They’d nuke it for a few seconds, warm up a tortilla, and throw some cheese on it. I also had fruit, granola bars or fiber bars, etc. for grab and go.

      • @Zyni, i totally understand what you are saying, when the body’s clock is thrown out of balance, its becomes hard to re-adjust especially if you have pressing schedules that you need to work around on, hey, kindly fill me in on the water trick 🙂
        Nice ideas you’ve got there, for the grab and go, i think i might ‘steal’ a few 🙂

        • Oh, the water thing was in reference to the comment above that said a couple glasses of warm water first thing in the morning can kick start things. Apparently, since we haven’t had any liquid all night either, hydrating ourselves this way will help make us hungrier. I meant to start doing it but forgot. I really need to try it though, since I still struggle to eat in the morning. I know I need to for all the reasons stated in the article, but I can’t seem to do it. Writing myself a note to do the water tomorrow morning.

          • @Zyni……now that you’ve mentioned it, of late i’ve been waking up quite thirsty…and i normally ensure i’m well hydrated before i head to bed, i guess i could try your water trick method and see how it goes, perhaps, i’d alternate the warm water for cool water to quench the thirst… or its strictly warm water?

            I can also see as breakfast woes/struggles to eat go, am not alone, i have no clue as to where my appetite has gone to. 😉

  10. For those opting into a healthy lifestyle and/or needing to address weight management/loss, breakfast is KEY! I can attest to this personally. I am much more apt to stick with a daily healthy eating plan if I have had a healthy breakfast that morning. Eating breakfast increases my energy levels and my ability to resist over eating for the rest of the day. The added bonus is that it calls for you to stop and take a moment at a time of the day that is typically ripe with chaos as we prepare for our day. Thank you for reminding your subscribers of the importance of this healthy habit!

    • That’s a great point krystal, taking the time for nourishment in the morning does seem to set the tone for the day and establish important priorities for our own well being.

  11. I always make it a point to wake up early and personally make a healthy breakfast for the rest of my family, even if I have to go to work. I do think that it’s the most important meal of the day, and I do feel guilty if one of my kids or my wife misses it for one reason or another.

    • You’re a rock star Tommy, looking after your family with a healthy breakfast, and getting your kids into the habit of eating a nourishing breakfast will serve them well for a lifetime. Love to hear it!

  12. My parents would never let us leave the house if we didn’t have some sort of breakfast in the morning, even if it is just drinking a full cup of milk and grabbing a piece of fruit or toast on the way out. They can understand if we don’t always eat lunch or dinner, but they will not have it if we tell them we don’t want breakfast!

    And I think a lot of kids nowadays, unfortunately, do not wake up in time for breakfast because they are overloaded with the amount of schoolwork they have to complete before the next school day. Now this isn’t to say that this happens to ALL kids (because some may stay up late because of internet and Facebook), but as a whole community we need to realize that if we overburden the kids with how much they have to do for school and extracurricular and possibly a part-time job, getting enough sleep and breakfast is probably the last thing on their mind. And breakfast, as many of us know, is very important ESPECIALLY for a developing adolescent.

  13. It was the same growing up in our house too, and I think it’s a very important behavior for parents to model for their kids. As you point out, adolescents particularly need the fuel for concentration, mental alertness, focus and healthy development – all of the other activities won’t mean much if they don’t have their health.

  14. My body doesn’t allow me to skip breakfast; I’m always super hungry in the morning. I’m a huge fan of oatmeal and tea, since they’re delicious and not time-consuming at all. I used to fire up quick-cooking oats in the microwave to save time, but I just enjoy them so much more cooked in a small pot. It doesn’t take up that much more time, either. Great to know I’m doing the right thing for my body.

    • You must have good metabolism to wake up hungry. Oatmeal was always a staple in our home at breakfast, and I still enjoy it today… very nutritious.

  15. It’s alarming to see the actual science and how my decision not to eat breakfast most days becasue I’m simply too pressed for time can really hit home in the long run. It’s not something I’ve put a lot of thought into before… Mainly I’ve just heard the saying ‘it’s the most important meal of the day’ and gone straight onto an early lunch becasue I’m one of those people who LOVES sleep. If it’s a choice between having 20 minutes more sleep or having breakfast, I will choose the 20 minutes sleep every time. Though after reading this, I may need to re-evaluate my priorities… Thank-you!

    • It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of doing what’s beneficial for our health SFA, mainly because, as you pointed out, we simply don’t think about the long term consequences. But once we do start to think about it, it’s not quite so comfortable to ignore … but, that’s good if it leads to a positive change in habits! Thanks for your insights and comments.

  16. I never used to eat breakfast and when I did it was always the sugary cereals that never really filled me long term and left me feeling groggy in the morning. Last summer I started a diet, more like clean eating and I found that when I added a good healthy breakfast to my routine I felt so much better throughout the day and I wasn’t as hungry come lunch as I usually would have been which means I didn’t binge out. I had more energy and less headaches and just had a better well-being all around. I now never go without breakfast, even if I am not very hungry I will eat something small.

    • Wow, well your results speak for themselves katherine25. Amazing what can happen with such a simple shift in our daily patterns. Thanks for sharing with us.

  17. I used to skip breakfast in the morning, until I had a scary low blood sugar incident. I talked to a nutritionist who recommended that I have a breakfast of eggs, bacon (preferably turkey bacon), and sweet potatoes. I would make up the food ahead of time, and store it in the refrigerator until the next day. After doing this for a while, my sugar stabilized enough so that I was able to wait until I got to the office to eat it, and then everyone at work was jealous that I had real food, and they were eating junk.

    • Nothing like a health scare to motivate healthier dietary habits…and what great results in stabilizing your blood sugars. And who knows, maybe you inspired one of your co-workers to eat a bit healthier too.

  18. I can’t eat in the morning. I know its such a bad thing but when I wake up in the morning and think about making breakfast I feel sickly. I drink a coffee and thats about it. If i eat something it would be natural greek yogurt with muesli and fresh fruit if its about. But for some reason if I have work or something on and I don’t have the time to get hungry persay I don’t force myself. I honestly envy the people who wake up hungry and can eat first thing in the morning. I have tried to force myself but I only end up feeling sickly for half the day and then I end up eating more than I normally do!

    • It is tough if you’re not naturally hungry in the morning Cazala26. A trick that some people use is to have just a couple of mouthfuls of their breakfast (with a protein), leave it for 30 – 45 minutes and then try to eat the rest within an hour of the first few bites. It seems to help with the nausea of forcing yourself to eat when not hungry.

  19. I usually am never hungry in the mornings when I eat breakfast, but I do make time to nibble on something before I begin my day. More often, I am nibbling on a granola bar and waiting until lunch to eat. It’s an extremely hard habit to break, but hopefully I can improve how much I eat in the morning and balance all my meals for the day. These tips will definitely help me achieve this goal.

    • It is a hard habit to break – but one that can be replaced with healthier options. And you’re halfway there anadrotowski. Knowing what to change and how to change it is the big step, the rest is just practice. Glad you find the tips helpful.

  20. I’ve been meaning to eat breakfast more often, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of energy on days that I miss it. I usually skip it because, bingo #1 on your list, lack of time. If I want to make an omelette (my go to breakfast) it eats up 10+ minutes that I don’t always have. I might try a spinoff on the wrap idea though, make myself a scrambled egg burrito the night before and stick it in the refrigerator. The only downside there is I’d have to eat it cold or microwave it :/

    • Sometimes it takes a bit of a tradeoff to make the initial changes hungryChicken, and once we do we usually find ways to make it work. It’s the initial change that requires a bit of work.

  21. I fry an egg and have a 16oz glass if 1% milk every morning before I leave for work. It takes about 5 minutes to cook and eat my meal. It is not the healthiest meal but it packs all the calories, vitamins, and nutrients I need to tie me over till lunch. I don’t have much time do eat anything else, except for frozen or prepackaged breakfast snacks. I avoid those unless I have to grab my food and eat it on my walk to the train.

    • At least you’re eating something to fuel your morning latitudes. And if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast snack that freezes well, check out the recipe for Sue’s Savory Muffins – very tasty and nutritious.

  22. I used to really hate eating breakfast because I was always an on-the-go person and I wasn’t hungry until around 12pm. But when I started feeling dizzy and weak in the morning, I knew I had to eat properly in the morning so I researched about it and tips like these really helped me a lot. Preparing it the night before is always a life saver because I don’t have to stress over it in the morning. Plus there are some quick and easy recipes I found that are extremely delicious as well. Now I’m such a breakfast lover!

    • Great insights keytcee, thanks for sharing with us. It seems we can change when the motivation is great enough!

  23. Wow, this really sums up the reasons why I usually miss breakfast. It’s good to know the science behind it as well. Personally, what I do is I usually buy a loaf of wheat bread and peanut butter spread to make sure that I get t some sort of breakfast even if I don’t have time to prepare much. That gives you your basic carbs and protein. Though I’ll have to admit that I forget to buy any bread and just drink coffee instead.

    • A slice of toast and peanut butter is a good option when time’s tight – a least you’re getting something. The coffee alone, not so much!

  24. I’ve never really been a big breakfast person. I enjoyed reading all of the studies behind why breakfast is important. It was always stressed growing up, but I just don’t have a taste for food in the morning. Lately, my husband and I have been trying to change this. We’ve started making overnight oats every evening before bed. It only takes a few minutes, we put them in the fridge, then they’re ready to go in the morning. We’ve also taken to adding some raspberries to them to get a serving of fruit in as well.

    • That’s great for making a change to include breakfast, and nice that you’re doing it with the ‘buddy system’. The extra support helps a lot in making those healthier choices… thanks for reading, and glad you found the studies useful.

  25. “The ideal morning meal should be a combination of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, veggies and/or fruit, some lean protein and wee dram of healthy fat. ”

    Well… Knowing this, is there any cons to just having leftovers for breakfast? I don’t really like what is normally understood as “breakfast food”; I’d rather have rice and a sauté, or lasagna, or whatever is left from the day before. Would there be any conterindication to that?

    • I think a lot of what we accept as ‘traditional’ morning fare is the result of years of marketing – certainly processed cereals weren’t part of a ‘normal’ breakfast prior to their invention in the late 19th century. And absolutely no indication that there would be anything wrong with leftovers for breakkie, providing the ingredients are healthy and portions are balanced for optimal nutritional value.

  26. Another good post Lorna!
    I love how you talk bout the science of breakfast, it’s hard to argue against scientific facts!
    I am going to share this with my co-worker who NEVER eats breakfast!

    • Thanks jony, I must have been from Missouri in a previous life because I too love the facts that show me the science behind a claim. Hope it works for your co-worker!

  27. I absolutely agree that we should have a nutritious breakfast in the morning. As you said, we need the fuel to get us up an going. Even a car want start without fuel. I never ate breakfast for years and had to learn to do it. Even if we just have something small at first and develop a habit of it. Breakfast is essential.

    • It is essential oraclemay, and small steps are a great way to start a new habit, especially an important one like eating breakfast. Thanks for sharing.

  28. I have no idea that you can eat a muffin as a breakfast. Isn’t it a little bit sugary and unhealthy? I would love to eat such a breakfast, though!
    Thank you for reminding me of the importance of eating breakfast – I tend to forget about it when I’m nervous about things, and overeat later because of it. I really appreciated the stats provided by you, as well as breakfast ideas!

    • Healthy muffins are a good breakfast option Elfprincess, not the sugary white-death version found in most coffee shops. Try Sue’s Savory Muffins or Vegan Oat Muffins with Dried Fruit and Nuts – find both recipes in the menu tab at the top of the page. Click on Recipes > Breakfast for the details.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  29. I truly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While I do enjoy eating breakfast, its a pain to think about what to prepare in the morning. Thanks for the quick tips and recipes you’ve included in the post. Now I won’t be stuck with just plain oatmeal when I’m in a rush.

  30. I tend to forget my breakfast a lot.sometimes I go straight to lunchtime without having anything. Well lately I’ve been trying to fix that because I know it is unhealthy to go through the day without a proper breakfast.

    • Eating breakfast can be a challenge Zhen, but really it’s just a matter of making a decision and following it up with steps to build a new habit. Then it becomes second nature and we don’t have to think about it anymore!

  31. In Africa, rarely do people miss any of the three daily meals i.e breakfast, lunch and supper. I am not an exception. I do not take breakfast because i feel hungry in the morning. I simply take it because of the long day ahead of me. Sometimes i even forget to take lunch on a busy day at work.

  32. My husband almost never eats breakfast. As for me, though, it’s my favorite meal of the day and I usually eat first thing in the morning. I can’t go without it or else I don’t feel good. Hubby typically gets hungry a couple hours into the day and then eats, so I guess that still counts as breakfast… Anyways, this was an interesting article and I now suppose eating early really is the most important time to eat!

    • Within that two hour window after rising seems to be the optimal time jessemspringer. You’re fortunate your body sends such an important message… and that you listen to it!

  33. A good option if you are someone who can’t stomach a big breakfast in the morning: bone broth. Make a big batch homemade bone broth/stock with leftover bones, then pour into individual portions and freeze/refrigerate them. When you want some just heat it up and drink it. You can add herbs/spices, greens or other veggies, diced meat or tofu, leftover rice or noodles, an egg, whatever you want really. This would also be a good idea for those who aren;t into sweet breakfasts as well. Chinese 5 spice, basil, tofu, and bok choy in some beef bone broth would be great as well as egg, parsley, pepper, & spinach in chicken broth. It’s quite versatile.

    • Bone broth is soooo delicious, and nutritious lebrennan. I usually keep single portions in the freezer for a snack or lunch, but why not breakfast too?! Thanks for your tips.

  34. This is a really important article. My sister has never eaten breakfast, as she’s never hungry. She gets a few hours into her day at school and she is tired and moody. I’ll definitely be sharing this with her. I’m glad to see some science backs up my argument with her!

  35. Not being hungry is definitely my problem! It’s hard to find the time, yes. Mostly, though, I just tend to wake up nauseous or feeling ill and food’s the last thing I want. So I end up gorging on bottled water which I know is a no no but I do it, anyway!

    Still, the statistics for skipping breakfast make it hard to just keep doing what I’m doing. I have no idea if it’s better to eat it and not be able to keep it down or better to skip it and eat later in the day. :/

    • Maybe try lebrennan’s suggestion of a cup of broth in the morning Nancy, it’s light and soothing on the tummy and you don’t have to try and force food down.

  36. I am so used to taking junk food in the morning that i sometimes wonder whether i might change to more beneficial foods like the ones listed here. How do i start?

  37. Start with small steps elly. Have something easy prepared, like a hard-boiled egg with a piece of toast, and build on your success with daily improvements.

  38. I’m a big fan of breakfast but my problem with it is something not mentioned in this post, I tend to get a stomach ache if I eat too early in the morning. I do wake up ravenous, but when I find myself eating breakfast it sometimes just doesn’t sit well in my stomach. It often takes until around lunchtime for everything to not feel so out of whack.

  39. That must be hard if you wake up feeling hungry cnt422. Have you tried to tame your tummy with a glass of warm water before food? It might help to get the digestive juices flowing…

  40. Hey Lorna Kring, How are you this evening? I would like to thank you because you have inspired me to create a new daily morning routine. When I wake up in the morning, I would rush out the house not even thinking on what I should have for breakfast. I would go to the store right next to my house, and I would buy a Red bull energy drink. This isn’t a effective way to start your morning, but it saves me time. Even though it is time-saving, it’s very unhealthy. Because of this topic you created, I am eating healthier foods in the morning such as granola, and yogurt. Not only are these healthy alternatives good for me, but they are more cost friendly compared to buying a Red Bull in the morning. Eating healthier foods help me think better, feel better, sleep better, and they give me more energy. Please continue to provide ways that we all can improve our lifestyles.

    • Well, that’s just an awesome testimonial Blazbluehero, so glad to hear it!

      And isn’t it interesting how some of the shortcuts we think ‘save us time’ actually rob us of the vitality we need (like thinking, feeling, and sleeping) to make time work for us?! And saves us some money as well.

      Thanks for taking the time to let us know of your success, and more power to you!

  41. As a student, rushed morning are very common for me. I sometimes have no time in the morning but since I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I have really been trying to change that. I will be using some of these techniques such as the premade breakfasts. I love having fruit and yogurt for breakfast so I will definitely try cleaning the fruit and putting it in the fridge the night before.

  42. Just doing a couple of things differently, like the ones you’ve mentioned, can make a big difference alexandra3346 – and changing our routines and habits really isn’t as difficult as we think. You’ll be swapping out rushed mornings for healthy breakfasts in no time!

  43. Eating breakfast in the morning really has a noticeable effect on my energy levels, as well as my mood 😉 I tend to get grouchy if I don’t have something to eat before I start my day! The tip about setting out everything you need the night before is huge, it’s usually the deciding factor between whether I end up having a granola bar or something a bit more balanced.

    My favourite choices for breakfast are usually a hard boiled egg (made the night before) and whole grain toast, or toast with some avocado and cheese slices on top 🙂 And some people find it a bit weird, but occasionally I’ll heat up dinner leftovers in the morning. Lasagna or chicken caesar salad isn’t bad at 6 am 😛

    • If you have any kind of time restraints cck, prepping breakfast the night before is the way to go – as you point out, it’s often the deciding factor between a healthy bf and some kind of quick, but sugary, alternative.

      Weird or not, leftovers at 6:00 often offer more nutrition granola bars or muffins! And who made up the rules about ‘normal’ anyhow?!

  44. OUCH! This article is a painful reminder. I’m one of those who has the tendency to skip breakfast. As I’ve waking up late these days, I normally just go right on with lunch and skip breakfast altogether. That part on obesity especially on women as they grow old, hits too close to home. I’m almost forty and losing weight has been a struggle. Though I’ve been eating healthy of late, the fat just wouldn’t go away. The breakfast skipping just might be one of the culprit as mentioned in the article.

    • I suspect skipping bf is even more prevalent in the winter months when daylight comes so late… it makes staying in bed a bit longer so attractive! And from the many studies, it certainly contributes to our weight issues as we age.

      Try prepping something the night before saravet, so even if you do wake late, you can have a bite as you’re getting ready for the day. It’s those small steps that can lead to big change!

  45. This article is certainly a mirror to my life a few years back. My life was always on the move constantly, never slowing down. I’m telling you, eggs are a lifesaver. Toast, fruit, juice/milk, and my egg muffins. The night before I prep some slices of tomato’s, onions, cheese, and slices of ham. When I wake up for my cuppa, I simply add my prepped ham and veggies to my muffin pan after oiling it, pour in eggs and milk, season then leave in oven on timer. By the time I’m awake properly I can go about fixing lunches to go, get ready etc.

    I admit yogurt, overnight oats, and wraps have been lifesavers for me. However, granola bars, croissants, energy bites, have been little saviors for me each morning.

    • Eggs really are a lifesaver, and your egg muffins plus prepping the night before sound ideal for busy day breakfasts aquaticneko! Thanks for sharing with our readers.

  46. Thanks for the great article, Lorna. I definitely found the benefit of having breakfast in the morning – it kept me focused at my desk after my excruciatingly long commute! Having said that, I still find time to be a limiting factor in my choices for what to eat when I wake up, so I have a neat recipe for a natural energy bar that I make on Sunday nights and lasts in the fridge for the whole week.

    Take 2 cups of dates, 1/2 cup of raisins and 1 cup of almonds (cashews also work) and blend them up until they make a paste. Press all of this mix into a shallow tin until it’s about 2 inches thick, and refrigerate for 30 mins. Then take it out and slice into bars and put back in the fridge.

    They taste like nakd bars (they might be just a UK thing, sorry), they fill you with energy and they’re cheap to make. Great on the go too. I’d recommend playing around with the ratios of dates to nuts as some people prefer a more solid mix.

    • Your version of nakd bars sounds great DangerSuit! A no-bake a batch that lasts all week for wheat-free, energy snacks is a great solution to time pressures – and they’d be ideal for commuting. I’m going to try some tomorrow… Thanks for sharing DS, (I love dates and nuts)!

  47. I am guilty of skipping breakfast at least 3 mornings a week, and I know it’s wrong, but it really is a “time” thing……Some mornings I leap out of bed and make an effort to sit at the table and eat breakfast without rushing around, but in reality, that doesn’t/can’t happen every morning!

    Shopping for the right kind of breakfast foods that are quick and simple to prepare and eat helps me a lot – yogurt, granola and fruit can all be eaten on the go or once I get to work, if I don’t get to sit at the table and eat them before leaving the house.

    On the whole, I prefer to eat before I leave if I can; I suffer with motion sickness a lot, and traveling on an empty stomach doesn’t help.

    • The time thing can be a challenge MissyFit, and your planning and shopping in advance makes a big difference in helping develop healthier eating patterns. Sitting down for a relaxing meal is the ideal, but just getting something into our tummies is key for many reasons! Thanks for your comments.

  48. My mother would always force me to eat breakfast breakfast before leaving the house because she always told me that it’d help me through the day, and honestly it did. Whenever I ate nothing or very little (when she wasn’t home) I would be starving by the 10 and couldn’t have lunch until 11:40! So I believe waking up a few minutes earlier (maybe about 10-20 minutes earlier) would really help the rest of your day! These tips are really words to live by.

    • Excellent points LorenzaRose, a decent bf is the foundation for energy and focus for the entire day! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  49. Veggie and fruit smoothies are my go to in the mornings. I use my magic bullet blender which lets you make individual servings. This is what I often put in my smoothies: banana, greens such as kale, spinach, carrot greens, beet greens, or arugala, frozen berries, chia seeds or ground flaxseeds, and coconut oil. Then I squeeze in some ice and fill with water. I find that I can drink something in the morning but not eat so the smoothie solves this problem. My son likes them too!

    • And you’ve loaded your smoothies with lots of important nutrients Tina122321, no wonder your son likes them! Thanks for sharing your go to recipes it sounds like a perfect way to start the day.

  50. I believe that you should always eat breakfast. Everyday, I wake up earlier than I need to so I have enough time to eat a bowl of cereal. The cereal isn’t that healthy, but it’s probably healthier than not eating anything.

    My brother does not eat breakfast because he says he is not hungry in the morning, and I don’t know how he survives. I don’t know if eating breakfast every day is benefiting my health as I type this, but I know that I’d probably eat a lot more junk food as snacks if I did not eat breakfast, and that’s definitely not healthy. A 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary disease convinces me to continue to eat breakfast everyday and maintain these habits.

    • It’s interesting that what we eat is secondary to eating before we start our day eduguy, because of how it impacts our metabolism … and as you point out, much less snacking latter on. The numbers are pretty compelling to keep up the good habit aren’t they?! Thanks for your thoughts.

  51. What to do… oh, what to do when you’re always not hungry in the morning and you’re short on time. I wish I could be one of those people who wake up and have delicious breakfasts each morning and continue their day, feeling full of energy and well (but I don’t think I’ll ever be). Eating in the morning actually makes my stomach upset and instead of eating breakfast, I eat pills. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how your body feels after breakfast but I go about my day normally. I don’t feel any energy loss or anything and me minus breakfast has been a thing for almost my whole life now.

    • Well the first meal of the day doesn’t have to be in solid form Canary… how about a smoothie? You could lay out the blender and portion up the fruit or berries the night before, then add a bit of protein powder in the morning. It makes a good option for those short on time and/or appetite first thing in the morning.

  52. This article was necessary for me to read, everyday is very busy and I always find myself running late in the morning, so thank you so much!

  53. I frequently forget the power and convenience of the freezer. While my fridge is rarely without fresh berries and fruit, your recommendation of baking some hearty muffins and freezing is genius! Having a toddler makes me crave easy, portable munchables, thank you so much for reminding me that the freezer isn’t just for my bulk meat purchases!

  54. I have to admit that I don’t have the best breakfast habits, I regularly just eat some waffles with maple syrup and a large cup of cold coffee, and at the end of the day that little cup is what gives me energy, not the breakfast itself. But I’m actually giving baby steps in order to change, the last week I added some eggs to it, I’m going to start next week with some fruit, let’s see how it works.

  55. I’ll have to save this one for me wife. We are on somewhat opposing schedules. She is the one that gets the boys up and to school/daycare in the morning. She deals with breakfast for them and herself.

  56. Once I started eating healthier, I began to eat breakfast on a regular basis. Not only do I seem to eat less over the course of the day, but I really do have higher energy levels. I love to cook so I feel like it also puts me in a good mood to do something I love first thing in the morning as well. Could be all in my head, but if it seems to work, I’m going with it anyway!

    • Well, the proof’s in the pudding Lisa… if it works, it works! A good habit that spills over into other areas as well.

  57. This is spot on! I have three toddlers, and a fiance who has to be at work at 6am. No one typically eats as soon as they wake up, though they do within 1-2 hours. It gives me plenty of time to get my coffee in, and prepare breakfast while they are building up an appetite. If we have things to do early in the morning, then I will prepare muffins the night before, or sometimes pancakes, which I can just easily heat up in the microwave.

  58. I know many people who usually don’t eat breakfast because they don’t have time for it at the first time of the day, which I really think is not the best excuse for it. These mostly are people who generally don’t like waking up earlier than normal just to prepare some breakfast for themselves, they’re just lazy. Time is definitely not the main reason here.

    • It’s certainly hard for some to get up in the mornings, but with just a little planning breakfast can be quite doable – with the right motivation!

  59. Thank you for the great piece. It’s true that breakfast is very important for a myriad of reasons health-wise. I never skip breakfast but sometimes I worry that I don’t make the best choices, especially for my little girl. My daughter is six now and I would love for her to start learning healthy eating habits now.

  60. Not being hungry in the morning is just not an option for me. I cannot have it, and I would like to think that I have trained my body to be ready to eat before leaving the house. I cannot see how people skip breakfast, and I would be miserable if I started my day with an empty stomach. A bowl of Cheerios is my go to, but I like some of the other options on this list and might to work some of those in.

  61. Logically, we use more energy during the day than at night so we should have a large breakfast, medium lunch and large dinner but we’ve built our lifestyles the other way around.

    One of my favourite breakfasts was to add some oats (straight from the packet, not cooked as porridge) and frozen berries to plain yoghurt. Fresh berries would be nice, of course, but frozen is quicker and more convenient.

    For those loving omelettes, we have a great way to do them on camps – beat up an egg or two and place in a zip lock bag with some fillings (cheese, tomato, ham, etc). Pop the bag in boiling water for a couple of minutes then turn the omelette out of the bag onto a plate. Moist, delicious, personalised for each person and very easy clean up (no messy fry pan!)

  62. It does make sense to fuel up in the morning LSA! Love your camping omelet, will have to pass that on one – thanks for sharing!

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