Father and son having fun eating breakfast / Photo by Getty Images
It seems like our lives only tend to get busier as we get older. We’re always in a rush trying to get from one place to another, so much so that we often end up overlooking our own needs.
In fact, skipping breakfast has become so commonplace. According to a 2011 market research from The NPD Group, 10% or 31 million Americans skip eating their breakfast.
The study found that the most common reasons that these people forgo breakfast are because they don’t feel hungry yet or because they’re always in a rush in the morning.
Why you should eat a light breakfast
When you’re already running late for work in the morning, skipping breakfast may seem like the most logical thing to do, but it is not without consequences.
One of the most noteworthy effects of skipping breakfast is that you would have a tendency to overeat later on during the day. There are people who try to skip breakfast because they think that it will help them cut their calorie intake, but the effect is actually the opposite.
Because you missed out on eating even a light breakfast, you’re more likely to feel hungrier later and more likely to eat more so you can keep yourself energized.
This doesn’t seem all that serious but imagine what would happen if you skip breakfast on a daily basis. This would lead to unwanted weight gain and would make it harder for you to stay on track when you’re dieting.
Besides, if you always find yourself not hungry in the morning, it might be because your eating habits are far from being healthy. According to nutritionist Rania Batayneh, it’s important to assess if your eating habits are affecting the way you feel hunger.
For instance, if you’re the type to eat late night snacks or the type to eat too much for dinner, that’s probably why you always feel that you’re not hungry in the morning.
A woman eating cereals for breakfast / Photo by Getty Images
Don’t overdo your breakfast menu
People who eat breakfast everyday would experience a metabolic boost, reduced fatigue, better concentration, and better performance, according to Dartmouth College.
However, it’s also possible to go overboard on your breakfast menu. There are studies that report the importance of eating a big breakfast to keep yourself full, which is supposed to help you eat less at lunch or dinner. However, there are also reports that oppose this.
As it turns out, what you eat for breakfast is just as important as not skipping it. Looking at some of the most common breakfast menu items like cereals, frozen waffles, pancakes, breakfast bars, ready-to-drink smoothies, doughnuts, butter toast, muffins, bagels, processed meats, and even breakfast sandwiches, you can tell that these foods aren’t all that healthy.
These contain too much carbohydrates or too much sugar, which is never good for you and your body, or too little fiber and healthy fats, which are necessary for your health.
If you often eat any of these foods for breakfast, you are going overboard with your carbohydrate and sugar intake from your breakfast menu alone, which could gear you up for eating ever more carbohydrates and sugar later on when your energy levels crash.
Pancakes are one common breakfast menu / Photo by Getty Images
What are the benefits of eating a simple breakfast daily?
If you eat a balanced, simple breakfast every day, you will be less likely to overeat during lunch or dinner. This is because you’re essentially fuller longer when you eat a balanced breakfast, which would eliminate those hunger pangs that would urge you to eat a mid-morning snack or to eat more than you should at lunch.
According to the report from the International Food Information Council Foundation, people who eat breakfast regularly have better diet quality than those who skip breakfast. They generally consume more fiber, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, and iron while consuming fewer calories, dietary fat, and cholesterol.
Aside from that, eating breakfast is associated with an improved cognitive, mental, and academic performance. The report explained that free breakfast programs in schools have been shown to improve the nutritional status, school participation, math grades, and behavior of the students while lowering psychosocial problems.
Various experimental studies have also reported that eating breakfast improved the recall, episodic memory, and short-term memory of subjects in various age groups.
Eating breakfast improves academic performance / Photo by Getty Images
Breakfast menu recommendations for a balanced breakfast
Whatever you choose to eat for breakfast, it’s important to remember that it should be a balanced meal. A lot of the common breakfast items are high in carbohydrates and sugar while being low in fiber, proteins, and healthy fat, so aiming to add these to your breakfast would help you aim for a more balanced meal.
You should aim to add eggs, whole grain products like bread or cereals, peanut butter, fruits, greek yogurt, and green leafy vegetables to your breakfast.
You can simply add them to the foods you already eat for breakfast like opting for a whole grain cereal instead of the sugary cereals you’re used to eating or making your own breakfast smoothie with some fruits and vegetables instead of buying ready-to-drink ones that may not be as good to you as you think.
Peanut butter in a spoon / Photo by Getty Images
Making a breakfast that’s easy to cook
There’s nothing better than making your own breakfast, especially if you have enough time to do so. This way, you can be sure that all of the ingredients in your breakfast are chosen well to keep you fuller longer without all the unnecessary sugar or carbohydrates.
You don’t have to cook something complicated or fancy either. It can be as simple as cooking some non-instant oatmeal or making yourself a sandwich in the morning. Unlike the ones you can buy, you can control what you can eat this way. For instance, you can add leafy greens and lean protein to your sandwich to make it filling enough without being too heavy.
You can also prepare your breakfast ahead of time to make sure that you would always have some available for busy mornings. If you have some free time on weekdays, you can make your own breakfast bar or breakfast muffin in big batches. You can then simply heat these up in the morning and take off.
Oatmeal porridge / Photo by Getty Images
A light breakfast menu for busy mornings
You don’t have to go out of your way and spend so much time preparing your breakfast for it to be healthy. Sometimes you would really have no time to cook anything in the morning before you have to head out, like on especially busy mornings.
There’s a simpler way to make sure you’re eating a healthy breakfast even on mornings like this. Whatever you decide to eat, keep in mind that it should be a balanced meal.
For instance, if you really have no choice but to eat cereals on busy mornings, look for ones that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. You can also eat cereals with nuts, low-sugar fruits, sliced almonds, and even yogurt to make sure you’re getting enough fibers and protein for breakfast.
If you like eating toast in the morning, forgo butter and eat it with some avocado or a vegetable omelet instead. Eating a toast with some butter just wouldn’t cut it, which means that you’d be hungry again sooner than you expect. Adding the healthy fats of avocado or the proteins from eggs would make it more filling, which means you won’t be craving any mid-morning snacks later on.
Adding avocados to your breakfast would stop you from craving any mid-morning snacks / Photo by Getty Images