At least five times each week our alarm clocks jar us out of a deep sleep and we rush to prepare for another busy day. The bad news: getting ourselves out the door on time is harried and stressful – even more so when we’re herding kids and spouses – so we often forget about breakfast, or convince ourselves that we don’t have enough time for even a few bites of cold cereal.
But, we know better. And while you may not have time to actually read the studies, we’ve recapped, just for you, some of the key points from the research that shows that the very best way to prepare for a challenging day is to eat a healthy breakfast.
1. Fuel Your Body, Mind and Spirit: Your body is begging you not to deprive it of the nutrients it needs to help you run efficiently. When lunch is your first meal, your body has been running on empty for as long as 18 consecutive hours … sometimes more. Without refueling, your body has to work double-time to create usable energy from stored nutrients. This slows you down – despite all the caffeinated drinks – and makes it much harder to focus and perform. In short: Eating breakfast is an easy and efficient way to maintain a steady metabolism and to improve you concentration, problem-solving ability, mental performance, memory and mood.
2. Set an Example for Your Children: Although breakfast is important for adults, it is even more important for your kids. For them, a long period of semi-starvation can cause physical, intellectual and behavioral challenges. Plus, research repeatedly shows that kids who skip breakfast miss classes more often than their classmates who regularly eat breakfast.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Many women voluntarily skip breakfast to eliminate calories, but this tactic usually backfires. In fact, skipping breakfast is strongly correlated with obesity, because breakfast curbs hunger and cravings. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more at their next meal and munch on high-calorie snacks. Alternatively, research shows that eating more in the morning can prevent overeating at night because breakfast calories are more satisfying and help to minimize calorie consumption for the rest of the day.
4. Get Your Daily Nutrients: Breakfast provides one of the best opportunities in the day to get important nutrients from common breakfast foods, such as fiber- and vitamin-rich grains, cereals and fruits; calcium-infused dairy, like milk and yogurt; and protein-packed eggs and meats. Many of our other meals and snacks don’t offer the same nutritional punch.
Many people – in fact more than 150 million Americans – use dietary supplements in part to help them bridge the gap between what they should be eating and what they are actually eating. Supplements play an important role in achieving good health, but they should be used to complement your diet, not as a replacement for food. A combination of a balanced diet and supplements that are right for you could just be the best approach to achieving your nutrition goals.
5. Treat Yourself: It takes less than five minutes to grab a banana, make some toast and pour a glass of juice, and the benefits you’ll reap will be well worth the time invested. You work hard so you deserve a few moments to take care of yourself each morning.