If it is the most important meal of the day, why do about 31 million people (or 10 percent of the population) still skip breakfast? Here are the top three reasons people skip breakfast and how you can overcome those excuses to make eating breakfast a part of your daily routine.
I’m just not hungry in the morning.
You should wake up in the morning and be hungry. Your body has gone at least eight hours without food, so it should be ready for some fuel. If not, take a look at your before-bedtime habits and check to see whether you are constantly snacking on chips and ice cream late into the evening. If so, this can affect your hunger levels in the morning. Don’t go to bed hungry, but instead choose a reasonable snack around 100 to 150 calories like Greek yogurt or an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
I don’t have time for breakfast.
If you would rather hit the snooze button a few more times than prepare breakfast for yourself, you might find yourself without enough time to eat in the morning. The key is to aim for three food groups at a meal, so even if you grab a turkey sandwich and a banana as you run out the door, you are still starting your day right. The key is to combine some protein and whole grains to help give you energy and keep you full. Breakfast is also a great time to get in a dairy or fruit serving, too!
If time is an issue, use this recipe to prepare breakfast for the whole week. Add the egg to an English muffin and grab a glass of milk or piece of fruit to go with it and you are set!
I want to save my calories for later in the day.
Some people think that if they skip breakfast, it will help with their weight-loss efforts or give them more calories to consume at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A recent study compared two groups: one ate more for breakfast and the other ate more at dinner, with both consuming the same amount of calories. The breakfast group lost more weight and inches than the dinner group. Typically people who skip breakfast overcompensate the rest of the day by eating more calories than if they had started their day with a balanced meal.
Whatever your reason for skipping breakfast, try to break that habit and start eating something every day. Start small with a glass of 100 percent juice or a piece of fruit and then work up to a balanced meal between 400 and 500 calories and at least three food groups!
Angie Scheetz, RD, is the wellness coordinator at NIFS and organizes the Mini Marathon Training Program, Dealing with Diabetes, and Lite ‘N Up. Enrollment for Lite ‘N Up is open though September 17, 2013.