Did you know that the word “breakfast” literally means “to break fast?” Well it does! It’s called breakfast because it’s the first meal you eat after sleeping and therefore fasting all night. After “fasting” we need to nourish and prepare our hungry body and brain for the day.
We’ve heard it over and over, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how many of us actually believe it? My guess, not many. Especially in college it’s hard to convince yourself getting up an hour or even 15 minutes earlier in the morning for breakfast is worth it. Well, it’s time to embrace this saying because it might just be the key to many of your weight woes in college.
Breakfast establishes the tone for the next 16 hours of your day. Starting out your day with a good breakfast will stabilize hunger and cravings throughout the day. Your body becomes stabilized with the appropriate fuel which in turn gives you all sorts of benefits. Some benefits of eating a healthy breakfast are:
- Consuming more vitamins and minerals throughout the day
- Better concentration and productivity throughout the morning
- More positive mood
- Eating less fat throughout the day
- Helps to prevent bingeing
- Prevents eating to many sweets
- Prevents making unhealthy diet choices
When you get up in the morning you go through your normal routine, washing your face, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, to wake up your body. However, until you eat something, you haven’t woken up your metabolism. The best way to jump-start metabolism is by eating a healthy breakfast. What are the elements of a healthy breakfast you may ask? I’ve listed them below:
- Whole grains: Things like whole-grain toast and bagels, whole-grain cereal and low-fat bran muffins.
- Low-fat protein: Things like peanut butter, poultry or fish and hard-boiled eggs.
- Low-fat dairy: These include skim milk, low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese.
- Fruits and vegetables: These include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100% juice beverages or fruit and veggie smoothies.
For college students it’s hard to fit a healthy breakfast in before class. Usually the reason we skip breakfast is because we’re short on time in the morning, in this case, plan ahead. The night before figure out what you’ll eat in the morning and jot it down in your planner. I know one of the first things I do in the morning is check my planner to make sure I did all the homework I have due that day, and having your breakfast planned out there will act as a reminder to eat. It might also be helpful to set out the dry ingredients and any bowls or pans you’ll need in the morning. If you know you aren’t going to have enough time in the morning to eat, pack a to-go breakfast the night before.
Hopefully this post will get you to think twice about running out the door on an empty stomach. For more tips check out the Mayo Clinic’s article on eating a healthy breakfast. Do you have any of your own quick breakfast ideas?