Chances are, you have heard someone tell you not to skip breakfast. This is usually followed with, “it’s the most important meal of the day!” But when you slept through your alarm and you need to wash your hair, finding five minutes to get dressed beats finding five minutes to grab something to eat. Sure, you will hear your stomach growling before you get to work or class, but it’s no big deal, right? You can just eat a big lunch and you’ll be fine. Well it turns out that isn’t the case. In fact, skipping breakfast can lead to more than hunger. According to one study, men who skip breakfast increase their risk of heart attack by nearly 30% . And women who skipped their first meal of the day put themselves at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by about 54%.
But even if you know how important breakfast is, we live in a fast-paced world. Often times, there just doesn’t seem to be any room to make a meal when you first wake up. And going through a drive through or getting one of those suspicious breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks usually leaves you with more guilt than nutrition. So you go without. This seems like a smart move. After all, if you eat nothing, it’s better than eating something fattening or sugary probably. Well, that’s a myth, too!
Why you need to eat breakfast.
You’ll gain weight if you skip breakfast.
Though it can be tempting to skip breakfast due to a lack of time, appetite or options, skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight gain, not loss. This seems completely unfair, I know. But skipping breakfast makes your body freak out and crave sugary and fatty foods to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Therefore, when you do eat, you’re probably not going for that salad covered in vegetables. Because your hunger level is so high, you’ll be more likely to eat a lot, and none of it will be especially healthy. Before you know it, this habit of skipping breakfast and having an unhealthy lunch results in a shopping trip for bigger pants.
You’ll be “hangry.”
Hangry: A bad mood caused by hunger.
We’ve all been there. When you’re hungry, you get frustrated. When you don’t eat, your energy levels dwindle, causing everything to seem like more of a chore. In summary, EAT.
One study found that men who ate breakfast had a more positive mood than those who skipped. When you skip the most important meal of the day, your blood sugar drops suddenly which can lead to irritability, fatigue and even headaches. And if you’re sitting at school or work with a headache and an empty stomach, it doesn’t take long before you hate the world. Eating regularly helps to support a good attitude. So do yourself, and those around you a favor and don’t skip breakfast .
You put your heart at risk by skipping breakfast.
Skipping breakfast may not feel like a big deal. After all, you ate dinner. But when you sleep, your body goes into fasting mode. Therefore, when you wake up, you need to reset your metabolism and hormones by ingesting healthy food. Prolonged fasting, like that done during sleep, leads to increased blood pressure and cholesterol. This decreases the concentration of HDL-cholesterol. What do all these medical terms mean? It means you’re setting yourself up for heart disease. If you regularly skip breakfast, it strains your body so much that it can lead to insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia and blood pressure problems. And all of these lead back to, you guessed it, heart disease .
Quick breakfast recipes that your body needs:
I have a hectic schedule all the time, so I know most all of you do, too. So here are ten breakfast recipes that don’t take long to prepare but will get you through to lunch with steady energy and heart health.
1. Berry and Yogurt Smoothie.
Why do I love smoothies so much? Because you can make them the night before and drink them on your way to work/school! It’s an easy way to get veggies, fruits, etc.
This recipe includes frozen berries and a banana for natural sugar your body can burn off steadily. Greek yogurt and non-dairy milk keep your calcium level high without much fat. For extra benefit, sprinkle in some chia seeds before you head out the door!
2. Honey Lime Quinoa Fruit Salad.
I love quinoa because it’s packed full of goodness. Don’t let those tiny seeds fool you! I especially love to have it on hand because it’s so versatile; you can truly include it in any meal. This fruit salad has tons of antioxidants (thank you, berries!), vitamins and fiber (quinoa) as well as anti-inflammatory properties (lime and honey). Use local honey to help avoid allergies!
3. Greek Yogurt with fruit and granola.
This is definitely the easiest recipe on the list. While you can make your own greek yogurt if you’re feeling productive, store bought works just as well. Go for organic and plain though. You’ll get loads of calcium and even protein. I love to add a scoop of protein powder to mine for extra flavor and nutrition. Top it off with chia seeds, fruits and granola to really pack in the nutrition.
4. Boiled Eggs.
Eating eggs at breakfast increases that full feeling, and helps maintain steady blood sugar. This means when it’s time for lunch, you won’t be tempted to get a huge burger. Egg yolks also have lots of antioxidants and even nutrients like choline that help your brain and liver stay healthy. Plus eggs are versatile. Put a couple on your avocado toast for a real powerhouse breakfast that doesn’t take much time to make!
5. Cardamom and Peach Quinoa Porridge.
Yum! This recipe has 6g of fiber and 8g of protein! This will help you feel full longer while you steadily burn off 10g of natural sugar. Almond milk is used to keep it suitable for dairy free diets.
6. Berry Omelette
You may think omelettes take a long time to make, but they really don’t. Crack the eggs in a pan, walk away, come back, flip, repeat. This one-egg omelette is high in protein, and the berries have antioxidants and all sorts of goodness for your brain!
7. Breakfast Muffins.
Make these muffins on the weekend to grab a healthy breakfast on your way out the door all week long! These fluffy muffins are made with mashed banana and apple sauce to take the place of sugar and flour. The blueberries and seeds make for a satisfying texture without taking away any health benefits.
8. Nut Butter, Banana and Chia Seed Toast.
This recipe requires hardly any effort, making it perfect for this list. Choose a good-for-you bread (look for organic options with nuts and fruits, or opt for gluten-free) and top with sliced bananas and chia seeds. The fiber, protein and natural sugar will keep you full without using up your calorie allowance for the whole day!
9. Slow Cooker Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole.
Crock pot recipes are the best, especially when it comes to breakfast. You wake up to a house that smells delicious, and your breakfast is already waiting for you! We already know why eggs are great, but now you get the protein from the sausage. If you’re not into meat, opt for a vegetarian version.
10. Chia Seed Pudding.
This is one of my go-to breakfast recipes on days when I know I won’t have time to make breakfast. You can make it in advance and just grab it on your way out the door! This recipe offers tons of fiber, reduced hunger, antioxidants and decreased inflammation. It’s basically perfect.
Do you have other go-to recipes for hectic mornings? Make sure to share!
Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via stocksnap.io