How to stop skipping breakfast

Dietitian Abigail Villanueva gives the rundown on why you can't skip breakfast.

You know that old saying? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, the truth of the matter is one out of four Australian adults skip breakfast. What else is shocking is that skipping breakfast can make you pack on the kilos.

The alarm goes off, but you need that bit more sleep so you hit the snooze button. Oh no, you realised you’ve overslept so you get up, get dressed, put on make up and rush out the door. You arrive at work just on time and need to start work straight away. But you can’t, you are feeling hungry, tired, you can’t concentrate, grumpy, and start eyeing off those big blueberry muffins in the tearoom. Why am I feeling like this? What is missing? That’s right you didn’t eat breakfast.

I don’t have the time. I’m not hungry in the morning. I want to lose weight and skipping meals work for me. Stop making excuses, start the day right and eat breakfast. Eating a nutritious and healthy breakfast regularly is beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing. Appetite is suppressed, which means eating breakfast helps keep you feel fuller for longer because your blood sugar levels are balanced and will stop you craving those big blueberry muffins in the tearoom. Eating breakfast also helps kick start your metabolism. Nutritionally, there is an increase intake of fibre, and vitamins and minerals such as, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium and iron.

Skipping breakfast makes you feel extremely hungry, starving in fact because the last meal you ate was dinner from the night before. The first meal to break this fast is morning tea, but instead of choosing a yoghurt or piece of fruit to snack on, you choose a muffin or cake. Poor dietary choices like this and also overeating have a flow on effect on the rest of the day’s eating patterns. Food items that look more appealing and you usually choose are foods that are high in fat especially saturated fat, sugar, and cholesterol.

A study from The American Journal Clinical Nutrition found an association when individuals skipped breakfast at both points in their lives, childhood and adulthood, this linked showed there was a higher risk for these individuals to be classed as Obese, have Type 2 diabetes, Higher BMI, Higher waist circumference, have High cholesterol, and Heart disease.

Starvation also affects the body’s normal functioning for example, lack of energy, mood is decreased, lower concentration and productivity. This is because our brain and bodies need fuel from food for energy to ensure proper functioning of the body.

There is some relief to know that a lot of these risks can be decreased through proper diet and exercise. The first place to start is by not skipping breakfast. 

PLANNING

To stop skipping breakfast in the morning, planning is crucial. You need to plan what to eat for breakfast, what time to eat breakfast, and where to eat breakfast.

Here are some suggestions on planning breakfast:

·      Make time for breakfast, it needs to be scheduled in the daily routine

·      Waking up 10 minutes earlier will allow time to be made for breakfast

·      Prepare breakfast the night before

·      Set the table such as, bowl, plate, cutlery the night before

·      Make portable breakfast items such as smoothies to bring to work or have it on the way to work

·      Eat breakfast at work

·      Prepare healthy snacks for grazing to prevent temptations

REMINDER

If you do not want to be worried about gaining excess weight, remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

WHAT IS A NUTRITIOUS BREAKFAST

A nutritious breakfast consists of wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit, vegetables, low fat dairy such as milk, yoghurt, and cheese, protein such as eggs, beans, and salmon. Food choices should be packed full of nutrients so you can get a lot of the nutritional benefits in one meal, bang for your buck.

Try to avoid choosing low fibre breads and cereals such as, white bread because these varieties will not suppress the appetite as long as high fibre varieties. Other food items to try and avoid include, full fat varieties of dairy, low fibre breads and cereals, such as white bread, sugary cereals, and high fat and processed meat such as sausages.

BREAKFAST IDEAS

Stuck on ideas of what to eat for breakfast, here are a few breakfast ideas you can try:

·      Eggs, 1 or 2 (poached, scrambled, boiled) on wholegrain toast

·      Cereal high in fibre with low fat milk

·      Porridge, fruits and nuts can be added

·      Bircher muesli

·      Muesli with low fat milk or low fat yoghurt, fruits and nuts can be added

·      Baked beans on wholegrain toast

·      Fruit smoothies

·      Homemade breakfast muffins

·      Ricotta cheese, berries, and honey on wholegrain toast

·      Fruit toast with margarine and banana

·      Crispbread with avocado and tomato