Don’t let a hectic morning schedule or dreams of dropping a jean size keep you from breakfast. Just as you have always heard breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your body needs the fuel and nutrients a good breakfast provides to help you power up for a great day.

Why eat breakfast?

By the time the breakfast hour rolls around it has probably been 6 to 10 hours since your last meal or snack. Your body needs the energy breakfast provides to prepare you mentally and physically for the day ahead. In other words, eating breakfast replenishes your body after the evening fast. Eat breakfast because it boosts your brain power and gives you the energy to be your best.

The danger of skipping breakfast

Studies have shown that successful dieters eat breakfast most days. Especially if you overindulged the day before you may decide to skip breakfast to save a few calories. Decide to eat a sensible breakfast instead. Skipping breakfast is strongly associated with obesity. That is because people who skip breakfast are more likely to consume high calorie snacks and take in too many calories during lunch and dinner. Conversely, people that eat breakfast generally consume fewer overall daily calories.

What to eat for breakfast

It matters as much what you eat as it does that you eat breakfast. Breakfast isn’t just about putting something in your mouth in the morning (so, no, doughnuts don’t count as breakfast). It is about using nutrition as a way to give your body the fuel it needs to operate at optimal levels. You can eat a healthy breakfast even if you are pressed for time.  Here are a few examples:

  • Try low fat Greek yogurt with blueberries
  • Microwave an egg and place on a whole wheat English muffin or tortilla. Top with a tomato or avocado slice and you have a healthy breakfast you can eat on the run.
  • Don’t be shy about eating non-traditional food at breakfast time. You just want to be sure you get in some protein and fiber, which will help you feel satisfied and full longer (that means you will consume fewer calories during the day). Consider things like cheese wrapped in a couple of turkey slices and an apple.
  • Fruit out of hand is always a safe bet. Stay on schedule by grabbing a banana or orange on your way out of the door. Follow up with a healthy mid-morning snack before you feel ravenous.

If you have a little more time go for an omelet filled with veggies. My favorites include asparagus, broccoli or spinach. Toss in some shallots and a bit of goat cheese for an extra treat. Also try a whole grain waffle with a smear of peanut butter or steel cut oats with fruit.

Eating breakfast is an important way to prepare for a good day. The nutrients your body absorbs from a healthy breakfast will boost not only your physical energy but also your brainpower. Best of all, eating breakfast can help you drop pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Start your day right with a plan to fill your stomach with fuel for life.