Mornings are crazy in most households across the country—ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to get kids ready and off to school. This chaotic environment can leave you feeling frantic and stressed. This extra stress may cause an increase in your levels of cortisol, an important hormone secreted by your adrenal glands. Cortisol is called the “stress hormone” because when you’re under stress, your body tends to secrete more of it. High levels of cortisol have been linked to weight gain (particularly around the belly). Excess belly fat can not only harm confidence levels, it can lead to serious problems such as increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Even though you probably already know all of this, I bet you’re still not slowing down in the morning. And, since you’re pressed for time, what do you do? Skip breakfast.
Nearly EVERY one of the clients I work with in my 30 Day Fitness & Confidence Makeover has one thing in common: they skip breakfast. The excuses are many but none are good enough to justify missing the most important meal of the day. Research studies have proven that people who forgo breakfast are more likely to be overweight than people who eat breakfast—even if the breakfast lovers ate more calories!
Some people think by skipping breakfast, they are saving up their calories for later in the day. It just doesn’t end up working this way. If you eat dinner at 7:00 at night, and you don’t eat again until lunch the next day, you have gone approximately 17 hours without eating any food! Your body thinks it’s starving so what happens? You reserve some fat just in case you need it in an emergency. And if your daughter doesn’t want to eat breakfast either (she sees that YOU don’t eat it so why should she?) it can be detrimental to her day. She’ll have a difficult time concentrating at school, get fatigued, and become irritable.
If you start your day with a HEALTHY breakfast, you’re setting the tone for the rest of your day. On the flip side, if you eat 2 doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, you figure your day has already been “ruined” so you end up making other unhealthy choices throughout the day. Start healthy and stay healthy—all day long!
The following is a mini guide to help you choose a healthy and delicious breakfast:
- Oatmeal with Blueberries (not the pre-packaged flavored oatmeal—they are loaded with sugar (if you add a few walnuts, you’ll be eating Dr. Oz’s favorite breakfast)
- Fat-free or low fat plain yogurt (I love Fage Greek Yogurt) with fresh berries and a sprinkling of museli or granola.
- Smoothie (yogurt or cottage cheese, strawberries & bananas, flax seed oil)
- Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, broccoli and bell peppers
- Low fat cottage cheese and fruit (I love pineapple)
STAY AWAY FROM (or limit):
- Breakfast Cereals: Most breakfast cereals are made up of refined white flour and sugar. Due to high sugar content, most of these will leave you starving my 10:30am. Post Golden Crisp and Kellogg’s Honey Smacks are over 50% sugar! Check out the sugar content in some of these “healthy” cereals:
- Special K Red Berries: 10 grams of sugar and contains high fructose corn syrup
- Smart Start Healthy Start: 17 grams of sugar and contains high fructose corn syrup
- Kashi Go Lean: 6 grams of sugar with no trans fats
- Those yummy looking scones, pastries and muffins you see at Starbucks and other coffee shops. Thanks to new legislation, you can finally see how many calories are hidden in those healthy-sounding fruit muffins.
- Fast food. It’s not worth it—ever. It just makes you feel bad.
- Breakfast meats—such as sausage, bacon and ham. If you can’t live without meat in the morning, you may want to try turkey bacon or chicken sausage. Serve with a scrambled egg and you’ll be satisfied until lunch.
- Breakfast Bars. Most of them are loaded with sugar. Always read the labels—make sure there are no hydrogenated oils, less than 5 grams of fat, and no more than 20-25 grams of protein.
So slow down a little bit in the mornings and make time to have breakfast. If you have to get up 10 minutes earlier to accomplish this, then do it. Your body and mind will thank you for the rest of the day.
Enjoy Your Morning Meal,
I know breakfast is important and NEVER miss it! I do like Subway’s new light wheat english muffin egg white sandwich – with a few extra veggies on it – a favorite when I’m traveling.
That’s a great option!! Thanks Stacy…
Molly, I’ve recently learned of the results of 2 separate studies that may add a bit to what you’ve already written. Both agree that breakfast is very important! However, one states that if you exercise before breakfast, it can help to metabolize more fat. This contradicts previous studies that led us to believe our bodies went into starvation mode and would actually “hord” the fat. It does state the obvious, though, that the level of intensity won’t be as great. The other study, I just heard about today on “Health in a Heartbeat” is that fat is best consumed during breakfast, rather than later in the day. (Maybe this will help justify that donut!) I’m afraid I can’t cite the source of either of these studies – have heard of both through the newspaper and radio, rather than having read the actual scientific journals. Keep up the great work!
Have you heard any more about this? I would like to learn more…please let me know… THANK YOU!
I can confirm that Molly does practice what she preaches regarding eating a healthy breakfast! One of my favorites is soy nut butter or almond butter on a toated english muffin or weight watchers bagel.
Have you tried Sun Butter? It’s made out of sunflower seeds and is delicious!
I fully agree that breakfast is a very important way to start the day. However, I think cereal can get a bad rap. Some cereals out there have a lot of quick nutrition when fortified. Yes, most have sugar but Kashi Heart to Heart also has tons of B vitamins and Folic Acid along with protein and fiber and only 5 grams of sugar almost as much as 4% cottage cheese which has 4grams.
Are you getting a commission from Kashi? It makes me fart!
Good comments…thanks Christine!