Raise your hand if you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Yes, yes everyone’s hands are up. Many people will tell you that it’s important because it starts your metabolism or because it helps you concentrate throughout your day. Yet there are so many of us who run out the door (even if we’ve fed the kids breakfast) without anything in hand to eat.
So how do we eat breakfast when it’s not a habit right now?
- Starting small: Even a half or whole piece of fruit or granola bar can be a way to start getting in that morning meal. It’ll feel small, doable, and can be quick and easy to grab. Take it a step further by having them in your car the night before if needed or in a basket near where you keep your car keys
- Find things you like: Plenty of people assume breakfast has to be cereal and milk or oatmeal or eggs…it could be avocado spread on toast, a tortilla with peanut butter, or a string cheese with some deli meat.
- Prepare it the night before: If you’re cooking something for breakfast or just need it ready to go in the morning, see if you can prep anything before you go to bed. Can you chop up peppers/onion and be ready to throw it in the pan with some eggs in the morning?
- Get up 5-10 minutes earlier: Not realistic for everyone but sometimes even 5-10 minutes earlier for me can make all the difference.
- Have breakfast for dinner: Boom, instant leftovers! As soon as you’re done with dinner, package up a serving for the morning.
- Start with one food group and build up: If you’re someone who really wants to ramp up breakfast but you’re not sure where to start…start with one food group, for example a banana. When that starts to feel habitual to you, add something to it like peanut butter. If that starts to feel like it’s working maybe you eventually take the banana, put on some peanut butter and coat it in a little granola! You’ll end up with a filling a nutritious breakfast.
- Find your reason: Now we’re getting deep. If you want to start a new food habit there has to be a solid, long, reason. That means, if your reason to eat breakfast is to lose weight, what happens when you lose the weight? Will you continue the new behavior? Find a different reason that motivates you for longevity like, eating breakfast will help me regulate my appetite throughout the day and give me energy to focus at work.
- Switch it up! If you’re used to the same breakfast every day, that can become very mundane and boring. Try something new like my savory oatmeal bowl, slow cooker coconut almond oatmeal, or a parfait like the one below with plain yogurt, stove top cocoa dusted maple granola, berry preserves and fresh black berries.
Eating breakfast or even starting with eating some kind of morning snack within a few hours of waking is a matter of forming a new habit. Which, by the way, I don’t believe there’s a magical “it takes ___ amount of weeks or days to make a habit.” It takes practice, practice, and more practice. Habits/behaviors are like snow ruts, when you have a habit it’s a deep rut (not necessarily negative thing) in the snow that your tires are stuck driving in. Forming a new habit/behavior is like skiing on the top coat of snow and creating a very light trail. I digress…it takes time, effort, and practice (NOT perfection).
Why do you eat breakfast? Or what do you struggle with when it comes to breakfast?