If you want to lose weight, eat something before you rush out the door in the morning. According to research presented at the 2012 meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, people who skip out on breakfast are more likely to succumb to the temptation of high-calorie foods later in the day than people who do eat breakfast. It turns out your brain becomes biased towards eating high-calorie foods when you deprive yourself of a good breakfast, so much so that you're apt to eat 20 percent more food on days when you skip breakfast than on days that you do. At the same time, if you aren't eating breakfast, there's probably a reason—and it may not have anything to do with whether you want to. If you're starting your day with too much on your metaphorical plates to find time for actual food, here are some ways to fit it in:
1. Hit the sack a bit sooner.
Not willing to sacrifice 15 minutes or so of sleep time to get up earlier and throw breakfast together? Rather than skimp on sleep in the morning, get to bed 15 minutes earlier at night. If you’re not used to eating at that time of the morning, eat anyway, and stick to the new meal schedule for two weeks. Before too long, your body will begin to anticipate the morning meal and you’ll feel hungry when you wake up.
If that little time shift leaves you too tired to get through your day, you may be sleep deprived. So take a nap. Here's How to Nap at Work—and Why You Should.
2. Stick to lean eggs and oatmeal.
Eggs and oatmeal are two of the most filling breakfast foods you can eat, research has found, and they don’t to take long to prepare. Buy quick-cooking oats and spice them up with fresh or frozen berries, or make an easy on-the-go scrambled-egg sandwich made with whole-wheat toast, a slice of tomato, and a few fresh spinach leaves.
Need more ideas on how to cook your oats? Here are 5 Easy Recipes Using Super-Healthy Oats.
3. Prepare the night before.
If eggs and oatmeal aren’t to your liking, make your own granola bars (it’s cheaper than buying them premade). You can make Ginger-Granola Breakfast Bars at night and then just grab one or two in the morning for an easy, healthy meal. Find other ideas with the Rodale Recipe Finder, which lets you search by ingredient, prep time, and other criteria.
4. Be smart about fast food.
Fast-food outlets are notorious for doling out unhealthy food that’s not only loaded with sugar, fat, and salt, but also made with ingredients from factory farms and genetically modified organisms. However, we all have those mornings where it’s drive-thru or nothing. For breakfast on the road, head to Dunkin’ Donuts and get the Ham, Egg & Cheese English Muffin Sandwich, with an English Breakfast tea. The entire meal is only 350 calories and 15 grams of fat, and the chain is shifting away from inhumane eggs from hens raised in cramped cages and pork from pigs confined to tiny, cruel gestation crates. All the same, this breakfast will supply nearly half your daily sodium intake, so watch your salt for the rest of the day. Whatever you do, avoid muffins, which can top out at 600 calories and 25 grams of fat. And wherever you eat, make sure to avoid these 10 Worst Ways to Start Your Day.
5. Slurp your coffee.
It’s not a full meal, but if you’re a coffee lover, do keep your cup of joe as part of your morning routine. A recent study found that two components of coffee reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes in a small sample of 15 overweight men. Fortunately, if you don’t like the jitters that can come with too much coffee, the beneficial compounds are found in both regular and decaf.
For coffee that's healthy for you and healthy for the planet, buy a shade-grown variety. It's one of 3 Ways Coffee Can Boost Your Health and Stop Global Warming.
Published on: June 17, 2009