Don’t mess up your first meal of the day
Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
And, while the research goes back and forth on whether it’s really the most important, one thing is for sure: Breakfast matters. It provides your body with the nutrition and the fuel it needs to function in the morning.
But it’s also important to do breakfast right. A bad breakfast decision can throw off your energy levels and eating habits for the rest of the day. But what makes a decision at breakfast bad?
You might think you already know the answer. Eat the egg whites, not the doughnut, right? But are those egg whites really your smartest choice?
And if you’re choosing foods with only weight management in mind, you might only think about factors like calories and fat. But there’s much more to your health than just avoiding weight gain. Breakfast is important for reasons that have to do with how you feel, too.
You don’t want to end up eating something that leaves you feeling sluggish and sleepy. You also don’t want to be hungry again 20 minutes after you’ve eaten. You want to feel alert before lunchtime, not hungry and irritable. (Speaking of lunchtime, are you making big mistakes with your lunch, too?)
Don’t fall into bad habits when it comes to eating breakfast. Many people who think they are making a healthy choice are actually making one of these critical mistakes.
Trying to save calories by skipping breakfast? That might not be the best idea. “Eating breakfast can set you up for success by avoiding hunger and low energy levels, which in turn might make you turn to a healthier and more balanced diet throughout the day,” says Dana Harrison, the nutritionist behind Eats 2 Know, LLC. She also notes that while some people might feel fine after skipping this meal, the average person might experience low energy levels in the morning, increased cravings, and overconsumption throughout the day.
不吃早餐就会避免卡路里的产生。那可能不是个好主意。“吃早餐能成功避免饥饿和低能量水平，这反而会促进你一整天的健康和均衡的饮食，”Dana Harrison说（营养学家，就职于Eats 2 Know, LLC.）。她也指出尽管有人不吃早餐感觉良好，但一般人可能会感觉早晨低能量，增加饥饿感，消耗过度一整天。
Relying on Caffeine for Energy
Sure, caffeine from espresso, soda, or an energy drink can give you a jolt. If you quit caffeine entirely, your body really feels a difference. But, Harrison points out, “This method is unstable and unreliable in the long run. Caffeine is a stimulant, but the body adjusts to caffeine and creates a tolerance level.” As that tolerance adapts, you’ll need to rely on more and more caffeine for energy. You’re also neglecting a really strong source of energy for your body: Food! Load up with energizing and nutritious foods and you might find yourself with higher energy levels and a better mood. Coffee, while still good for you, isn’t all you need to get your body moving. “Using food for fuel, staying hydrated, and getting a good night’s sleep is the best combo to have energy,” Harrison says.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Do you grab a cup of coffee with breakfast, but nothing else? It’s important to drink water all the time, but especially in the morning. Since you’ve been sleeping for so long, it’s been a while since you’ve rehydrated. Water is also a necessary tool for digestion. Eating food without any water to wash it down isn’t going to feel great. Avoid the uncomfortable side effects of dehydration by drinking at least one glass with breakfast. Bonus points if you add a lemon!
Not Adding Healthy Fats
Eating a low-fat yogurt or skipping the butter on your toast might sound like healthy choices, but they’re really not. Fats are a critical component of a nutritious diet sincethey provide such a wide range of health benefits; a meal without enough fat content could leave you hungry and crashing soon after you eat it. “Eating fat is satiating, meaning it’s filling because it takes longer to digest,” explains Harrison. “Incorporating healthy fats into your breakfast can help keep you fuller and energized longer.” You might slice some avocado onto your breakfast sandwich or dollop a spoonful of peanut butter into your smoothie before you blend it
Eating Only Carbohydrates
If you get hangry after eating a bowl of cereal or slice of toast with jam, there’s a logical reason why. Carbohydrates are a healthy, important source of energy; but they’re not the only thing your body needs to function at its best. Protein and fat take longer to use for fuel and keep you satiated for longer after eating. Having a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs can keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing. A piece of fruit is nutritious and can be great to eat with breakfast — just make sure you eat something else, too, or risk being hungry soon after.
You don’t want to rely only on carbs, but you may not want to omit them entirely, either. Carbohydrates are an easily accessible source of energy for your body. If you’re feeling sluggish in the morning, some carbohydrates in your breakfast could help give you the fuel you need to start your day. Bagels and toast are carbs, sure, and some mornings you might want them — but they’re not the only kinds you have to choose from. Fruit has carbs, along with fiber and other nutrients. So do oatmeal, granola, and potatoes! Switch it up to keep yourself from getting bored with the most important meal of the day.
A crucial (but underrepresented) part of healthy eating is enjoyment. Your body craves foods for a reason — let yourself give in to them! There are more purposes to eating than pure nutrition. Health involves enjoyment, experience, and happiness, too. A pastry for breakfast might not be the best choice if you are eating it to provide lasting energy or keep you alert. But if the purpose of the pastry is to satisfy a craving or eat for enjoyment (or the pastry is the only breakfast available), it could actually be the smartest option.