There is no excuse for skipping breakfast.When I see a client and they tell me they are “just not hungry” in the morning, I usually tell them “you might not feel hungry, but your brain is starving”.
If you are a typical eater, meaning you eat dinner around 6 or 7 pm, and then wake up around 6 or 7 am, you have gone a full 12 hours without eating. This is actually a natural version of the intermittent fasting craze you might have heard about.Breakfast simply means, “to break the fast”. 12 hours of not eating means your brain is looking for some fuel. Your energy depends on it, your moods, your hormones. Most important is your weight. Many of us, for many different reasons, have disciplined ourselves to not feel hungry in the morning. Maybe you have misconceptions about eating breakfast and gaining weight or eating early and feeling tired later on.Breakfast skippers have been shown to struggle more with losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. You might find that when you skip breakfast, you end up grazing the rest of the day, never really feeling satiated (which in turn can lead to a lot of extra calories).
This might come from ignoring your hunger in the first place. Eating for physical reasons gets crossed with eating with emotional reasons. Suddenly, rather than eating because our body is hungry, we are eating to make our bad day go better. Or because we’re bored. The list goes on.I think you get the point, breakfast is important to me. Once you learn to recognize physical hunger cues, your body will look forward to fueling itself in the morning in order to keep your energy stable through the day. Steady calories equals steady energy.
What Should I Eat For a Healthy Breakfast?
When deciding what to eat for breakfast, there are good choices and some undesirable ones. First, we need to focus on a few key things:
- The slow, steady energy you get from food. A balance between fiber and protein is the best first step since these two nutrients take longer digest and therefore keep you feeling fuller longer.
- Staying away from sugary, highly processed foods. Doughnuts, muffins, bagels, and cereal. These foods give you a high spike in energy and a real low very quickly after, leaving you hungry all day.
- Always think about fruits and vegetables. Which should be included in every meal and snack.
Introducing Pumpkin Spiced Overnight Oats
I have a thing for pumpkin. On its own pumpkin is fairly bland. Mixed with warming spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg and now your talking. But the best part is pumpkin’s rock star status. Low calorie, full of fiber, vitamin A and C. That kind of nutrition makes pumpkin a keeper.
Not only are overnight oats super simple to make, but they also take away the “I’m too busy for breakfast” excuse. Overnight oats need to be made the night before and allowed to rest in the refrigerator. The addition of chia seeds (also full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats) makes these oats thick and creamy. In the morning, open the refrigerator and eat, it’s as simple as that.
In the morning I typically add in berries and some nuts to round out my healthy breakfast. Enjoy your new breakfast habit with these Overnight Oats.
Pumpkin Spiced Overnight Oats
Makes 1 serving
1/3 cup steel cut oats
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
1/3 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1-2 teaspoons real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (pecan or almonds are good)
1/3 cup berries (optional)
1. In a mason jar or other container with a fitted lid, add all the ingredients except the nuts and berries. Secure the lid and shake well until well blended. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. In the morning you can either grab the jar and go, or spoon into a bowl, topping with nuts and berries.