We’ve all heard the advice before — “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, most of us laugh it off and do not take the notion seriously. And what about all of the intermittent fasting people? Is that a health fad that’s going to be a problem down the road for many people? So why would breakfast be more important than lunch or dinner?
Rush University Medical Center reports that the phrase actually stands true. Eating a healthy breakfast is an excellent start to your day. It can increase metabolism, improve your focus, and serve as a boost of vitamin and mineral intake. In addition, you’re less likely to be caught snacking throughout the day.
The Cleveland Clinic says that people who skip breakfast have a 55% higher chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. One reason you don’t want to skip breakfast is that eating a morning meal speeds up your metabolism, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day. So in other words, this means breakfast can actually keep you from gaining extra weight, provided you eat healthy meals.
Unfortunately, many adults say they skip breakfast simply because they can’t find the time in the mornings. However, you don’t need to have a fancy, sit-down breakfast every day. Even simple, on-the-go options can be nutritious.
So what can you do to make more time in the mornings for the most important meal of the day? Here are some tips to get the most out of your morning meal time.
1. Establish a morning routine.
Creating a morning routine is one of the most significant improvements you can make to your schedule. Adding some structure to the mornings can help you feel more rested, confident, and prepared for the day ahead. In fact, successful people are known to recommend a morning routine as a leading contributor to their success.
Start by figuring out the major tasks you need to complete in the early hours before work. Showering, getting dressed, and brushing your teeth should be priorities! If you like morning runs, make sure to configure that into your schedule.
Speaking of schedules, creating a to-do list for the mornings is a great way to keep yourself on task. You’re less likely to forget things or get distracted. Want a digital checklist? There is excellent scheduling software to choose from, and the ease of access will make you more likely to use it.
2. Meal prep is key.
Planning ahead is crucial if you want to maximize your time in the mornings. One way to do this is meal prepping. Sometimes it can be hard to wake up earlier to cook an excellent breakfast. But what if you didn’t have to get up extra early to have a nice meal?
Preparing your breakfast in advance can help with conserving your precious morning hours. You can prepare as much or as little ahead as you want. Depending on how much time you want to spend on cooking, you can choose to pre-cook elements of your meal. For example, you could cook bacon the night before and use it the next day in your omelet. Eggs are much faster to cook than bacon!
A great way to plan your morning meals ahead of time is to schedule your breakfasts. Decide what you will make on each day of the week. This way, you won’t have to decide in the mornings. As mentioned above, cook certain foods in advance so you can easily reheat them or incorporate them into more elaborate foods.
Meal prepping is also perfect for helping you eat healthier. You eat better when you’re not rushed in the mornings and grab your breakfast on the way out the door. Have you always wanted to make a fruit smoothie but never had the time? Make one the night before! Using fruits like bananas and strawberries are excellent sources of vitamins, and adding protein powder is perfect to keep you full and energized.
3. Go to bed earlier.
Benjamin Franklin knew what he was talking about when he said: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But seriously, how can you expect to be ready to go in the mornings if you stay up past midnight?
Creating a healthy sleep schedule is necessary for waking up feeling refreshed. The Mayo Clinic says adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. So make sure you’re treating your body right by getting enough hours.
What if you’re so used to going to sleep late? There are many tips out there to help your body adjust to an earlier bedtime. These could include using lavender essential oils or engaging in a relaxing activity, like listening to calming music.
Without proper sleep, you can’t expect to feel great naturally when you wake up. So get to bed earlier and make time for a yummy breakfast!
4. Use a slow cooker.
Slow cookers are fantastic tools for making low-effort yet delicious meals. They do all the cooking for you while you sit back and relax. Or, maybe while you’re at work. Most people use them for dinner, but why not use them for breakfast?
Most slow cooker recipes require the food to cook anywhere from four to eight hours, which means you can cook breakfast overnight. This takes time off your hands in the mornings. Instead of making your meal when you wake up, all you’ll need to do is dish up your plate!
There are many slow cooker breakfast recipes out there to try. From breakfast casseroles, to oatmeal, to cinnamon rolls, there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. Not to mention, slow cookers can be purchased at a relatively low price. This is a great way to schedule your meals while also freeing up more of your time in the morning.
5. Do all you can the night before.
Another way to give yourself more wiggle room in the A.M. is to prepare your tasks in advance. It’s like meal prepping, but instead, you’re prepping yourself!
Pick out your outfit the night before. Set out any products you use to groom yourself (deodorant, hairspray, etc.). Prepare any work-related items that you’ll need for the next day. For example, if you’re a teacher, this could mean printing out worksheets or grading papers.
In other words, organizing your home in ways that make it easier to grab what you need in the morning is an excellent idea. Knowing exactly where everything is and having things visually laid out means you’re less likely to forget something you need. Additionally, you’re less likely to feel rushed, and therefore stressed, while getting ready.
Don’t rush yourself.
Remember, scheduling your mornings to be more efficient means you should be taking away from your stress. Planning shouldn’t feel like a nightmare. Make things easier, not harder, on yourself. Try out different routines until you find one that feels best.
Make sure you’re scheduling time for a nutritious morning meal. Even if you prepare ahead of time, without a good schedule, there might not be time to sit down and eat. You don’t want to have to scarf down that delicious breakfast in the car without being able to enjoy it.
Most importantly, don’t rush in the mornings. This adds stress to your life, and you want to eliminate it as much as possible. Mornings shouldn’t have to be hectic. Make that to-do list. Scramble those eggs before bed to reheat in the morning. Schedule your time wisely. After all, the first step toward success is enjoying the day’s most important meal.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Daria Shevtsova; Pexels; Thank you!