If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 937 times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? You just spent eight hours without food or water while your body continued to use energy. You’re dehydrated, your blood sugar is low and you have little energy. And now it’s time to start a hectic day.
Breakfast eaters typically cruise until lunch, while beaming with energy compared to those who skip the meal and tend to snack before lunch and throughout the day, and tend to be drawn to unhealthy, high-calorie options. While quick and healthy breakfast ideas help with meal selection, they don’t help make breakfast a habit. If breakfast isn’t part of your morning routine, use these three tips to help you develop a new daily habit.
Set a goal – The first step to any new habit is setting a realistic goal. If you are not eating breakfast at all, it is unrealistic to believe you will suddenly starting eating it every day. Think about your weekly lifestyle when deciding on your end goal for breakfast. Do you like to be up and at it on the weekends or do you enjoy a leisurely morning or two? Is your work week consistent or is every day different? Are you a person that thrives on routines or do you enjoy a more free-flowing schedule? Answering those questions will help you decide what end goal is best for you and whether it will be to eat breakfast every day or five days each week. Once you have decided on the long term goal, start with a third of that as your beginning goal. Once you achieve that beginning goal several weeks in a row, increase by one day for the next few weeks. Continue increasing your short term goal until your long term goal is achieved.
Make Time – Now that you have the goal, the next step is to set aside time to achieve it. There are a variety of activities or tasks that take up the morning. Identifying how you spend your time can help determine where you can make time to eat breakfast. Do you hit the snooze several times before actually getting out of bed? Frequently get lost in social media updates or checking e-mail? Try to fit in household chores like emptying the dishwasher or throwing in a load of laundry before leaving the house? How about being busy managing the time of other people in the home? Do a time audit regarding how you spend your time each morning for several days. Review your audit to determine what you might be able to change in your routine to claim 15 minutes in the morning for your breakfast.
Plan Ahead – Now that you have identified the need for change in the morning routine in order to reach your goal of eating breakfast, you need to develop a plan. Perhaps you will plan to avoid checking e-mail or social media until after you have had your breakfast. Maybe you have to plan ahead and pack lunches or get the backpack together and next to the door the night before so you have time to sit down with the others in the family at breakfast. Breakfasts will never just happen, it has to fit into a plan that becomes a new routine. Another major part of your plan will include the food you will eat. Spending a little time before grocery shopping to plan your breakfast meals for the week will ensure you have quick, nutrient rich meals on hand each day. Here are some helpful resources to develop your breakfast meal plan.
Learn to Love Breakfast
Eat Breakfast to Lose Weight
SparkPeople Members Share Their Favorite Breakfasts
The 8 Best Fast Food Breakfasts
Think You’re Too Busy to Eat Healthy?
Setting a goal to eat breakfast followed by identifying time and establishing a plan is the best way to develop the habit of eating breakfast. If you are having trouble meeting your weight loss goals and breakfast is not a part of your routine, this could be the missing piece to the puzzle to help complete your weight loss picture.
What specific steps will you take to put these tips into action?
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