Should I force myself to eat breakfast if I'm not hungry?

Bupa dietitian Gemma Cosgriff looks at the science behind why we should eat breakfast, and shares five quick and healthy brekky options for time poor people. 

The quick answer is… Yep! If you’re not hungry, it’s still beneficial to try to squeeze in a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is... exactly that. It is the meal that “breaks the overnight fast”.

There are a number of health benefits associated with eating breakfast, and there are many options that can help you to achieve these benefits - even if you don’t find yourself feeling hungry enough each morning.
 
It starts in our childhood, where research has shown that breakfast helps us to learn better, through increased concentration and alertness. It helps us maintain our energy levels throughout the day, improves metabolism and helps us to avoid snacking on poorer food choices. 
 
As a result, we end up naturally incorporating more of the good nutrients we need. Having a healthy breakfast can help us save the additional kilograms, improve our cholesterol levels, and help us to get the most out of our lives each day. 
 
And let’s be real… it’s not the most enjoyable feeling being at work, distracted by the urgent need to find a snack that we just don’t have nearby! It helps our lives become a bit more convenient too. Win!
 
No time? Not interested? Want the extra 10 minutes dozing under the covers?
 
There are a heap of options that you can include in your morning routine that are easy, nutritious, tasty and do the trick of breaking that overnight fast. Ooh and they actually help make you feel like you’ve woken up and are not wandering around like a zombie! 
 
Shake up your routine to create some time, or set your alarm a teeny tiny bit earlier. (Seriously, think about how many minutes there are in one day… would 5-10 more in the morning really be that painful?) 
 
Give some of these healthy breakfast options a go:
  • Fruit or vegetable (or combination) smoothie – you could cut all the fruit up on a Sunday arvo, and have it all frozen in portions ready to blend in the morning.
  • Boiled eggs with wholegrain toast – you can boil a few and have them in the fridge ready to go so you only have to prepare the toast. Otherwise opt for just a couple of boiled eggs with some dukkha or pepper. Eggs are the golden child of protein, get them in regularly during the week!
  • Fresh fruit and yoghurt – super easy, just throw it in a bowl, but try to avoid sugar-rich yoghurts, and enjoy the natural sweetness from the fruit.
  • Porridge with yoghurt and fruit.
  • Wholegrain slice of toast with avocado, spinach, egg, tomato, mushrooms, and / or ricotta cheese.

Hot tip: focusing on the protein as your main component of breakfast has been shown to help you feel more satisfied. As a result you're likely to consume fewer kilojoules or calories throughout the rest of the day. So keep those eggs, yoghurt and wholegrain carbohydrates handy and avoid the sugary cereals, bagels and thick cuts of toast!

All-in-all, feeling ‘forced’ to eat breakfast, should now seem like the next super easy improvement you can make to your lifestyle to help you become a healthier version of yourself. It might even help you become a little more of a morning person. If you just cringed at those last words – opt for the super easy options and rest up!
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