A couple of years ago a small study was published, and its results were pretty incredible: The men and women in the study, all of whom had type 2 diabetes, had blood sugar levels that averaged 37 percent higher at lunchtime on days they skipped breakfast. Their blood sugar levels were still elevated by dinner, up an average 27%.
Whoa. That’s a big deal. And it means breakfast is essential, even if you don’t really like eating it.
I, personally, love breakfast, so here are some ideas for making sure you do, too.
1. Eat dinner for breakfast
Some people just don’t like toast or oatmeal or yogurt or eggs. If you’re one of those people, put aside some dinner leftovers that are savory and protein-filled for breakfast the next day (or the day after that if you don’t want to eat the same two meals in a row.) Or just cook yourself a traditional nighttime meal in the morning—there’s no rule that says you have to eat what everyone else is eating! A salad, steak and greens, leftover veggie pizza, whatever works for you!
2. Plan out your meal times the night before
When I was in recovery for Binge Eating Disorder, one of the things that helped me was some guidance from a researcher who had written a book after studying people with the disorder. He suggested planning out your meal times for the next day before going to bed each night. Though I found picking exact times stress-inducing, deciding that I would have three meals and two snacks each day, period, really helped me to let go of the dieting mentality and ensured I always got enough to eat (and didn’t end up staving and binge eating later). Even if binging isn’t an issue at all for you, having the plan in your head that you’ll eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or whatever combo you choose (as long as it includes breakfast, ahem) may help you with eating consistently.
3. Plan out your meals ahead of time
You can plan more than just meal times, you can plan whole meals. Sometimes knowing I get to eat something delicious in the morning gets me excited enough that I’m extra motivated to cook!
4. Prepare food ahead of time
If your excuse for skipping breakfast is that you don’t have time to eat it, this one is for you. Make a bunch of egg and veggie burritos on whole wheat tortillas and freeze them, then pop one in the microwave or toaster oven while you get dressed. Prepare a bowl of overnight oats (oats mixed with milk or yogurt and left to soften in the fridge overnight) before bed, then in the morning just add fruit and nuts. Or, if you’re putting away dinner leftovers for breakfast, bam, it’s all ready for you first thing in the morning.
5. Eat dinner a number of hours before bed (so you wake up hungry the next morning)
If you just don’t feel hungry in the morning, take a look at what you’re doing the night before. If you eat dinner very close to bed or are doing some nighttime snacking, it may be leaving you still on the full side first thing. If you go to bed, try to eat your last meal or snack at six or seven, and see if that helps you feel ready for a meal when you wake up.
Good luck on your quest to love breakfast!