Before you walk out: Grab some breakfast

  • Published
  • By Kayla Scherf
  • Health and Wellness Center registered dietician
After a long night of sleep, your body has gone without food for many hours, so you need fuel to jump-start your day.

Many people skip breakfast and other meals during the day, something I don't recommend. By letting yourself get too hungry, the results may be fatigue, inability to focus, getting cranky with other co-workers, weight gain and a decreased ability to train your hardest.

Skipping meals to lose weight can set you up for failure. Many people skip breakfast, which leads to overeating throughout the day and can even lead to poor snack and meal choices.

Lunch time will roll around and instead of eating a well-portioned meal, individuals have the tendency to overeat because they are so hungry. Many people are unprepared for lunch and grab anything that looks good to them, even if it is a candy bar from a vending machine.

People have many reasons why they do not eat breakfast. One is they may dislike traditional breakfast foods. You do not have to have the traditional bowl of cereal with milk.

If you prefer to have your dinner at breakfast, go right ahead. You can eat a baked potato with low-fat plain yogurt and two percent cheese in place of sour cream and whole milk cheese. Add some salsa for extra flavor and antioxidants. You can also have a slice of whole wheat pizza topped with peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes instead.

Another common reason for skipping breakfast is the time factor. People often think breakfast has to be a sit-down meal, but it can be easily eaten on the run. However, be sure to avoid the fast food drive-thru, where you can pack in half a day's worth of calories if you are not careful.

Try to eat cereal bars, nuts and fruit washed and ready to go. Have hard boiled eggs peeled and ready to grab while walking out the door. If you do stop for fast food, try to stick with English muffins and skip the cheese and bacon on your breakfast sandwich.

Croissants, biscuits, bacon and cheese tend to be high in fat and calories. Add fruit and low-fat milk instead of hash browns and soda.

Some people are just not ready to eat when they get up in the morning. That's not a problem, but be ready when 10 a.m. rolls around and you feel your stomach start to grumble.

Have a peanut butter sandwich or yogurt with fruit ready so you don't wait until lunch time to eat something. For people who are early exercisers or for individuals competing in an early morning run, it is a good idea to eat something to get you through your workout.

If you just cannot eat beforehand, at least have a snack that will provide some carbohydrates for that morning workout. A good snack might be crackers with peanut butter and a small piece of fruit.

Eating small meals and snacks every three to four hours will help to keep you satisfied throughout the day, keep you well fueled for your job, family, and career, and help you achieve your fitness goals. Before you walk out the door to start your day, grab something healthy to eat.