Life is hard. Eating healthy, saving money and performing at a high level require a lot of effort. There's one big exception though: breakfast.
We don't have the luxury of skipping over easy wins and there are few easier wins as powerful as building an effective breakfast habit.
Why Breakfast Is Awesome
Here's why you should work on developing a healthy and effective morning breakfast habit.
#1 It's Easily Repeatable
My wife is an amazing cook. She cooks dinner almost every night and we only repeat meals maybe once a month. She has a LOT of dishes she can make and she does them very well.
The difference between her and me (and probably most of you) is that she loves cooking and has intentionally worked to get better at it for a long time now.
When it comes to breakfast, we don't need to be good at cooking or shopping. We just need to have a few items we like and know how to prepare them well.
For some reason, breakfast meals don't get old as quickly as other meals. If you disagree, try eating Chinese 3 nights in a row and get back to me.
My meal of choice is scrambled eggs with turkey, a pinch of Mexican cheese blend, and cracked pepper. I'm a below average cook but no one can make eggs that taste better (to me) than I can.
How could they? I know exactly how I like them!
This simple meal is a winner on every level:
- 30 grams of protein.
- $1 worth of ingredients.
- 5 minutes cooking and 2 minutes cleaning.
Why other meal can you do that with?!?
This is also with the best ingredients you can buy.
The ease of repeating breakfast makes it very easy to turn it into a habit that sticks.
#2 It's Affordable
Even if eggs aren't your thing, there aren't many expensive breakfast meals.
Fruit, oatmeal, bacon, salsa, cereal (something healthy) and milk make it east to make yourself a meal for under $1 in ingredients.
Thanks to the lower demand for breakfast items (restaurants don't charge nearly as much during breakfast hours as they do for lunch or dinner) breakfast items are extremely affordable.
Breakfast is your chance to fuel your body on a budget without sacrificing quality or eating junk.
#3 It's Easy Protein
As a 200 lbs guy who still enjoys lifting weights and playing sports, I want to keep my protein intake relatively high (minimum of 150 grams per day and up to as many as 250 grams).
Breakfast foods make it easy for me to get a lot of protein without a lot of junk.
Milk, eggs and egg whites are to thank for this the most. I can easily consume 50 grams of protein before anyone else is awake in my house.
Without this, it would be extremely hard for me to get near my desired protein intake each day.
This isn't just for large guys (or guys who are trying to bulk up) either. Most people don't get the adequate amount of protein in their day (although what that number actually is will always be highly debated), women included.
Knocking the protein out early will make it less of a struggle to add it in later on.
#4 It Sets the Table for Additional Wins
I had a theory that when we wake up and what we do first thing upon waking had little to no impact on our overall output and wellbeing. A decision was relative and earlier or later decisions didn't make much of a difference.
Why would sleeping in and not eating breakfast until 4 hours after waking differ from waking up early and eating pretty shortly afterwards?
I assumed decisions looked something like this (obviously simplified as one day includes a countless number of lesser important micro decisions we don't even realize we're making).
If we were mindless robots (who required food and sleep for some reason), it wouldn't matter much, but we aren't. We are deeply cerebral beings and we can easily find ourselves matching our moods and outputs with the flow of a day.
Anyone who has ever woken up early and won the morning with a good workout and breakfast understands the snowball effect it can have on the rest of the day.
Now, I believe that the decisions we make earlier in the day are more important than the ones we make later at night (although all are important).
Notice that the earlier decisions have a steeper angle up or down (closer to good or bad) and they get smaller throughout the day.
All decisions are not created equal...
The decisions we make first thing in the morning spill over into the rest of our day. They set the tone for productivity or wastefulness.
Again, life is hard, we need to take advantage of any advantage (real or imaginary) that we can.
#5 It Reduces Cravings
Studies have shown that eating breakfast can reduce over eating throughout the rest of the day. They have also linked eating a breakfast to better general health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and reduced chance of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.
I don't wake up ravenously hungry. In fact, I could very easily go until noon or later before even considering grabbing a bite to eat. However, I have a voracious appetites from lunch time onward. Eating breakfast helps me fuel my body so I can experience fewer cravings throughout my day.
#6 It's Quick
If I'm in a pinch I could make and eat my egg breakfast in under 10 minutes. I'm not suggesting you do that, but the fact that it's possible is awesome.
Also, I can drink my breakfast by making protein shake or Athletic greens smoothie in a Ninja blender (blender type doesn't matter much here).
"But I like to skip breakfast!"
I used to as well. Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now and it does have some pretty compelling science behind it. If you find that fasting is working for you, by all means, do what works. However, if you don't yet have a regular breakfast routine in place and you do want to start your day with a healthy, affordable and quick meal, read on. Even if you fast, there's nothing that says you can't still eat breakfast foods!