“Eating something after you ‘fast’ all night helps to kickstart your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories throughout the day,” says Abbey Sharp, R.D. “It also helps you take the edge off so you don’t arrive at your next meal or snack ravenous and more likely to overeat or eat the wrong foods.” It also helps prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes.
That said, there are a lot of women out there who simply aren’t hungry in the morning or feel nauseated after eating breakfast. “This could happen for various reasons, depending on how you slept, when you’re used to eating regularly, how much water you drink daily, or your gut health,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D. Meanwhile, “most people also severely overeat at night, which can interfere with our body’s digestion and more natural appetite signals,” she says.
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FYI: None of those reasons are good enough for you to justify skipping breakfast. So if you’re one of those people who can’t stomach breakfast (yet!), here’s how to get the nutrition you need in the morning. After all, the best breakfasts for weight loss are the ones that you’ll actually eat.
Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up as a sort of pre-breakfast appetizer. “A glass of room-temperature water can help send the message to your body that you’re going to start giving it fuel and it can wake up a bit,” says Zeitlin.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a meal meal, meaning a three-course event. “If you start with something really easy like a hardboiled egg or a piece of fruit, your body will start to get used to having some fuel in the morning and your appetite will quickly improve,” says Sharp.
Similarly, know that you don’t have to eat your entire breakfast in one single sitting. “Break it up by having a piece of fruit or toast within an hour of waking up and then a hardboiled egg, cheese stick, or some nut butter within 30 to 60 minutes after that,” says Zeitlin.
“Sometimes, getting your workout in right when you wake up can get you feeling hungry for breakfast if you didn’t already wake up that way,” says Zeitlin. “Just make sure to fuel your body with breakfast within 30 minutes post-sweat sesh.”
For some people, the idea of spending time in the kitchen right after you wake up is a nightmare. “If time is an issue, or you don’t enjoy the sensation of actually chewing your breakfast, try whipping up a quick smoothie or juice,” says Sharp.
We tend to save certain foods for certain meals, but at the end of the day, nutrients are nutrients—no matter what time you consume them. “Breakfast just means first meal of the day, but if you don’t like ‘breakfast foods,’ then don’t eat them,” says Zeitlin. “Try three ounces of sliced turkey with last night’s roast veggies, or take your stir-fry leftovers and add a hard-boiled egg. If you like savory foods, make your oatmeal with pumpkin seeds and mushrooms, or put some Greek yogurt on toast and top with sliced cherry tomatoes.”
“If you’re dealing with some early-morning nausea, choose easy-to-digest foods like bananas, bread, oatmeal, cream of wheat, applesauce, or eggs,” says Sharp. Taking a daily probiotic can also help make stomaching breakfast easier. “It will promote healthy gut bacteria and kill and flush out unhealthy gut bacteria to combat some morning nausea, fight bloat, and promote digestion,” says Zeitlin.