A Healthy Breakfast Every Day Keeps the Freshman 15 Away

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College teaches you to find the easiest way to get things done quickly—breakfast included. Rushing to get to class or fighting that monstrous hangover lets breakfast slip under the radar way too often. Skipping breakfast or grabbing quick bite as you speed out the door sounds like a good idea in the moment. Listen up and admit to your mom that she’s right. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

Don’t skip breakfast entirely. Use what you can. Without kitchens, dorm rooms make everything harder. A mini fridge and microwave may make the cut sometimes, but sometimes you really want that a five-star breakfast. Eat a quick yogurt or piece of bread with peanut butter. It will change your entire day.

“A good breakfast would consist of a high fiber whole grain, some protein and a fruit or vegetable. The fiber and protein will help keep you full throughout the morning and maintain blood sugar and energy levels to prevent any energy crashes,” said Tulane University’s Registered Dietician Sarah Walsh.

Ever roll out of bed in the morning more tired than you were when you went to sleep? “Coffee before talkie” may be a saying that proves true in college, but take away the jitters and inability to sit still and you will be that much happier. “I would also recommend at least one cup of water in the morning to help start the hydration process for the day. Ideally limiting caffeine to no more than one cup,” said Walsh. By simply having breakfast every day, energy levels go up and so does your focus.

Just give in to that morning stomach grumble. “Breakfast is important because it starts the day off right. It helps to bring up energy levels and blood sugar that has gone down while someone is sleeping,” explained Walsh. So swap out all of the coffee for a good meal and a tall glass of water.

Little freshmen freak out, thinking the freshman 15 will catch up the more they eat. In reality, not eating breakfast can help you gain that freshman 15 faster than if you ate that morning meal. “Research shows that people who consume breakfast regularly are more likely to make better eating choices throughout the day and essentially maintain a balanced intake of calories. Often times, when people skip a breakfast or any other meal, they tend to overeat or make less healthy choices in later meals/snacks,” said Tulane University Nutrition Professor Amanda Arguello.

By eating a regular, nutritious breakfast, your metabolism regulates itself. It also leads to less need for snacking later on (even though drunk eats tend to be the best). “Each morning you essentially wake from a night-time fast. Consuming a high quality meal in the morning is essential to fuel your body for the day—again to fuel brain and physical activities,” said Arguello.

By just eating breakfast, you regulate the rest of your day as well—something that will help your metabolism in the long run. “A balanced breakfast also helps to ensure you are getting all your macro and micronutrients in a day and starting the hydration process so your body can function efficiently,” said Walsh.

Having something on the go, eating in a restaurant or sitting in your dorm and actually preparing something count as different ways to fit in early morning food. Making a nutritious, healthy breakfast can actually be possible in a dorm. Stock up on some yogurts, add a scoop of peanut butter, throw in a bit of sliced fruit, chocolate chips and granola; A healthy, filling and even Instagram-worthy meal.

Tomorrow morning, set your alarm 10 minutes early. Pack your bag, wash your face, get dressed and make sure to have a full breakfast. Not only will you feel your energy levels increase, but you will feel better throughout the day as well. Go get munching on those eggs and oatmeal. No one ever said that college makes a healthy life impossible.

Not sure what to eat for breakfast? Try these:

  • Oatmeal with peanut butter and dried fruit
  • Greek yogurt with whole grain cereal and fruit
  • Eggs
  • Whole wheat toast and avocado
  • Veggies or fruit

Samantha is a sophomore at Tulane University studying communications and sociology. You can find her watching Gilmore Girls, trying every Ben and Jerry's flavors or walking around NYC

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