Have you ever wanted to eat breakfast – like really really wanted to – but just couldn’t bring yourself to slurp down a superfood smoothie? Like the thought of all that cold-ass liquid first thing in the morning is quite possibly the most disgusting proposition EVER? 

Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you that you HAVE TO drink a smoothie every morning or else you’ll burn in hell.

But I am going to tell you that you really should be eating breakfast every day. But my definition of breakfast might surprise you.

You’ve undoubtedly heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That it starts your day off on the right foot. That it literally breaks the fast. That you better eat within 90 minutes of waking or else you might as well not get out of bed.

The problem is…you DON’T WANT to get out of bed. Every second in that precious cocoon of darkness and blankets is pure bliss. Who in their right mind wants to crawl out from under the covers and spend time cooking when you could just as easily hit the snooze button?

And you don’t even LIKE breakfast food. You never understood the allure of all that flour-y fluff, all that sugar-y stuff, all that sweet meat in the morning. You’d really rather not suck down a subzero smoothie and send your body into hypothermia. And you always thought cold oats looked like mush and couldn’t even get past their looks to taste them.

But this hasn’t been working for you.

By 10 a.m., you are SO hungry you might very well faint. You have visions of passing out during your morning meeting, hitting your head on that ridiculously solid wood conference room table, and bleeding out right there on that old, dingy carpet that hasn’t been replaced since the 60s.

Maybe you survive your meeting, but you’re so ravenous by lunchtime that you inhale every crumb in sight – no man left behind! – and somehow are still hungry five minutes later. So you binge on leftover pastries and M&Ms (the peanut butter kind because those are the only kind even worth considering) and spend the rest of the afternoon mainlining coffee and taping your eyes open with shipping tape. 

But you totally don’t need to eat breakfast, right???

Friend, I hate to break it to you, but I kinda think you’re wrong on this one.

Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. We should be eating like freakin’ royalty in the morning. Because:

  • You’ll be in a better mood.
  • You’ll make better choices.
  • You’ll feel less stressed.
  • You’ll keep your metabolism firing.
  • You’ll feel more focused.

(You can read more about WHY you should be eating breakfast here.)

So HOW do you eat breakfast every day? Here are my top tips for getting in to the Brekkie Habit.

Prep breakfast ahead of time.

Oh, I know, I know. Meal prep is one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. But if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and THAT’s your excuse for not eating breakfast, it’s kind of hard to make that excuse when your breakfast is prepped and waiting for you.

Prepping breakfast doesn’t have to be hard or labor intensive. You can make some smoothie packs. Some overnight oats. Some breakfast bowls. Some granola bars or muffins. Anything that you can grab without having to make it when you’re groggy at 6 a.m.

Don’t eat if you’re not hungry.

Wait, what?

You heard me: Don’t force yourself to eat as soon as you roll out of bed if you’re really not hungry. Drink some water. Take a shower. Get dressed. Do whatever it is you like to do in the morning but don’t eat breakfast until you’re ready to. 

Breakfast doesn’t have to be at a certain time, just like lunch doesn’t have to be at a set time. You don’t have to robotically eat at exactly 7:15 every morning.

The reason you might HATE breakfast is because you’re forcing yourself to eat when you’re not hungry. And that doesn’t make sense, now does it? 

But I’m willing to bet you start getting hungry naturally about an hour or two after you wake up, when you’re easing in to your day, when your body and your mind start to shake off the fog, when you really, finally, wake up.

Eat then. 

Have a breakfast trigger.

This one sort of piggybacks on the last one. If you’re not eating first thing in the morning, it’s easy to let time get away from you. You might conveniently “forget” to eat. Especially when you’re at work and your inbox is exploding, your phone is ringing off the hook, you’ve got a huge deadline at 2 p.m., your boss doesn’t know how to comment in a PDF and you need those comments by noon, and your coworker won’t stop asking you if he can borrow things that never seem to make it back to your desk.

Maybe you eat before you turn on your computer for the day. Maybe you eat while you brew the first pot of coffee because no one else in the office seems to know how to operate the Nespresso machine. Maybe you eat while you make your day’s to-do list.

Having a trigger – something that you do every day that you can tack your breakfast habit on to – makes it easier to remember to eat. Even when eating breakfast seems as hard as getting a promotion when you’ve already been passed over twice.

Before you know it, you won’t be able to check your email without tucking in to a breakfast sammie and you won’t be starving by 10:30. Magic.

Don’t eat “breakfast” food if you don’t want to.

Smoothies not your thing? Can’t stand the sight of breakfast sausages? Terrified of toast?

Who the hell said breakfast has to be only certain types of food? I’m pretty sure the definition of breakfast isn’t: “A certain category of foods, including but not limited to, sugary cereals with milk, toast with butter and eggs, oatmeal with fruit, pancakes with bacon, or waffles with syrup, eaten between the hours of 5 and 7 a.m.”

Break out those leftovers and make THAT your breakfast. Have a breakfast salad. Make yourself some warming breakfast soup.

Eat something that actually sounds good and that you WANT to eat. Because it’s kind of hard to stick to something when it’s as unappetizing as the smell emanating from the back of the break room fridge where things go to die.

Don’t get stuck in a breakfast rut.

We all get stuck in ruts – whether it’s taking the same route to work everyday, wearing the same pair of pants every Thursday, or eating the same thing for breakfast

Eating breakfast might be hard for you if you’re eating the same tired protein bar every morning.

Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. I usually plan two different breakfasts a week – that way, there’s some variety (admittedly, some variety in smoothies because that’s my go-to) without being overwhelming.

Maybe three days you have toast with nut butter and a banana, and the other days you have leftovers because you know that pasta recipe makes about a trillion servings. (Recipe probably not to scale…)

But definitely don’t try to have a different breakfast every day. Because you know what happens when you have TOO MANY options. You won’t make a decision, you’ll get tired of coming up with said options every week, and then suddenly breakfast isn’t happening any more. 

Okay, right now, let’s make a decision: Pick two breakfasts you want to eat next week. You don’t need to decide the EXACT one – I mean, there’s countless smoothie and overnight oats recipes on the interwebs, right? – but pick two categories. Say, omelet and waffles. 

And just like that you’ve got the start of your breakfast plans. Awesomeness.

If you’re not sure what categories you wanna go with, I’ve got something for you. The What to Eat When… checklist can help you narrow in on what you want to eat and offers up some ideas when you’re not sure where to start. Or if you’re too busy to even think where to start.