Forming new habits is not always easy. It takes determination, strong willpower, and the right environment to start something new. Research has shown that on average, it takes 66 days, equivalent to over two months, for a new behavior to become automatic.
Over the past year, with more consumers staying at home as a result of the pandemic, new habits were being formed. According to the Asia Pacific Breakfast Habits Survey 2021 conducted by Herbalife Nutrition to understand the impact of the current pandemic on consumers’ breakfast attitudes and habits as well as the behavior preferences of different demographic groups, two in five (37 percent) Gen Zs and Millennials in the region began eating breakfast more often and half of the respondents who started doing so said they ate breakfast six to seven more days per week.
When it comes to positive breakfast habits, they mainly involve two key considerations – the frequency of eating breakfast and the nutrition that goes into it to make a healthy meal.
As revealed by the survey, Gen Zs and Millennials have increased their breakfast frequencies because of their motivation to improve health and well-being (65 percent); ability to prepare breakfast with more time on hand (48 percent); and their desire to use this time at home to make a positive lifestyle change (41 percent). In addition, they have also started eating healthier by incorporating more vegetables and fruits (57 percent); have a nutritionally balanced meal (54 percent); and drank more water (52 percent).
While there have been positive changes to their breakfast habits, making consuming breakfast a daily commitment does require effort and determination to ensure that these good habits stick.
Here are some tips offered by Susan Bowerman, Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition, on the benefits of a healthy breakfast and how to ensure that their positive breakfast habits last.
What Is a Good Breakfast?
The foods you eat for breakfast can affect how you feel and perform throughout your morning. There are several things that a good breakfast can do for you.
A healthy breakfast can…
• Keep you fueled up until your next meal or snack. A well-balanced breakfast should provide you with staying power. Foods with protein help to satisfy hunger, and high fiber foods help to fill you up.
• Supply your body and brain with energy. In the morning, your body’s gas tank is running close to empty. When you eat the right foods for breakfast, you’re providing your muscles and brain with the fuel they need for optimal performance.
• Help avoid blood sugar swings and reduce cravings. A balanced meal that contains both protein and healthy carbohydrates can provide sustained energy throughout your system, and help prevent wild swings in your blood sugar that trigger cravings for sweets or other unhealthy foods. (This applies as long as you don’t have any medical issues regarding your body’s ability to regulate your blood sugar.)
• Help you make better food choices throughout the day. Breakfast skippers often experience food cravings for sweets and fats that can persist throughout the day. When breakfast is eaten, the cravings for sweets drop dramatically. If the breakfast is high in protein, it tends to also reduce cravings for salty, fatty foods. So, the right foods in the morning can help reduce cravings for unhealthy foods later in the day, and steer you towards healthier choices.
• Provide enough protein to help support muscle health. Eating enough protein in the morning not only helps satisfy hunger, it can also help maintain muscle health. For many people, typical daily meals tend to provide little protein at breakfast, a bit more at lunch, and a much larger amount at dinner. This is a pattern that may not provide the best conditions for building and repairing muscle tissue. Muscle protein synthesis can improve when protein intake is more evenly distributed throughout the day.
Don’t skip breakfast
With the many benefits that a healthy breakfast offers, it’s a meal that shouldn’t be so casually dismissed.
However, whether you are working from home or working from office, it is easy and convenient to skip breakfast just for those extra few minutes of sleep, especially on days when it is challenging to wake up because of a cool rainy morning or pulling an intense late night the previous night.
With this in mind, perhaps making a few simple changes to daily living might do the trick – such as waking up 15 minutes earlier each day to prepare a quick and nutritious breakfast.
Incorporating a nutritious breakfast every day
When it comes to selecting what to eat for breakfast, a healthy, balanced breakfast should provide you with a decent amount of protein (20-30 grams is a good target). This helps satisfy hunger and supports muscle health, and along with some healthy carbohydrates can provide sustained energy and fiber. Carbohydrates should include, at the very least, some fruits or vegetables. If your calorie budget allows, add some whole grains as well.
On days where you want an all-in-one breakfast that delivers the right nutritional balance for you body, breakfast protein shakes are good options to consider, like the Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Shake. It is easy to prepare and provides all the nutrients required to start your day right.
Consuming a healthy breakfast can bring you many benefits in the long run. All you need to have a healthy breakfast every day is a little time and commitment!