Everyone fasts when they sleep. The first meal you eat when you awake breaks your fast… hence the term breakfast.

But breaking the fast doesn’t mean eating fast. Hurried eating can cause heartburn and even increase your odds of gaining weight.

Skipping it altogether isn’t the answer. You’ve heard since childhood that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Going without slows your metabolism, dulls your mental sharpness, and saps your overall energy.

Jumpstart your day without sacrificing nutrition or time with these tips:

Prepare in advance. Wash and cut enough fresh fruit to last a few days. Prefer eggs? Try the hard-boiled route — have them ready in the fridge for rushed mornings. For whole grains on the fly, toast whole grain bread, microwave quick-cooking unsweetened oatmeal, pour a bowl of whole grain cereal, or prebake whole grain muffins.

Forget staple foods. No rule says the morning must be reserved for breakfast foods. If you prefer last night’s soup vs. cereal, relish in the freedom to eat supper at 7 AM. Just remember to get a complete meal that includes a whole grain, produce, dairy, and protein serving.

Take 5. Wake up 5 minutes earlier and give yourself a fighting chance to eat sitting down instead of on the run.

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