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Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet why do so many of us miss it? Is it because we aren’t sure why breakfast is important?

We wake up after hitting the snooze button a few times, shower, and then race out the door in order to get to work on time. Often the thought of eating breakfast never even crosses our minds.

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Skylar Nelson, RD, (pictured) Founder of SN Health Design and dietitian for the Biggest Loser Resort, Malibu shares why setting the alarm clock a bit earlier in order to make time for breakfast is the way to go, as part of OK!'s 12 Week Countdown To Summer:

A healthy breakfast refuels your body and jump-starts your metabolism. Eating a morning meal can benefit individuals in a variety of ways from losing weight, elevating mood and improving overall health.

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People who eat breakfast have a higher metabolic rate and are able to lose and maintain a healthy body weight. Don’t skip breakfast if you are trying to speed up metabolism or if you are trying to lose or maintain weight. Those who skip breakfast tend to take in extra calories in the form of more snacks and larger meals throughout the rest of the day.

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Those who eat breakfast have healthier eating habits and consume more nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Those who eat a healthy meal to start the day are more likely to make healthier food decisions throughout the rest of the day. Breakfast also helps to increase our intake of vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, iron, and fiber.  

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Breakfast eaters feel more energized and have a stronger immune system. Break the fast! Eating a healthy breakfast within an hour upon waking up ensures that the body gets the energy boost that it needs and the nutrients necessary for a strong immune system.

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People who eat breakfast have better memory, concentration, and productivity. Starting the day with a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat provides a macronutrient combination that enhances cognitive function and allows for proper blood sugar maintenance throughout the day.

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Those who eat breakfast are all around healthier. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases.

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Think of breakfast as your ‘autopilot’ meal. Decide on 4 or 5 breakfast options, having a variety of choices ensures that breakfast will not be boring. Also, make sure that the ingredients needed for those choices are always on your grocery list. A little planning up front goes a long way in the end. Every morning you will be much happier having to make a healthy choice as opposed to a stressful decision.

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Always make sure that your breakfast options are well balanced. Include whole grains that provide energy, B vitamins, and fiber. Protein, that allows the body to build muscle, repair tissue, and boost immune function. Healthy fats that help regulate blood sugar and curb hunger. Fruits and vegetables are full of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

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Here are five of Skylar's favorite breakfast ideas:

Oatmeal with Apple, Cinnamon, Walnuts, and Chia seeds
This breakfast checks all the boxes; whole grains, fruit, protein and healthy fats. Cook the oatmeal, apple, and cinnamon together to bring out some serious flavor, then add the walnuts and chia seeds.

Egg Scramble with Vegetables
Scramble a couple of eggs and sauté a red bell peppers, greens (spinach, chard or kale), and onions in olive oil. Season with black pepper or your favorite herbs and spices. Round out this morning meal with a couple of corn tortillas.  

Protein Smoothie
Combine a scoop or two of your favorite protein powder, almond milk, frozen berries, banana, and a handful of parsley. Let your blender do the rest.  

Granola, Greek Yogurt, and Fresh Berries
Mix together granola, Greek yogurt, and seasonal berries. Simple, fast, and delicious.

Whole Wheat Toast, Peanut Butter, and Fruit
Toast two slices of whole grain bread, some chunky or creamy nut butter, and a piece of travel friendly fruit like an apple, banana, or orange.

Always Consider Leftovers
Breakfast isn’t a specific type of food; it’s a time of day. Last night’s dinner can be just as delicious in the morning.  

What is your favorite breakfast idea? Share with us below or tweet us @OKMagazine!

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