People skip breakfast for many reasons, which is why it’s important to bust the myths, says ADSA spokesperson and registered dietitian Abby Courtenay. “It’s important to give South Africans from all walks of life the information and help they need to make a healthy breakfast a happy, lifetime habit.”

Here are two myths you should stop believing:

1. The myth: ‘I’m trying to lose weight so I skip breakfast’

The facts: Studies show that people who have a healthy breakfast habit have far better weight outcomes than those who regularly skip this meal. When you skip breakfast, you put yourself at risk of grabbing convenience foods on the go that often offer low nutritional value. This means that you’re more likely to overeat during lunch because your body is starving.

“It’s a common belief that if you want to lose weight you should skip breakfast,” says Kim Rutgers, a registered dietitian and ADSA spokesperson. “This is far from the truth. Skipping any meal will mean important nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, will be missed.”

She adds that sustainable weight loss and management is achieved through making healthy food choices, which includes eating a balanced breakfast.

2. The myth: ‘I don't have time for breakfast’

The facts: Mornings can be busy and stressful compared to supper in the evenings – you’ve got to get the children ready, make lunch and get to work on time. But the key to avoiding this is planning, preparation and smart choices to ensure you eat breakfast between two to three hours of waking up.

“From a time perspective, drinking is often far quicker than sitting down to a full meal,” says Courtenay. “I usually suggest making a nutritious smoothie. I encourage my patients to blend a small banana, oats, sugar-free peanut butter and low-fat milk. You can also add baby spinach. Not only is this the quickest meal, but it contains balanced portions of fruit, vegetables, minimally processed grains and healthy plant fats.”

If time is your biggest issue, prepare breakfast the night before – soak your oats, cut up fruit and boil eggs during your supper preparation so that breakfast is quick and easy the next morning.

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