They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as far as you’re concerned, you can take it or leave it. When you roll out of bed for work at 7 a.m., the first thing you crave is a nice, warm shower, not a plate full of bacon and eggs; you’re fine with ordering a coffee to go without even so much as a glance at the café’s pastry selection because you can always fill up at lunch. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you've probably wondered why you’re never hungry in the morning, or maybe you genuinely haven’t noticed your eating habits are a bit unlike the rest of your co-workers and friends. It’s not weird or unheard of to not feel completely ravenous the second you wake up, but breakfast is important, so you might want to re-evaluate why you aren’t interested in food at all before noon most days.
To me, there are two types of people in this world: those who love breakfast, and those who are neutral about it. Personally, I’m the former: I live for runny yolks, smoothie bowls topped with all the fixings, bowls on bowls of cereal, and maybe these are all foods you enjoy, too — just not first thing in the morning. I know myself, and I can’t stomach anything but water before 9 a.m., and my sister skipped breakfast all through high school because she just wasn’t interested in eating it. So I totally understand if you aren’t a morning eater, but according to experts, you probably could be if you changed up your diet just a bit.
If you feel like your body is saying "no" to breakfast every morning, it could be a reflection of what you’re snacking on at night.
What did you eat for dinner last night? What about dessert? Do you generally sit down at the same time every evening, or are you more inclined to graze in front of the TV at 11 p.m. every night? I’m not judging you, BTW — this is a safe space, but still, it's in your best interest to pay attention to the kinds of foods you eat and how late you’re eating them, especially if you aren’t hungry at all in the morning and are looking to change that.
When you're sleeping through the night, there’s a lot going on in your body that you don’t even realize is happening. Sure, your mind might be caught up in some cloudy dreamland, but your physical body, especially your digestive system, are hard at work to make sure you feel your best as soon as your eyes flicker awake. According to Sharon Brown, a clinical nutritionist and founder of Bonafide Provisions, as soon as you fall asleep, your stomach goes through a kind of detoxification period to break down the foods you’ve eaten that day and process them into fuel or waste.
Like clockwork, Brown explains, your large intestine detoxifies at about 6:00 a.m., causing a bowel movement. But, if you don’t have the sudden urge to go when you first wake up, she tells Elite Daily, it’s probably a reflection of poor diet, and “you will not be hungry until your body produces the bowel movement and rids your body of toxins and waste.” This is usually the case if the foods you eat right before bed are particularly high in fat, Abby Langer, a registered dietitian and owner of Abby Langer Nutrition, adds, so it’s probably best to steer clear of those.
What you eat plays a huge role in how your stomach (and therefore your appetite) is going to feel first thing in the morning, but Langer tells Elite Daily it’s also important to factor in what time you’re eating these foods. If someone eats a meal late at night, the dietitian says, it’s likely that they're going to “wake up with food still in their system.” But even if your stomach is empty come morning, Langer explains, there might still be a lot of acid lingering around, which could make you feel a bit sick, and nothing — not even avo toast — looks appetizing when you're that nauseous.
Your lack of appetite in the morning could also be related to what's happening in your body when you're asleep the night before.
I don’t care what anyone says (and yes, Beyoncé, I’m talking to you, too): Sleep runs the world — and it controls how your body functions. See, while your organs are working up a sweat trying to get everything in order by the time you wake up in the morning, your body as a whole is at rest, so unlike when you hit SoulCycle at 7 a.m. or run a mile before dinner, you aren’t using a ton of energy while you snooze. In other words, if you ate a lot before bed, there’s a good chance your body hasn’t even scratched the surface of burning it off.
According to Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, waking up far from hungry could be a sign that you’re not sleeping enough because your body obviously wasn’t allotted enough time to burn through what you ate. On the other hand, if you sleep too much, Derocha says, your body will need to release even more glycogen — aka stored blood sugar — to wake you up. This happens naturally anyway, but the more you release, the higher the increase of blood sugar which, Derocha tells Elite Daily, can cause you to not feel hungry in the morning.
But even if you're not starving the second you wake up, it's still a good idea to eat a little something to fuel your body.
You don't have to have a glass of orange juice, a pot of coffee, bacon, eggs, and toast every single morning in order to check "eat a well-balanced breakfast" off your to-do list. Even if you're not particularly hungry, it's still a good idea to fuel your body with a little something to keep you full and functioning properly.
So if you're not craving one thing over another, the best thing you can do is make sure whatever you're snacking on includes a few different food groups. For example, Langer suggests picking at a few almonds paired with dried fruit or berries to start your morning off right. "I love this because the healthy fats, protein, and fiber in the almonds more than satisfy me, and the sweetness from the fruit is perfect with the crunch of the almonds," she tells Elite Daily. "Plus, it's easy to eat in the car."
Another option, Derocha adds, would be to slice up a banana and dip the pieces in a dollop of peanut or almond butter, or hard-boil an egg and eat it with a piece of cheese. "A healthy breakfast should include a variety of food groups representing all three macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fats [preferably heart-healthy fats])," she explains, "as well as fiber."
Anyone else kind of hungry all of a sudden?