As the new year approaches, many of us start thinking about New Years Resolutions. If your New Years Resolution is to get healthier, including a bowl of breakfast cereal each day is a good place to start – with the latest research showing that a regular breakfast cereal habit is associated with living longer, healthier lives. But before we get on to my tips for a healthy breakfast, a word about resolutions.
Research suggests that only around 12% of people making New Years Resolutions stick to them. So what is it about making a commitment as the year ticks over that makes it more or less likely to be achieved?
Whether you are making a commitment to healthier habits from the first of January or on any other day of the year, try to keep these tips in mind to set you up for long-term success.
- Be sensible: Smart nutrition experts tell us to be sensible about resolutions and to avoid unrealistic resolutions that are likely to fail and increase feelings of guilt or decrease self-esteem. Work out a simple, easy change to your current habits that will stand you in good stead well into the future.
- Tackle one resolution at a time: Researchers of human behaviour recommend we tackle one resolution at a time to ensure it becomes a habit. Be consistent, plan to succeed and share with family and friends. For instance, if your goal is healthier eating habits, start with a commitment to adding an extra vegetable at dinner, drinking enough water each day or eating a better breakfast.
- Be kind to yourself: Try to avoid labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and if you find yourself off track, don’t give up. Changing habits can sometimes feel like two steps forward and one step backward – and that’s ok because you’re still making positive progress.
A healthier brekkie habit
So let’s plan for a healthier breakfast habit. A regular brekkie cereal habit is a sensible, easy idea you will actually enjoy, is good for you, and can also save you time and money.
- Look forward to it. Start by making it a breakfast you look forward to each morning. Customise your bowl so it suits you perfectly – you can mix different breakfast cereals, top them with your favourite yoghurt, fruits, nuts or seeds and finish it with dairy, soy, rice or nut milk.
- Make it easy. Set yourself up for success by having a selection of your favourite cereals on hand so you are ready to go each morning. It takes just five minutes to prepare and eat a bowl of brekkie cereal and milk. Perhaps keep some cereal at work for mornings when you are really pressed for time or grab portable single serve packs for brekkie anywhere.
- Enjoy the healthy rewards: People who eat breakfast cereal regularly are more likely to have better nutrition, lower body weight and better health than those who eat no breakfast or other breakfasts. More recently research has also found that people who eat more ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, more fibre from cereal foods (including breakfast cereals) or more whole grains, tend to live longer and have less risk of chronic diseases. Some studies have found that eating foods with cereal fibre protects your health even more effectively than eating fruit and vegetables.
- Saving $ – an added bonus: With an average cost of around 50c for a bowl of breakfast cereal and milk, breakfast cereals are fantastic value compared to café breakfasts or expensive supplements. With a takeaway café breakfast easily costing $6 or more, a healthy breakfast cereal habit at home each day could save you more than $2,000 each year.
Now that sounds like a worthwhile resolution. 🙂