It is a very well-known saying that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. But what if the way you are consuming breakfast is actually having a negative impact on your health? Eating a good breakfast is in fact a great start to the day. But what you eat at breakfast matters greatly. What you choose to consume first thing in the morning can make the difference between an energized, productive day and a day that is lethargic and slow. A breakfast full of bad choices can even make you gain more weight. This is why it is essential to ensure that you are eating a breakfast that can provide the proper nutrients to satisfy the body’s needs. Following a few simple rules will help you make sure you are not putting on weight due to breakfast, without knowing it. If you are ready to adopt a better breakfast routine, check out 8 ways your breakfast is making you gain weight.

You don’t have protein at breakfast

One of the biggest pitfalls at breakfast time is not having enough protein at breakfast. If you are not full at your morning meal, this will only leave you hungry later and ready to snack throughout the day to curb your hunger. Start introducing a lean protein into your diet to ensure you are full for longer, which can be as simple as a banana and walnuts or a hard-boiled egg.

You eat high sugar foods

Saturated fat can have negative effects on your liver, not to mention that it can also cause you to put on excess weight. Try to avoid eating high sugar foods at breakfast. If you are craving something sweet, instead choose foods with natural sugars, like fruit. Eating at different intervals throughout the day will also ensure that your metabolism is actively burning calories.

You have a breakfast full of carbs

Only eating carbohydrates at breakfast will leave you feeling hungry shortly after. Even the foods we think of as healthy could be mostly carbs, including things like cereal, milk, waffles, granola, and yogurt. Be sure to include some sort of fat or protein to these popular breakfast carbs, like hummus, nut butters, or lean meat.

You forgot breakfast altogether

You may think you are saving some calories by skipping breakfast, but missing this meal will just set you up to overeat at lunch and dinner. This can ultimately lead to weight gain. If you don’t get hungry at breakfast time, try to at least have a small snack to get your metabolism burning and get your body used to the idea of eating earlier in the day. If time is the issue, pre-prep some breakfast items that you can grab on the go each morning.

You don’t eat a balanced meal

If you are only eating too much of one particular food group, this could ultimately lead to weight gain. For instance, if you are eating a big meal that only consists of crepes or pancakes, you are missing out on key nutrients. Fiber and protein are key to making sure your breakfast is actually sustaining you until lunch. Fiber-rich foods and at least 15-30 grams of protein are both components that make for a balanced breakfast.

You only eat cereal

Many people only have a bowl of cereal for breakfast. But cereal is basically just artificial ingredients and refined grains. They are also likely high in sugar, another big no for breakfast. The sugar may give you a boost, but will ultimately make you crash later. Breakfast can still consist of cereal if you combine it with protein or fat.

You eat too little calories

If you are typically the type to skip breakfast or eat very little in the morning, you could be consuming too little calories. Not eating enough food causes the body to go into starvation mode, and can actually cause the body to hold onto more weight. Making sure you eat a substantial meal, it will give you the satisfaction you need to keep your body sustained.

You eat too fast

When you eat really fast, it is easy to overeat. Eating quickly makes it harder to track how much you’re actually eating; you are also not giving your stomach enough time to decide if it’s full, or wants more food. Try to slow down, enjoy your meal, and give your body time to process the nutrients it is receiving.