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Given it’s one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, I’ve compiled some tips to help those who are looking to be healthier and lose weight this year. And it all starts with breakfast.

As many of you have probably heard, breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it’s the first food you put in your stomach to give your body energy. But oftentimes, with the crazy schedule of a college student, it’s all too easy to either skip breakfast altogether or rely on quick, and often unhealthy, alternatives. So here are some simple things you can do to start your day off with a fulfilling and healthy breakfast:

1. Prepare it the night before. As a college student, sleep is often given precedence to everything else so I know you’d rather sleep in than force yourself to wake up and make yourself breakfast. But, if you prepare something the night before when you are awake, you don’t have to worry about waking up earlier and the food is waiting for you when you do manage to get out of bed. Now, this won’t be ideal with things like milk and cereal (unless you’re the kind of person who enjoys soggy cereal), but making a whole-wheat tuna salad sandwich or a fresh garden salad (without dressing) and storing it in your fridge should be fine. Make sure to use low-fat condiments with these dishes!

2. Blend a smoothie. Smoothies are quick and easy to prepare as well as delicious to drink. Just blend some low fat milk, any whole fruit juice, or yogurt in a blender with your favorite fruits and some ice. You can even add your own immunity/protein/etc. boost powder that you can get at your favorite health store. It’s a much healthier alternative than going to your typical smoothie shop. They often use added sugars to flavor drinks instead of natural sugars. Plus, it’s much cheaper in the long run to make your own.

3. Make a plain yogurt mix. Buying cups of plain yogurt and then adding your own fresh fruits and granola could be infinitely healthier than buying flavored yogurt brands. Oftentimes flavored yogurt brands have added sugars, while adding fresh fruit to your plain yogurt will only give it natural sugars. Not to mention it’s just more fun to be able to make your yogurt suit your own tastes.

4. Cook oatmeal. Whole oatmeal is much better, and more fulfilling, to eat in the morning than a bowl of cereal. Oatmeal may need more cooking preparation than the others that I’m listing, but it’s definitely worth it to reach your health goals. And if you don’t like plain oatmeal, add some fruit or milk. You could also try adding a little evaporated or condensed milk to make it sweeter.

For those of you who do have time to make some full-on healthy breakfast meals, I suggest looking up recipes on health food blogs. Here are some to get you started: The Picky Eater, Kath Eats Real Food, Cheap Healthy Good, and Health Food Lover.

Good luck with your health goals!

Photo courtesy of SummerTomato via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).