Milk being poured into cereal

3 Ways to Make Breakfast Work Harder for You

When you wake up, you’re starting with your tank on empty after eight hours of sleep (okay, probably closer to six). Give the first meal of the day a nutritious boost with these tips.

Making breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming—your mornings are busy enough. Just follow these guidelines to instantly upgrade your A.M. meal.

Bowl of Cheerios with Bananas and Blueberries

Focus on Soluble Fiber

This all-important nutrient has so many benefits (like helping to lower “bad” cholesterol when at least three grams are consumed per day as part of a heart-healthy diet), but nearly no one gets enough. Whole grain oat cereals like Honey Nut Cheerios, which provides .75 gram of soluble fiber per each three-quarter cup serving, can be an easy way to add more of the heart-friendly nutrient to your diet.

Toast with Peanut Butter and Bananas on it

Get Enough Protein

Eating a protein-packed breakfast in the morning can help keep you full longer. According to The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, adult women should get about 46 grams of protein per day, while adult men should get 56 grams. Start getting the protein you need at breakfast with a serving of milk (poured over those heart-friendly Honey Nut Cheerios we already talked about), eggs, yogurt, or peanut butter spread on whole grain toast.

Bowl of oats, fruit and peanut butter for breakfast

Eat Enough

Too many people skip a morning meal entirely, a behavior that past studies have linked to higher body weight as well as poorer sleep and dietary habits. You should aim to get 15 percent or more of your daily calories first thing in the morning, according to the American Society for Nutrition. So set your alarm and sit down to an actual meal—or at least whip up something balanced that you can eat on the go.

Make breakfast better with Honey Nut Cheerios.