Don’t eat breakfast? Well, you should. There is a reason it’s been called the most important meal of the day.
There are a few weight loss habits that we have grown up with that are not the most ideal for our bodies, but are very hard to break. One of such habits is skipping breakfast. Whether to save time in the morning, or to reduce overall calorie count throughout the day, a lot of individuals pay little or no attention to their first daily meal. But in reality, skipping breakfast may hurt you more than help you. Here are some important reasons why.
• Break your fast: When we sleep, our bodies are in ‘fasting’ mode; hence the first meal of the day is called ‘break fast’. When you skip breakfast, your body continues in fasting mode till lunch. Fasting for short periods may have little effect on the body, but fasting on a daily basis can have negative effects. Your body may compensate by reducing your metabolic rate, which means the production of energy from food is reduced. If your body is not converting calories to energy, it’s just storing them.
• Weight: Actually, studies have shown that people who skip breakfast are generally heavier than people who eat a nutritious breakfast. So if you’re trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast may not be the way to go. Eating breakfast increases the metabolic rate. Consequently, you have more energy for the day, you’re less sluggish, and you can perform more activities, making weight control easier.
• Physical activity: Even if all you do is breathe, your body needs energy to be able to do this effectively. Don’t starve your body of the energy it needs to function in the morning. Breakfast helps provide some of that energy. If you exercise, skipping breakfast could slow you down. And if you exercise in the morning before you start your day, you need food afterwards to replenish your muscles.
• Start your day right: If you wait till lunch to eat, your body is automatically tuned to pig out. However, if you start your day making a healthy breakfast choice, your nutritional choices over that day would probably go smoother. Also, those who do not eat breakfast may get hungry mid-morning and opt for a sugary snack. The sugar makes you feel energized for a few minutes due to the spike in your blood sugar levels, but then you have a hormonal crash later, while your body still retains the excess sugar. It’s a lose-lose situation.
• Mental capacity: Did you know that you concentrate and perform better when you’ve had breakfast? Concentration helps you be more efficient in almost everything you do. When you skip breakfast, it could actually take you double the time to perform the same task because your concentration level is down.
Now, my point is moot if you resolve to eating a high-fat, high-calorie convenience breakfast everyday like coffee with tons of whipped cream, sugary pastries, and sugary cereals. Try to eat whole grain breads and cereals, something with milk, fruits, or even veggies. A veggie omelet is a quick way to get both your protein and veggies in.
How do you ensure you eat a healthy breakfast? The best way to resist the temptation of grabbing some quick pastries and ensure that what you eat is planned ahead. Plan ahead. Stock your cabinets with some healthy breakfast choices like whole grain cereal, oats, low-fat milk or yogurt, whole grain bread, and some eggs. If you are a traveler, whenever you arrive in a city, note the restaurants with healthy breakfast options. This would help to make informed, not rushed, decisions when you wake up in the morning.
What do you usually have for breakfast?