You have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But if this is true then why do most people skip breakfast? There are many reasons why people choose to skip breakfast, some think by skipping breakfast it will help to lose weight, others just feel they don’t have time for breakfast. However, these are part of an incorrect thinking because breakfast is in fact the most important meal of the day. By eating a healthy, nutritious breakfast you can maintain a healthy weight while refueling your mind and body for the rest of your day.
Breakfast literally means, “breaking the fast”. At night while you sleep your body is fasting, using stored energy to maintain heart rate, breathing and circulation. When you awake in the morning your body requires refueling, breakfast gives you this fuel as the first meal of your day. If you skip this meal your body continues to fast using stored glycogen from your muscles to maintain your ability to function. However, your body remains starving, so it will reduce metabolism, which slows down energy and the ability to focus, concentrate and react. Because your body is running on low fuel, every bodily function slows down causing a feeling of tiredness.
For people who think skipping breakfast will help to lose weight, they are actually hurting their own changes to do just that. When you skip breakfast, you body and brain slow down, but remain hungry still needing fuel for energy. So by 10 or 11 am your stomach is growling. Often times this leads to sweet, sugary snacks that are fast and easy, like doughnuts, pastries or candy bars. These are high calorie food items that have no nutritional value and are easily stored as fat in the body. By the time lunch roles around you are more susceptible to eating fast food or even overeating. You end up eating more than you would have if you have eaten breakfast in the first place.
When you refuel with breakfast, you actually will help with weight loss and weight management. When you “break the fast” you boost your metabolism to break down the food to be used as energy. You will feel more alert, be more focused, be able to concentrate and do work. When your metabolism runs at a higher rate you burn more calories and lose weight.
The reason that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is because of the value that it brings to the body. People who eat breakfast regularly eat more vitamins and minerals, get the daily recommended nutrients, are able to control weight, have better concentration, problem solving skills, increased alertness, improved productivity, lower cholesterol and decreased risk of heart disease. Eating breakfast sets the tone and pace of your body’s metabolism for the rest of your day. A healthy breakfast wakes you up and keeps your energy level high while you go through your morning. It gives children calories needed to grow, student’s brainpower for class, and adult’s productivity at work.
Breakfast should consist of one quarter of your day’s caloric intake. A healthy breakfast should provide protein, complex carbohydrates a little fat, and vitamins and minerals. With the right combination of these food groups you can stave off hunger and regulate blood sugar. Traditional American breakfast is unlike many other cultures and can be served at almost any time of the day. Foods for breakfast include eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, cereal, oatmeal, bagels, English muffins, fresh fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, orange juice, milk and coffee. Remember don’t go over board on one food group; try to pick 2-3 foods, one from each food group.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you feel like you don’t have time for breakfast get foods that are good for on the go and prepare them ahead of time. Remember eating something sustainable is better than eating nothing or eating high sugar, processed or fatty foods. If you have trouble eating breakfast in the morning it’s a good idea to store healthy snacks around your office, desk, or locker to eat when you arrive, this way you not waiting to eat until lunchtime. Remember breakfast IS the most important meal of your day. Get started out right!
Sarah Labdar, “Breakfast- The Most Important Meal of The Day”, Everyday Health