You have likely heard the following before and for a good reason. “Eat breakfast like a king”, “champions breakfast”, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
We can confirm that the first meal of the day is indeed the most important with numerous medical studies supporting this. Breakfast is much more than delicious pancakes, instagrammable avo toast or overnight oats. This meal actually matters much more than you may think!
It Kick-Starts Your Metabolism
As the word itself describes it, it literally ‘breaks fast’ after fasting and cleansing your body throughout the night. With the fasting period broken, your body is more responsive to the nutrients you’ll be feeding it. If you give your body a balanced and nutritious first meal of the day. It will absorb all of the nutrient-dense foods you include, such as the vitamins and minerals in fruits, vegetables, and eggs as a source of fuel.
This in turn helps kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day where your body begins to reactivate all of its biological functions. Such functions include digestion, re-igniting your natural capacity to burn fat for fuel.
It Helps Prevent Health Problems
In addition to its immediate benefits, a good breakfast can also help prevent certain health problems in the long run. It has been found that there is a correlation between skipping breakfast and increased risk of heart disease and higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.
This can be linked to the fact that cereal, a common breakfast staple for example, is frequently vitamin-fortified. This was demonstrated on a study on young people in the UK. Results highlighted that the intake of certain vitamins, fibre and calcium was significantly higher in those who had breakfast regularly.
It May Improve Brain Function
In addition, breakfast affects our energy, anxiety, and mental alertness.
Improved brain function has been scientifically linked to the first meal of the day in memory studies. A good breakfast should represent at least 25% of your daily caloric intake and it should include nutrient-dense foods, such as veggies, fruits, dairy, whole cereals, and nuts! See some examples below to get inspired!
– Slicing fruit over whole-grain cereal
– Adding chopped vegetables to an omelette
– Eat a whole-grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese
– Prepare oatmeal with low-fat milk and top with dried cranberries or sliced almonds
– A slice of whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter and a sliced banana
– Low-fat yogurt topped with granola and fruit
– Gluten-free pancakes
These meals are low in calories, high in nutrients, and provide the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for your brain to concentrate and recall.
Skipping Breakfast is Linked to Weight Gain
If you don’t get enough energy (calories) for your body in the morning you will feel tired and hungry later. When you feel this way, it is easy to lose control and eat more than necessary! To have better control, you should feel full in the morning.
If you skip breakfast, your liver glucose levels will be depleted, resulting in lethargy and energy loss. As a result, the body begins to rely on other sources of energy, such as muscular mass. If you are lacking calories in the morning, you will have less energy to move and exercise as they day goes on, leading to weight gain. This was reflected in a study on nurses where results showed that over half who skipped breakfast were clinically overweight.
Even if you are pressed for time in the morning, eating a good breakfast is critical to your overall health. If necessary, get up a little earlier to give yourself enough time to prepare your meal (or better yet, set yourself up the night before to make breakfast as easy as possible).
In conclusion, making a healthy breakfast is the best way to start your day. From a psychological standpoint, it sets the tone of your day. If you have an unhealthy breakfast, you’ll be most likely to keep eating unhealthy foods throughout the day and vice versa. As the saying goes, we should “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”