We’ve all heard that breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. So why is it consistently the most skipped meal?
The term “breakfast” is a compound of “break” and “fast”. Meaning this meal breaks the fasting of food after a long night of sleep. Makes sense doesn’t it? Sure it does. And I’m sure you’ve heard that research indicates people who skip breakfast are more likely to have less concentration, lack of energy, metabolism, and weight issues. Based on this, what doesn’t make sense is why some people continuously skip this very important meal.
Why is breakfast so important?
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, consuming breakfast allows the body to refuel its blood glucose (blood sugar) levels after a long night of fasting. Glucose is used as a main source of energy for the body, is essential for the brain, and helps fuel the muscles with energy required for physical activity. Research also indicates that people who eat breakfast tend to eat less calories throughout the day. This, of course, helps manage healthy weight levels and can stop you from binging on belly busting potato chips and cookies when you get home from a long day at the office.
But I don’t feel like eating breakfast!
I know, I can hear the excuses already…”I don’t have time” or “I’m just not hungry in the morning”. My answer to those excuses…just do it! Get up 20 minutes earlier by going to bed 20 minutes earlier. Start with eating smaller amounts of food (a piece of fruit) and build your appetite back up to a full serving of breakfast. Or better yet, exercise (even for just 10 minutes) as soon as you get up. You’ll definitely be ready to eat breakfast after you finish working out (and waking up) the rest of your body.
What should I eat for breakfast?
If you can’t even stand the thought of eating anything in the morning, start small. Grab a small piece of fruit like a bowl of berries or banana. Maybe put some plain yogurt (sweeten with a stevia if needed) with a teaspoon of ground flax seed over top of the berries. You can put this together in less than 3 minutes, is delicious and is very light on the stomach. More importantly it is a nutritionally balanced meal since you’ll get a source of protein (yogurt), carbs (fruit), and healthy fats (flax seed). As with any new thing, it takes 28 continuous days to become a habit. Once you get your appetite back and your body becomes programmed to crave breakfast (just like supper) you can then add more substance to your breakfast menu.
For example, oatmeal is the staple breakfast meal for most health and fitness experts. In recent years oatmeal has been in the spotlight because of it’s health benefits. Eating a serving of oatmeal every day can lower cholesterol levels because of its soluble fiber content. The FDA now allows manufacturers of oatmeal to carry a label claiming it may reduce the risk of heart disease in combination with a low-fat diet. As mentioned, it’s also a staple in many athletes diet because of the high content of complex carbhoydrates (providing a slow release of energy) and water soluble fiber that slows digestion and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
To make oatmeal a nutritionally balance meal, add a high quality whey protein isolate powder to the oatmeal after it’s cooked and top with berries, raisins, and walnuts (for a healthy fat).
So if you’re not currently eating breakfast, “break-the-fast” by eating breakfast tomorrow morning!
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