“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I know you’ve heard this before, but I think most people just don’t believe it. Why else would so many people skip breakfast or have a “sugary snack” instead of eating a real meal?
Did you have breakfast this morning?
Skipping breakfast is like starting out on a long road trip with your gas tank almost on empty – you’re going to run out of fuel before you get half way there. When you skip breakfast you will probably run out of energy before the day is even half over.
When you eat breakfast, you are essentially breaking the fast from the night before. Let’s say that you have dinner at 7:00 PM and then you have breakfast at 7:00 AM. You have fasted for 12 hours! Your body needs fuel. A doughnut isn’t going to do it.
There are many places in the world where people eat what we might consider dinner for breakfast, which actually makes a lot of sense. Before fast foods and processed foods took over our lives people in the US also ate hearty breakfasts. They might have eggs, bacon, potatoes, bread, fruit and cheese. I find it interesting that on weekends, when we don’t need to work, we sometimes eat a large breakfast or brunch!
Calories consumed at night before you go to bed are generally stored as fat. However, when you are working, you have a full active day to burn the calories consumed at breakfast.
The two biggest reasons why many people skip breakfast are lack of time in the morning and wanting to lose weight. Let’s take a look at the weight lose issue first.Skipping Breakfast Reason #1: to lose weight
Eating early in the day keeps your body fueled and jump starts your metabolism. A study of 2000 girls ages 9 to 19 showed that the girls who ate breakfast regularly had fewer weight problems than the girls who never ate breakfast or only ate breakfast occasionally. People that skip breakfast tend to binge eat later in the day – and when we binge eat we tend to eat whatever is easy and fast: chips, candy bars, muffins. We’re hungry and don’t want to spend time thinking if something is good for us, we just want to eat NOW! Skipping breakfast does not help you lose weight, in fact it might actually make you gain weight from binging later in the day!Skipping Breakfast Reason #2: you “don’t have time”
If you need to get up a half an hour earlier in order to have breakfast, I think it’s worth it. That half an hour could be the difference between being healthy and feeling vibrant or not.
It’s really important for everyone to have breakfast. Adults need to eat breakfast to perform optimally. It is especially important for children to eat breakfast, because their developing bodies need to have a regular intake of food. Children who eat breakfast:
- Are healthier
- Have fewer absences and reduced tardiness
- Score higher on achievement tests
If adults eat, breakfast kids will follow suit. So set a good example!Healthy Breakfast Choices
- A whole-wheat English muffin with cheese, a scrambled egg or nut butter
- Smoothie made with fruit and yogurt
- Salmon on 1/2 whole-grain bagel
- Whole-grain cereal with fresh fruit and milk (almond, hemp or coconut milk is fine)
- Oatmeal made with milk, fruit and nuts, with 4 ounces of orange juice
- Yogurt and a piece of fresh fruit
- Hard-boiled egg and a banana
- Veggie Omelet with whole wheat toast
- Frozen Banana on a stick – put a banana on a stick, dip it in yogurt and then roll it in granola. Place on wax paper and freeze for 1-2 hours. Make these the night before and then there will be no time needed in the morning to prepare
- Apple bagel – cut a bagel in half, add one or two slices of an apple, top off with a slice of cheese then place in the oven at 375 degrees for abount 5 minutes.
- Egg burrito – one tortilla, add two scrambled eggs, sprinkle cheese, roll up and enjoy
- Fruit smoothie