“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”
How many of you heard your parents’ voices when you read that phrase?
We may have rolled our eyes at the time, but the funny thing about growing up is you start to understand what the adults were talking about back then.
Breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day!
We’ve heard some pretty common excuses for skipping breakfast – such as not having time in the morning or wanting to sleep in longer.
But the most silly of them all, quite frankly, is skipping breakfast in hopes of losing more weight because it’s “less calories” to consume in the day.
The reality is quite the opposite, eating breakfast actually helps you lose weight! And here’s how:
Kick Starts Your Metabolism
We’ve all heard of metabolism – it’s that little thing people tell you to watch out for with each passing birthday. One day you’re eating pizza and ice cream every day without gaining an ounce of weight, the next you simply look at a cookie and gain 10 pounds!
So let’s first talk a little about the mystery of metabolism.
Metabolism, by definition, is the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. So basically, it’s how your body creates energy from the food you eat, which then allows you to expel that energy in day to day activities.
When we sleep at night, our metabolism slows down due to decreased activity (unless you’re a sleepwalker, in which case you’re still up and moving!). When we complete our sleep cycle and wake up, our bodies are in starvation mode and need food.
When you eat breakfast, you’re kickstarting your metabolism for the day. It should be noted, however, that eating a healthy breakfast will be most beneficial in terms of getting the right nutrients and calories into your body. Eating a cheese danish versus some yogurt and mixed berries, for example, will not give you the proper energy and fuel you need to get through the day. Or achieve your weightloss goals, for that matter.
Keeps You From Overeating
“I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” – a phrase we’ve probably all said at some point in our lives when the hunger takes over.
When you’re starving and finally get some food in your system, it’s easy to get carried away and start shoveling as much as you can into your mouth. This often leads to a feeling of tight pants…and regret.
Skipping breakfast can leave you feeling hungry, sluggish, and maybe even irritable – all of which can have a negative impact on your day or work performance.
By the time lunch rolls around, your stomach is probably screaming at you for food, and you’re more likely to eat a larger quantity than you normally would. If you’re skipping breakfast daily, odds are you’re overeating daily to make up for the morning hunger.
Snacking throughout the day on easily accessible foods like chips, chocolate, and cookies is also a sneaky culprit for gradual weight gain.
So by eating a healthy breakfast high in fiber and protein, you’re keeping your tummy full longer and you won’t be as likely to snack and overeat at lunch or dinner time.
Sets The Tone For The Day
Let’s be real, if you’re on a diet and you eat a donut in the morning, you’re more likely to toss out the rest of your healthy meals for the day and just get takeout for lunch and dinner. Why? Because you started your day with junk food!
When you start your day with an unhealthy meal, you’re less motivated to go for the healthier options because, subconsciously, you know you slipped up, and now don’t see the point in eating that salad.
Let us be clear by saying it’s okay to eat junk food every now and then – it can be good even because it tests your body’s functioning to see how it burns off that extra fat and calories.
But eating unhealthy food regularly is where the damage happens, and starting the day off with bad food brings down your motivation.
Some healthy breakfast options that will make you feel energized and keep off the pounds are:
- Greek yogurt with fruit
- Fruit smoothie (toss in some veggies for extra fiber)
- Whole wheat toast with jam
- Oatmeal with fruit or almond butter on top
- Hard boiled eggs
- Banana with peanut butter on top
It may seem easier and quicker to just stop at the local bakery and pick up a double chocolate muffin or cream cheese loaded bagel, but having simple breakfast foods at home will keep you on track with your health. Plus, you’ll see much better weight loss results and feel more confident throughout the day!
Remember when you were in school and skipped breakfast (against your mother’s warning), and your head felt like an anvil as you tried to stay awake in class? Or maybe it was hard to focus because your tummy sounded like a growling bear and made all the other kids laugh.
Now, as an adult, you may find it difficult to complete your daily tasks and meet deadlines because your brain is still hitting the snooze button.
As we’ve discussed, when you wake up after a night of rest, your body has been in a state of “starvation” and needs nutrients to wake up your mind and metabolism.
Glycogen is a polysaccharide which acts as an energy storage for your muscles. When you eat breakfast, your glycogen gets restored and gives you energy to be more proactive and get moving!
By having this fuel in your system, you’ll also have more energy and motivation to exercise and stick with your fitness goals.
Think of your body as a car, and breakfast is the gas. You can’t drive your car to it’s maximum capacity if the needle is hovering on empty! Give your body the fuel it needs so you can really go the distance in both your fitness and life goals!