Skipping breakfast seems such common practice these days. Time pressures, dieting or just the lack of appetite in the morning are some of the many reasons I hear in my clinic sessions. Working in schools, I’ve also found that about 30% of the children do not have breakfast but picked up energy drinks and chocolate bars on the way to school.
So, lets just focus on why it is so beneficial to find time for breakie.
The metabolism needs foods to function. Skipping breakfast is asking the body to work without energy or the basic nutrients it needs to perform our daily tasks, whether it be concentrating at school, coping with stress throughout the day or just running for the train. Without the intake of food, especially after our overnight fast, our metabolism slows down. This is an in-built survival mechanism which can result in weight gain, lack of energy and the ability to concentrate.
Research has shown that children who eat breakfast have higher performance levels at school, including memory, attention and behaviour.
Another study showed that having a good breakfast, may also reduce ‘the after lunch’ cravings. In other words, it stops those afternoon sugary snacks needed for an energy boost. So, if you are trying to lose weight, eating in the morning might help balance out your calorie intake for the rest of the day.
So, what should we eat?
Many breakfast cereals found on the shelves in supermarkets are often high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. These enter into the blood stream causing a blood sugar level spike for instant energy but very quickly your body uses this up, resulting in a blood sugar level slump. This can makes us tired, irritable and crave more sugar.
What we are aiming for is fibre and protein. This will be absorbed slowly into the blood stream, drip-feeding us energy throughout the day.
Ideal options include: boiled egg followed by an apple or yoghurt and ‘real’ berries, whole-meal toast with nut-butter, porridge with nuts or sugar free muesli. If time is not an issue, why not try an omelette with tomatoes or smoked salmon– the list is endless.
It seems therefore, that the right breakfast may help you lose weight, give you high energy levels and put you in a positive frame of mind for the day ahead! Who doesn’t have time for that?
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