We’ve all heard that a good breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, still, so many people skip breakfast that we have to wonder if no one believes this cliche about the benefits of breakfast – or is the whole notion just a flat out lie?
In a word, yes – skipping breakfast is an unwise idea. A cup of coffee, swallowed as you race out the front door, helps neither your health or your weight. Carrying out your responsibilities with no fuel is bad for your body and your metabolism and breakfast have a strong relationship.
Consider the well being of your body. … you’ve just slept for (hopefully) seven to eight hours. If you were awake, would you go six, seven or even eight hours without food? Obvious answer to that question. So without a daily breakfast you’ve gone approximately half a day before lunch. If you didn’t eat shortly before bedtime, it’s even longer. Your body is starved for nutrition and fuel.
Why A Daily Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal – Really!
A nutritious breakfast is a source of energy (nutritious doesn’t mean a Starbucks latte and a cheese danish, unfortunately :-). Without fuel for your engine, your energy won’t be there. This is why so many people MUST HAVE a mid-morning snack, usually out of a vending machine.
Not eating breakfast often leads to loss of focus and fuzziness. Handling that early morning meeting is a lot tougher when you can’t think well – much less be razor sharp. This is especially tough for kids at school. How can they learn when they can’t think? All they will want to do is lay their head on their desk. It is hard to pay attention when you are hungry.
Another way to screw up your breakfast plan is to eat everything ‘wrong’. Kids are especially eager to eat junky foods like chocolate flavored cereal and too-sweet pop tarts swimming in butter. This kind of menu leads to the famous ‘vicious cycle’. When we eat something between a garbage breakfast or no breakfast at all, it’s usually quick and simple and easy – meaning loaded with sugar and fat. What happens? Our energy quickly spikes … and then drops again as quickly as it rose. This down~up~down~up~down (etc.) cycle is deadly to the body, productivity and learning. One of the greatest breakfast benefits is opting out of this horrid cycle. Result? An energy roller coaster and a few extra pounds of flab hanging off your poor body. Yuck and double yuck.
With decent – i.e. nutritious – food in your tummy, you can perform at your best all morning long and this high octane start is a good foundation for the rest of your day. Otherwise, you’re playing catch up until nighttime when your poor body tries to revive itself in sleep.
Eating breakfast every morning is important although we don’t want to overdo it. A typical restaurant meal of four pancakes, sausage, three eggs and a half loaf of bread will only make you sluggish and tired. A smaller, lighter breakfast like an energy bar, a cup of yogurt with fruit, an egg with toast [if you eat animal products] will set you up for a day that is filled with energy. When you are nourished you are better able to handle the pressures of your day without resorting to overeating.
The healthiest breakfast is high in fiber and low in fat. Yogurt, for instance, has a healthy serving of vitamin D and calcium. A breakfast bar is a very dense food that would not be approved by the McDougall diet, but it’s better than nothing and it usually fits the high fiber, low fat prescription.
So if you’re one of those who asks, "Why breakfast, why me?" then you might want to consider this breakfast idea: plan ahead and have food available for breakfast that can be grabbed in a hurry. And you don’t need to eat ‘traditional’ foods. I often eat pasta or salad which aren’t considered early morning foods. But why not?