I'm sure all of us can remember hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day throughout our whole lives, and it is absolutely true. Breakfast provides the brain and body with fuel after a long overnight fast, which is where the word originates (break-fast). Your first meal should be eaten within the first two hours of you waking up in order to provide the best benefits. Due to the higher energy levels, eating breakfast improves concentration and productivity which means you are more prepared to tackle the day ahead. It also helps your blood sugar levels remain stable, so you won't be fainting at our desk!
Breakfast is extremely important when it comes to weight loss and maintenance. Many people may be under the false impression that skipping breakfast will hep them lose weight, however this is far from the case. Eating first thing kick starts your metabolism which helps you burn calories throughout the day. It is also likely to reduce the chance of cravings and overeating later on in the day due to feeling fuller which means you will consume less calories. Skipping the most important meal of the day leaves you with less strength and endurance to engage in physical activity.
Other negative effects of skipping breakfast include:
- Worse moods
- Poorer memory
- Higher risk of serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes
- More likely to become overweight
So, what should you eat for breakfast? Just because actually eating breakfast brings us benefits, it doesn't mean you should just have a doughnut or a cup of coffee in the morning and be set for the day. Your breakfast should be nutritional as it is a great opportunity to provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
The core of a healthy breakfast:
- Whole grains (cereals, whole wheat bagels)
- Low-fat proteins (peanut butter, lean meat, hard boiled eggs)
- Low-fat dairy (skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurt, low-fat cheese)
- Fruit and veg (smoothies, fresh or frozen fruit)
Many people blame not having enough time in the morning when they often skip breakfast, but there are many quick and easy meals that give you that boost you need. Even if you still don't have time in the morning, grab a piece of fruit on your way out or prepare a whole wheat bagel with cheese for on the go. Breakfast is one of the simplest meals of the day, so there is no reason you should be skipping it!