Why breakfast matters

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’

We have all heard it, read it, seen it written somewhere; if you’re a parent chances are you preach it to your kids;  health professionals advocate it; & fitness magazines write about it ALL THE TIME.

So why it is that 1 in 4 people still skip breakfast during the week? Or worse 1 in 6 adults never even eat breakfast?

I have never quite been able to get my head around it because when I roll out of bed at 5:15am every morning my stomach is growling in desperation for SOMETHING TO EAT; and after an hours workout I’m like an impatient toddler lining up for a slice of birthday cake as I wait for my eggs & bacon to cook.

People skip breakfast for a handful of reasons… lack of time; some claim they ‘can’t stomach food so early’; while other are ‘generally just not hungry’; my personal favorite to limit their daily calorie intake. In my opinion these are all terrible terrible excuses. If you have time to blow dry your hair and make sure your scarf matches your shoes & pants then you have more than enough time to prepare something of nutritional value for breakfast. FYI a triple shot latte does not count as breakfast.

The name says it all for you… BREAK – FAST. Quite literally breakfast is the meal that essentially ‘breaks’ the 7-8 hour fast your body has had while you sleep. So the longer you hold out on getting some fuel into your body the longer you are in the fasted state.
breakfastThose in the know will have heard some chatter lately about ‘intermittent fasting’ where people consume their daily calories in a narrow 4-8 hour window and fast for the remainder of the day. I won’t go into the finer details but basically it’s a conscious decision to skip certain meals and often its breakfast that’s forgone. The purpose? During the fasted state the body doesn’t have a recent meal to draw on for energy so it uses up fat stores for energy. This ‘dieting pattern’ works for a select few BUT I’ll discuss this further in an upcoming blog as it’s not something I would readily advocate.

Why do we need breakfast?

To kick starts your metabolism. You have gone 8-10 hours with no food intake. The brain needs energy to function and allow you to walk, talk and generally get your sh*t together; this comes in the form of glucose, a readily usable energy source that we can get from a hearty breakfast. You skip breakfast the brain has to look for another energy source usually by drawing on carbohydrate & fat stores. Meanwhile while all this goes on you are lacking concentration, feeling irritable and being pretty unproductive at 9am on a Monday morning.

A wholesome breakfast with a good source of lean protein & packed with nutrients will leave you satisfied and less likely to reach for sugary snacks mid-morning when you feel sluggish at work. Those who skip breakfast tend to consume a larger lunch and on a whole probably consume more calories throughout the day. Pretty much it can make or break your weight loss goals.

I’m hoping you have all now been convinced, by my words of wisdom :p, that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. BUT I haven’t yet divulged the most important pieces of information. To actually reap any benefits at breakfast time you need to make sure you make smart food choices. News flash ladies the granola bowl with yoghurt, fresh berries & honey is not the healthiest & most nutritional option on the menu, in fact it’s probably the highest in sugar, contains the least nutrients & trust me you will have your hand in the cookie jar well before morning tea!

Breakfast must include a source of protein… think eggs, bacon, turkey, chicken, steak (if you’re hardcore), smoked salmon. It’s the satiating factor and will blunt your hunger for longer than sugary choices like banana bread & bagels. I personally love the addition of avocado & mushrooms too! Don’t worry coffee can still be the sidekick.

Join the breakfast club & set the stage for the rest of your day. Shake up your wake up.

Happy Monday! 🙂