As cliche as it may sounds, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day; it is the one that jump starts your metabolism and sets the tone for your health and meals for the next sixteen hours. A large majority of Americans do not even eat this meal, much less a healthy one.
These individuals are setting themselves up for possible weight gain, slowing of the metabolism, and a lack of the proper energy that is needed throughout the day. Studies have shown that children who eat a balanced breakfast actually perform better in school than those who do not.
This can transfer over into the adult lifestyle, where energy is needed to perform well, focus, and stay on task. In other words, it is really never a good idea to skip this meal, but it is worse if you make it a habit or do it for an extended span of time.
Avoiding nutrition in the morning makes you more likely to lose “fuel” and energy earlier in the day, thus making it difficult to concentrate and get all that you need to done. You are also more likely to supplement the lack of food for other foods and snacks that are not beneficial to your body, like caffeine-filled coffee or sugary candy bars that can give you a short burst of energy.
You may also notice that at lunch time you get crabby and take in far more calories than you should or expected to, because you have starved yourself throughout the morning. It is a common misconception among those who wish to lose weight that skipping meals will help them achieve this goal.
However, this actually has the negative effect, and can increase the likelihood of weight gain in those who specifically choose to avoid eating at certain times of the day. The body expected to be refueled throughout the day with nutritious foods; this starts with a healthy breakfast.
What exactly constitutes a healthy breakfast? Most first meals should include a mixture of protein and fiber. The protein aspect can be achieved by ingesting meat, eggs, or dairy products.
Fiber is usually found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; mixing these two aspects together should help one to gather the correct amount of nutrients necessary to fuel their body and help them to remain feeling full until their mid-morning snack or lunch, when it is appropriate to eat again. One example of a “healthy breakfast” according to this model is a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk or a cooked egg and a glass of orange juice.
There is a plethora of other foods available that do not necessarily get the body started right for the day, especially those that are sugary, fatty, or require a lot of syrup as a topping. These are traditional first meal foods, but just because they are popular, it does not mean that they are the best option.
Not only will these options add unnecessary calories and possibly fat, they will leave you unsatisfied after a couple of hours when the energy from the sugary substances wears off. Protein and fibers will help satiate your appetite and prevent you from even thinking about eating again until your lunch is served.
Sometimes, eating this meal can be difficult; when you have to wake up early and have no time to sit down and cook food, you may just avoid it altogether. If you have this problem, or you simply do not get hungry early in the mornings as some others do, divide the meal up into two snacks.
Have something fairly soon after you wake up, like a hard-boiled egg, glass of low-fat chocolate milk, or a piece of fruit. Then, after a couple of hours supplement it with a small bowl of oatmeal, a few pieces of toast, or some fruit juice that is low in sugars.
There are definitely ways that you can make this meal fit into your schedule and satisfy you. When you are shopping for snacks and nutritional items at the grocery store, make sure to stock up on things that are very high in fiber and protein.
The more you pay attention to what you eat and integrate breakfast into your life, the more energetic you should feel at work, school, and during workouts. Losing weight and becoming healthier becomes much easier if you jump start your metabolism at the beginning of each day!
Jack R. Landry has been writing about the exercise and health industry for years. He recommends using exercise bikes to stay healthy and fit.
Jack R. Landry