The Importance of Breakfast

 

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You’ve heard the saying – breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Well, it’s true! Here are just a few of the most important reasons why you should include this meal in your daily routine!

  1. First and foremost reason is…your body needs the fuel!!! Would you normally go without eating for 12 hours straight?! No – that’s just crazy talk! So why would you expect your body to function correctly from dinner time through lunch time the following day? As I said, your body needs fuel, which comes in the form of food. Eating a nutritious breakfast will not only fuel your body so it came function properly, but it will also keep you active!
  2. I know it may seem crazy, but by eating breakfast, you can help to prevent diseases! Did you know that over 29 million Americans have diabetes and that 90% of them are suffering from Type 2? Type 2 diabetes is caused by excess body weight and reduced physical activity. Unfortunately, studies have shown that having an irregular breakfast routine is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in women! Yikes – where do I sign up to eat breakfast??
  3. It helps you slim down. By activating your body earlier in the day, it jump starts your metabolism. This in turns helps you to start burning calories. By skipping breakfast or not having enough calories, your body could actually go into starvation mood. When it does this, it views every incoming food as a potential to save up in stores for future use. This means your body is now storing calories instead of brining them! In a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that people who skipped out on breakfast are more likely to be overweight! Here are some more facts: Researchers from the University of Missouri found that eating a high-protein breakfast meant participants felt fuller throughout the day and ate a smaller dinner and fewer snacks. Eating a low-protein breakfast or no breakfast made subjects more likely to graze on unhealthy snacks during the day. An Israeli study found that women who ate half their daily calories at breakfast lost an average of 19 pounds in 3 months!
  4. It helps to improve your memory. Who doesn’t need a bit of that?! Going back to my earlier point, our bodies need fuel in order to operate. If all hit provide it is a cup of coffee, how can we expect our body and brain to perform at their best? Evidence collected from a review of 22 studies on breakfast and cognitive function suggests that eating breakfast may improve memory, test grades and school attendance in children and adolescents.
  5. Eating breakfast helps to curb cravings. We all know that if we skip a meal, we’re more ravenous and – dare u say it – hangry by the time the next meal rolls around. According to a recent study, skipping breakfast makes high calorie food seem more appealing later in the day. Instead of having a sensible, nutritious breakfast, we wind up scarfing down empty carbs and sugars to help keep our body’s from crashing! Sadly, these don’t keep us full and sometimes we wind up reaching for an unhealthy item or – even worse – becoming HANGRY!!
  6. It helps us get our nutrition started off right. We all know we need a certain amount of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other nutrients for our bodies to function. If we need to gain all that from just two meals a day plus random snacks, we’re going to have some trouble.Instead, we can start the day on the right path by eating a breakfast that’s well-balanced. This looks like a mix of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Starting our day off on the nutritional right foot also sets us up to continue to make good choices throughout the day. According to MayoClinic.com, people who eat breakfast tend to eat more fruits and vegetables overall throughout the day. I’d say that’s a win-win!

Now, I know it may be difficult to start up this routine, especially if you’re not used to eating breakfast. I used to have a hard time eating in the morning. I remember in high school that I would would have to be up at least 30 minutes before I was even remotely hungry (oh, where have those days gone)! My typical routine was get up, watch MTV for 15-20 minutes while I got dressed, and then pour myself some Grapenuts or Raisin Bran. Yes – I remember my cereals – I was obsessed with Grapenuts mixed with raisins or honey!

So to those of you out there who are thinking, “I’m just not that hungry when I wake up” – I hear you! I used to be one of you! So how did I get over this? Well, it took a lot of practice. As I mentioned earlier, I fainted in college during bio lab because I skipped breakfast. I didn’t have time and like most college kids, was running late to class. My sugar dipped and I fell from the chair onto the floor. That was probably one of the last times I skipped breakfast. I began eating granola bars or 1 Pop-tart, just to get something in my system. Sometimes I would just eat Cheerios, but at least it was something you. Nowadays, I eat a teaspoon of peanut butter when I first wake up. I wait 30 minutes, then workout or run. This is light enough not to upset my stomach, but enough to keep my body fueled during exercise. I would highly recommend you start with something like this because it has a lot of protein and will fill you up for a bit while fueling your body.

In addition to fueling your body, research suggests that people who eat breakfast every day are the most successful at losing weight. You should start your morning with a healthy breakfast using these 3 food groups: whole grains, lean protein (helps keep you full until lunch), and a fruit or vegetable for fiber.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s take a bite of something and kickstart that metabolism!!

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