The resounding answer to the question, “Do I really need to eat breakfast?” is “YES!” and this is not just from me but also from medical professionals and nutritionists around the world.
Breakfast is after all, the most important meal of the day. Breakfast can make or break a diet, because breakfast helps set the tone for the rest of the day. If you’re one of those people who thinks skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight, think again. Here are the top reasons why you should definitely eat breakfast every day:
1. Break the Fast
The word “breakfast” literally means breaking the fast. Your body responds to not eating for hours and hours by “slowing down”; diminishing its metabolic rate and burning fewer calories to conserve energy. By eating breakfast, you wake up your metabolism and get your engine humming, burning those calories you need to burn to lose weight. In other words, breakfast literally kick starts your metabolism, muscles, and mind after an 8 or more hour period of food deprivation while sleeping at night.
2. Eat more, weigh less.
Researchers have repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast have a better chance of losing weight, and keeping it off. When you skip meals, you’re so hungry by lunchtime you end up eating twice your regular lunch size! The National Weight Control Registry shows that among those who’ve lost 30 or more pounds and have kept it off more than a year, 90 percent report eating breakfast most days of the week.
3. Do better at work and school.
Breakfast helps wake you up. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more alert and do better on tests than people who skip breakfast. Eating breakfast helps “improve memory and positively affects the tasks that require the retention of new information. Conversely, a hungry child can be apathetic, disinterested, and irritable when confronted with difficult tasks. Breakfast is the key.” No doubt adults need breakfast as much as kids do.
4. Skipping breakfast makes you grouchy.
Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to be in better moods. Breakfast gets you started on the right track for the day. If you start out with a healthy breakfast, then you set the mood for lunch. You’re more likely to choose something reasonable for lunch if you’ve paid some attention to your breakfast choices.
5. Watch out the labels. “Nutritious,” doesn’t necessarily always mean healhy. Cereal manufacturers are experts in marketing, using words that send a message of health. Unless you read the labels, you eat at your own risk. Kids’ cereals can have more sugar than candy. Protect your kids from getting hooked on these cereals; they’ll get used to all the sugar, and will want only pre-sweetened cereals.
Buy cereals that have minimal sugar such as regular Cheerios, not honey nut or other sweetened versions; corn flakes, not frosted flakes; shredded wheat minis, not frosted and sugared; and look into some of the newer, healthier cereals like Kashi (the unsweetened kind).
What you SHOULD be eating (and enjoying, too):
- Eat cereals that are low in sugar. Cereal with milk is a great breakfast. It really is a good all-around meal. Remember – low or no sugar is what you want.
- Eat eggs, they are good for breakfast. Eat eggs, but eat them in moderation, of course.
- Try a new egg sandwich. You can put cheese or ham on yours. Use your imagination, these are really fun to make. Be creative.
- Eat pancakes. Yes, they are great from time to time. Try to get yourself one of those griddles that you don’t need to add fat too. That way you’ll be able to eat these pancakes more often. To cut down on calories (and that’s what you want), instead of using butter and syrup, put fresh fruit on yours.
- Eat old-fashioned toast. Toast is still a great thing to eat. Just make sure you don’t load it up with too much butter or similar things.
- Eat oatmeal. Add some milk if you want and a bit of sugar and you have a breakfast that will stick to your ribs!
- Drink juice when you have breakfast! Trust me, you don’t need coffee in the morning; you can get morning energy by just drinking juice. And you don’t have to worry about getting the shakes if you drink too much of this juice.
- Fruit salads can be great for breakfast. Just throw your favorite fruits together and call it a meal!