Does a healthy breakfast really make a difference?
“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper.” Know this saying? Yes. Live by it? Probably not.
Do you remember as a child your mother saying: ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.’ It’s not an old wives tale; having a good breakfast plays a vital role in leading a healthy life.
When you eat the right foods at breakfast, it sets you up for the day by kick-starting your metabolism, providing a steady stream of energy to keep you going in the morning, plus it can help to manage your appetite – great news if you’re on a diet plan.
Breakfast and metabolism
Metabolism is the physical and chemical processes that create and use energy in the body. The breakdown of the food we eat and its transformation to energy is a function of metabolism. While you sleep the body’s metabolism slows, as its food supply is deprived and its energy requirements is only for essential bodily functions. So you can imagine, if you don’t eat breakfast, your metabolism stays as this slower rate and doesn’t get that kick-start it needs for the day and to give you more energy.
Breakfast and energy levels
If you try to start the day, without fuelling your body with the right food, you’ll likely to end up crashing mid-morning and reaching for ‘quick fix’ snacks to keep your energy levels topped up. These unhealthy snacks are often high in sugar, high in fat and lack adequate protein. They cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then dramatically drop, meaning your appetite won’t be satisfied for longer than about an hour. You can maintain a steady stream of energy by eating a healthy balanced breakfast, particularly one that provides a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates.
Breakfast to lose weight
Think you lose weight faster by skipping breakfast? Think again. It actually slows your weight loss efforts because it slows your metabolism, a driving force behind your weight loss. But be sure to eat a healthy breakfast – one that’s balanced in key macronutrients such as complex carbohydrates and protein. Including adequate protein for breakfast is especially important as it helps you feel fuller for longer so you’re less likely to crave unhealthy snacks mid-morning.
Need some healthy breakfast ideas?
Eat foods such as wholegrain muesli with nuts, fresh fruit and low fat yoghurt; wholegrain toast topped with eggs and sliced tomato; or oats with skim milk, nuts, seeds and fruit. Watch out for breakfast cereals that are high in sugar, fat and salt.