Keywords: breakfast, skip breakfast, lose weight, weight gain
Google the term “skip breakfast” and you get nearly 50,000,000 results. Most of the information is about the importance of eating breakfast to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Since you are without food for several hours during the night you do need plenty of energy to get going, when you get up in the morning. And only breakfast can provide you with the energy in the morning. It is not for nothing that it is called ‘breakfast’. Simply put, it means eating in the morning after a break of almost 10-12 hours.
Breakfast is a very important meal of the day. If you are of those who skip breakfast, now’s the time to change that habit. Here’s why:
1. Breakfast improves your metabolism and gives you an energy boost.
Since your blood sugar level drops in the morning you need food that can provide you energy to get through the morning. Your body needs fuel to keep it running and the night is the longest gap in the refueling process. To ensure your metabolism keeps you going you must eat something within a couple hours of waking up.
Eating something in the morning increases metabolism and also provides energy for exercise later in the day, required to help you manage your weight. If you have not eaten for 12 hours, you would not have enough carbs remaining in your body’s stored supplies for your normal get-up-an-go drive. This is particularly relevant if you exercise in the morning. Doing so will burn off any leftover energy reserves. Without a breakfast to replace those carbohydrates, you would become lethargic, and your metabolism may fall so you expend fewer calories than you normally would.
2. Breakfast helps you be on track if you intend to lose weight.
Those who eat breakfast tend to maintain and lose weight. People who skip breakfast hoping to lose weight tend to eat more during lunch or even choose unhealthier options which results in weight gain. Your body has to be refuelled a few times every day. When you skip breakfast you may feel very hungry by lunch time that makes you eat more foods than you normally would, which nullifies the calories you cut by not having breakfast. You may also be tempted to opt for foods that are not the healthiest choices when you feel like you’re starving.
People who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Breakfast keeps your metabolism running higher because skipping meals causes the body to get into ‘starvation’ mode. But it really isn’t what happens — it takes three or four days of eating fasting before the body starts decelerating your metabolism. People who eat breakfast regularly are likely to make good dietary choices the rest of the day.
3. Breakfast helps to maintain insulin response.
When you skip breakfast it leads to a hyper insulin response when calories are consumed later on. This means the level of insulin in blood is more than the blood glucose level. It can lead to metabolic disorder resulting in fat accumulation.
100 calories per day of sugar is what is recommended for women and men should not cross 150 calories per day to keep diabetes and heart disease at bay.
4. Breakfast makes you feel fuller longer.
When you do skip breakfast do you find yourself dying for a snack by 11 a.m.? You probably go hanker for higher-calorie foods when mid-morning hunger strikes because they’re either readily available in the office cafeteria or at nearby fast food restaurants. Eating a filling breakfast can satiate your appetite for several hours, making it easier to pass on the high-calorie.
If you find it difficult to eat breakfast first thing in the morning, you can opt for two smaller meals. Have a hard boiled egg or a cup of yogurt before you leave home, then about an hour or two later, have an apple and a handful of healthy nuts like pecans or walnuts.
5. Breakfast helps perform better at work.
When you are hungry you become irritable and disinterested at school or work and this reflects on the quality of your work and productivity. Breakfast energizes you and makes you attentive.
Some breakfast foods can increase your productivity and give you more energy. A morning cup of coffee can give you a boost, but so do foods that are rich source of vitamin B, such as avocados, bananas (also rich in potassium), oatmeal and pineapple. Have a good source of vitamin B in the morning as it can improve your ability to concentrate and help you think more clearly.
6. Breakfast helps burns calories early.
It is possible to burn calories by having breakfast early? Instead of going hungry till lunch and then wolfing down something loaded with calories with fewer hours left in the day to burn it consider refueling yourself early and getting enough time to burn those calories.
Spreading your calories over three meals a day or eating the same amount for just lunch and dinner does make a difference in terms of your waistline. Research has have shown that those who eat several small meals a day consume more calories during the day than those who eat just one or two large meals.
7. Breakfast helps in setting a good example.
If you have kids, you would certainly want to set a good example for them. When you have breakfast on time you will show the importance of the meal by example.
8. Breakfast delivers essential nutrients first thing in the morning.
There are certain foods which we normally consume only as a part of breakfast like cereals, fruits and milk. If you skip breakfast you may not get these nutrients.
A healthy breakfast provides a quarter of the nutrients and total energy required by the body. The first major meal of the day should be a nutritious excellent combination of carbohydrates, fibre and protein. Make sure you include berries, fruits, good fats and whole grains. Have plain dosas with green chutney, idlis with sambhar, milk with cornflakes / wheatflakes, vegetable poha / upma with a milkshake and sprouts. Include fruits like apples, muskmelons, oranges, papayas or watermelons that are high fibre.
There are some foods you should avoid because they are high in added sugars, calories, sodium and saturated fats. Cut down on sugary breakfast cereals (over 5.0 grams per serving) and high-calorie pastries. Bacon and sausage too should be avoided as these are high in saturated fat and sodium.
Deep fried, left over or junk food, processed or oily food, preserved meat and having only juices are a no-no. Avoid refined foods like white bread and white rice. Instead opt for cereals and whole wheat bread. Deep fried candy bars, cookies, doughnuts, pakodas, potato chips, puris, samosas and sodas are foods that you should stay away from. Food items like bhajias, French fries, pizzas, vada pav and wafers are high in calories, fat and salt and have very little fibre – keep them at an arm’s length.
9. Breakfast prevents diabetes.
Men who skip breakfast are more likely to develop diabetes. Research has found a link between skipped meals and an increased chance of contracting diet-related disease type 2 diabetes. According to the study, men who got to work on an empty stomach are 20% more likely to develop diabetes, than those who have breakfast. Men, however, need to consider not only ‘when’ but also ‘what’ they eat.
10. Skipping breakfast can make you grumpy:
Have you skipped breakfast and found yourself in a grumpy mood? You may not have realized it but not having breakfast can put you in a bad mood.
Skipping breakfast may put you on the fast track to diabetes, heart disease, hormonal stress, irritability or mood swings, low energy levels, low memory, menstrual irregularity, osteoporosis and weight gain. People who skip breakfast develop higher levels of LDL (‘lousy) cholesterol levels and are less susceptible to insulin than people who eat breakfast every day.
Missing breakfast makes you feel tired early on in the day with low concentration levels, affecting your efficiency. Skipping breakfast also reduces metabolic rate making it difficult to lose weight. Skipping breakfast is also more likely to make you heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast. If you are looking forward to losing weight, have a wholesome breakfast to get a healthy start to the day.
Stay full, stay healthy!