By Raquel Sbrana (Registered Exercise Professional Level 2/Cert IV Fitness/Group Exercise/Boxing & Kickboxing)
So I’m sure most of us have heard the old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, but do many of us know why?
Let me put it simply; we need to break the fast. While we are sleeping for 6 to 8 hours at night, our metabolic rate (how fast we burn calories) lowers. By consuming a healthy breakfast with a fine balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats we help to increase our metabolic rate (burn more calories) and kick our bodies into gear.
TIP: Coffee alone is not a healthy, sufficient breakfast. So next time you go to leave the house after having a coffee for breakfast, know it won’t hold you over until the lunch break and even if you think it does, it isn’t helping your body gain the energy your body needs, or burn the calories it should!
Many studies have shown that weight loss can be more difficult and weight gain more prevalent in individuals who do not have breakfast. Most of us manage to stick to the belief that dinner must be light, but do not supplement that with a healthy and sufficient breakfast the next morning. Since our bodies did not get any morning fuel, it is unable to process our next meal as quickly. Our body also tries to hold onto the afternoon meal as long as possible, instead of burning it right away.
Are you a big snacker? Eating breakfast will help you avoid your snack attacks a lot better. One of the biggest benefits of eating breakfast is that it helps stabilise your hormones and helps prevent potential overeating and binging on those chocolates or cookies.
FAST FACT: “When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight.” Says Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, nutrition manager for the Duke Diet & Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School.
Studies also suggest that a protein rich breakfast can assist with appetite control. It has been found that a higher protein breakfast results in “improved daily satiety and evening appetite control.”
Protein rich breakfast can also assist in increasing insulin sensitivity. This increased sensitivity ensures that more sugar will be used by the muscles and less will be stored as body fat.
FAST FACT: Several studies suggested that more than 95% of overweight individuals, tend to skip breakfast – making it a common habit amongst those who are unable to manage their weight well.
- Two-egg omelette with mushrooms and spinach
- A bowl of special k or wholegrain cereal with skim milk. Add your favourite fruit to it.
- Ham, avocado, tomato and basil on wholemeal toast with a touch of balsamic
Can’t stomach a big meal for breakfast? Try a healthy balanced fruit smoothie.
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 banana, cut into thirds
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon