For years, I used to advocate the importance of breakfast to everyone, when I myself was ironically skipping breakfast almost every single day. I am one of those people who loves their sleep and I gave my sleep priority over having breakfast. Every minute of extra sleep was just too precious to let go.
So what happens when you don’t eat breakfast?
The word “break-fast” literally means breaking fast. The time before your breakfast is typically the longest break you have between two meals, while you are in sweet slumber. If you have a car, have you noticed how it performs is when you are running on the last few drops of fuel? The moment you fuel the car, you can feel how much more smoother and efficiently it rides. In us humans, skipping breakfast means you are running your body on low fuel. Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of your day to kick start your for better physical and mental functioning.
Earlier, I would reach for unhealthy biscuits with my morning tea at work. Now that my daughter has started school, I have no choice but to wake up early. So I have no excuses to skip breakfast. While I ensure she wakes up on a positive note and is fed nutritious breakfast, I am doing the same for myself.
Benefits of eating breakfast regularly
I can tell you what having regular healthy breakfast did for me.
1. More energy
I felt more energetic and could concentrate better throughout the day. Post lunch without breakfast can really hit your energy levels- bad!
2. No more hunger pangs
I wasn’t thinking about food the whole day anymore; perhaps because I started off my day with a full stomach, it set the tone for the rest of the day. Prior to this I was struggling with feeling hungry all the time and it lead to the obvious overeating.
3. Reduce bloating
I immediately felt less bloated, something I was struggling with during my pre-breakfast days- yaayy.
3. Increases metabolism
It helped give my metabolism a boost right from the start of your day.
Why does metabolism matter in weight management?
If you’ve recently started watching what you eat or if you are already health conscious, you may have heard about metabolism. Why should you care if your metabolism is high or low? How does a high metabolism rate help you? To start off with, the metabolism rate is the ability of your body to burn up calories. Think of metabolism as a car’s ability to burn gas. Like cars, different people have different metabolism rates. There are those lucky people whose metabolism burns through a meal or a snack within an hour. Other people take hours to burn through calories.
However, while you want a car with a slower metabolism rate, given the ever increasing gas price, you want your body to instead burn up the calories as fast as it can. Burning calories quickly and efficiently means you don’t develop a bulge because your body is stashing extra calories and fat it cannot burn up around your waist or it's favorite fat storage spots.
Luckily, you don’t have to starve yourself to keep the bulge at bay. Numerous studies show how easy it is to trick your body into burning more calories than your genes allow. The good news is, it doesn’t involve spending countless hours at the gym working your training pants off.
If you don't eat the right breakfast(or no breakfast at all), it can leave you prone to getting sick easily, leaving you more vulnerable to infections and diseases. Skipping breakfast is an absolute no-no for anyone, let alone if you want to loose weight.
If you consume foods high in omega-3 at breakfast, you reduce your body’s resistance to leptin hormones linked to how fast your body burns fat. The more leptin you have in your body, the lower your metabolism rate. That translates to your body storing excessive fat anywhere it can. In your arms and belly for instance or in some people hips and thighs.
Here are a few breakfast foods rich in omega 3 that can start your day off on a healthy beat:
I am a vegetarian but for those of you who do eat non-vegetarian food, the biggest source of omega 3 is fish. Fish is not a traditional breakfast food, but luckily for you eggs fortified with omega 3 are an excellent substitute. Take an egg or two in the morning and you’ll have your body’s engine burning through fat all day long. What’s more, eggs are a great source of protein, vitamin B and amino acids.
If you are looking for morning food full of carbs, then oats are your best bet. They have little else, but they keep you full for a long time. They are also full of fiber which regulates your blood sugar. This is important because the fiber keeps your body from making insulin. Insulin lowers your metabolism rate astronomically. You can try oat porridge or oat cereals with milk(whether dairy or non-dairy depending on your preference).
Another non-vegetarian option here. Don't toss out the sausages and bacon- they can actually be good for you. Some lean protein at breakfast such as sausages are a great way to start the day. You can indulge your taste buds with healthy servings of sausages without fearing a telling bulge after a week or two. Lean meat boosts your metabolism, helping burn extra calories.
Here are some other some suggestions for breakfast to raise metabolism:
4. Whole grains
While Gluten based food are being criticized for being a major non-diagnosed food intolerance/allergy (which is something you should look into if you feel bloated and have unexplained rashes), you can look into whole grain options other than wheat and oats, that are a great source of complex carbs and protein to help you start off your day on the right note.
What I love these days is some low fat or Greek Yogurt with whole grain Muesli and fresh berries like strawberry and blueberries.
Fruits are one of your best options due to its high vitamin and fiber content. I once had a colleague who used to have a fruit smoothie and gym every morning and nobody could in their wildest dreams guess that he was over 50 years old. He looked like he was in late thirties at the most. You can mix fruit smoothies up with green leafy vegetables like Kale and Spinach to up the nutrition value all the more.
So don't skip your breakfast and try out these healthy options whether you are trying to loose weight or boost your immunity or simply looking for a good energetic start to your day.