Breaking For Breakfast

October 4, 2009 No Comments »

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It aids weight loss as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Many people lead busy lives and skip breakfast, a practice that may reduce productivity, encourage bingeing and snacking on unhealthy foods resulting in weight gain that may lead to obesity and its attendant health problems.


Why Breakfast is Essential

The morning meal is called a breakfast from two English words, break and fast. Breakfast is a noun, which means first meal of the day, or a verb which means break or stop the fast or food denial. Adults are recommended to sleep at least seven to eight hours and are currently advised not to eat anything the last three hours before bedtime. For healthy adults the night fast may last more than twelve hours. By eight o’clock the following morning the body needs refueling. The meal to do it is breakfast.

Breakfast also supplies the nutrition needed to fire up the body for the activities of the day. After resting at night the brain will be at its most alert and needs a lot of glucose to send millions of messages to the rest of the body and to think. Morning is the most productive and most creative part of the day for most people, hence the need to supply the body with the energy it requires.

As part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, eating a healthy breakfast helps to shed excess weight and to maintain weight loss.

The brain controls appetite and must be satisfied to suppress it. After an overnight fast, the body must be fed in the morning otherwise one becomes peckish and ends up eating sugar or fat packed snack foods such as biscuits and crisps respectively.

The key to weight loss and maintaining optimum weight is to supply the brain with the food it needs by feeding the body.

A body denied breakfast tends to store more fat, fearful of being starved. On the other hand, the morning meal boosts metabolism.

Wholesome Breakfast Food

Just eating breakfast is not good enough. What is eaten matters as much as with other meals. For instance, sugary refined cereals are not good for weight loss, fitness and health.

The basic ingredient should be unrefined fiber rich carbohydrate such as whole oatmeal porridge or whole meal bread and high protein food such as beans, eggs and low fat versions of other high protein breakfast foods. A fruit such as an apple or a vegetable like grilled tomato will help towards meeting the target of five portions of fruits and vegetables as recommended by nutritionists.

Unrefined carbohydrates release the sugar into the blood stream slowly, keeping the brain and tummy satisfied for hours. Protein rich foods are filling and reduce the need to snack on food junk food.

Portion control at breakfast is essential as is taking time to chew and enjoy the food.


Habits that Create Time for Breakfast in the Morning

Most people can adjust their lifestyles to incorporate a healthy breakfast eaten slowly in an unhurried manner. It might mean sleeping early and having adequate rest at night, which lowers weight of its own accord and enables one to get up early in the morning, refreshed, and with enough time to make and eat breakfast.
Late night favourite television programmes may have to be recorded and watched during daytime or over the weekend so that the sleeping quota is met.

A light, appropriate snack before bed can promote sleep and a restful night that enables one to spring out of bed when the alarm goes, but a big meal or unsuitable snacks and drinks may give sleepless nights. Caffeine and other stimulants at night should be avoided. Milk and honey are known to aid sleep.

Regular exercise also regulates sleep, and has the added benefit of increasing metabolism and promoting weight loss in its own right.

Adequate and quality sleep is essential for good health and is one way of ensuring there is enough morning to make and eat breakfast before rushing off to meet the day’s demands fully refueled.

Breakfast meals are generally simple and easy to prepare but have enormous benefits for productivity, weight loss and health.


Simita Pillai, Importance of Breakfast, Balancing Meals
S. Spyrou, The Benefits of Eating Breakfast, Balancing Meals

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