Chances are you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you’re rushing around in the morning, trying to get ready for work and get the kids off to school, though, sitting down to a balanced breakfast can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. There are five good reasons, however, to eat a morning meal as part of your overall healthy lifestyle.
When you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, it can be tempting to skip meals in an attempt to save calories. Skipping breakfast can actually backfire on you, and cause you to gain weight. When you don’t eat a meal in the morning after going several hours without eating overnight, you may starving by mid-morning, and eat whatever is on hand, such as the sugary doughnuts in the break room. Even if you make it to lunch without caving to an unhealthy snack, you may be so hungry that you make poor food choices and eat more calories for lunch than you normally would. Not only can these extra calories can derail your weight loss efforts, but going without food increases the production of insulin in your body, which can cause your body to store more fat.
If you skip breakfast, it’s possible that you could be going up to 12 hours or longer without any food. By this point, your muscles need more glycogen, for energy. The longer you go without eating, the more glycogen your muscles use, and the less energy you have. Skipping breakfast is a common factor among those who have sedentary lifestyles, according to MayoClinic.com. To keep your energy level high, eat a healthy breakfast each day.
When you’re hungry, not only do you feel the physical effects, such as stomach discomfort, headaches or weakness, but it can have mental effects as well. Hunger affects your mood, concentration and alertness, which can be a detriment when you’re trying to tackle your to-do list. Eating a healthy breakfast that mixes whole grains, low-fat protein and dairy and fruits and vegetables helps improve your concentration and focus, allows you to stay productive through lunch.
Depending on age and gender, your body needs a minimum amount of nutritional elements, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, calories and fat, to keep organs functioning properly. Eating breakfast gives you a jump-start on meeting your nutritional requirements for the day, and also gets you on the path to making more healthy choices. People who eat breakfast tend to eat more fruits and vegetables overall throughout the day, according to MayoClinic.com.
Sets an Example
Kids and adolescents especially need a healthy breakfast, according to the American Dietetic Association, and if you eat breakfast, it sets a good example for your kids. Zipping through the drive-thru for a coffee and doughnut on the way to school does not set the right example, though. Sit down with the kids and have a bowl of cereal or a waffle too, and model healthy behaviors. Your kids will not only get on the path to a healthy lifestyle, but also have better concentration, coordination and problem-solving skills when they are at school, according to the American Dietetic Association.