The Breakfast Debate: First Meal of the Day Counts

Breakfast is the meal that breaks the fast from the night before. Some people claim they’re not hungry in the morning, or that they lack time at this hour to eat, yet others never skip this meal. Truth be told, the winner of the breakfast debate is to eat breakfast.

Here’s why….

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because of its many benefits. To be clear, the type of breakfast being referred to is one that is nutritionally complete, not donuts, muffins, bagels or waffles covered in syrup.  Starting the day with protein and complex carbohydrates has been linked to weight control, better performance mentally and physically, longer lasting energy, and better concentration - which is good for everyone, especially children in the classroom.

During sleep, metabolism is slowed down. Breakfast jump starts the metabolism and starts burning calories from the very start of the day. Bypassing breakfast tells the body to switch to survival mode and retain calories because it doesn't know when food will be consumed again. This actually causes weight gain.

When you eat breakfast, hunger is reduced throughout the day. Feeling satiated after breakfast should last until your lunchtime refueling. Those who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than those who don't. Skipping these calories in the morning can lead to overeating later and can also lead to poor food choices because good decisions aren’t always made on an empty, ravenous stomach. A traditional breakfast with eggs has the lean protein to keep one satiated. Eggs have protein, amino acids, and vitamin D which helps with calcium absorption. Bagel eaters are hungry later because bagels provide simple carbs, which are short lived and cause a blood sugar crash later. If you have to have a bagel at least eat it with eggs or another healthy protein choice. When it comes to cereal lovers, be sure to choose whole grain selections versus refined grains. Make the stomach work to digest that fiber so that you stay full longer. Whole grains help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Not everyone is considered a “morning person.” Being cranky when that alarm clock goes off is very common. Most people don't realize that some of this moodiness is because they’re actually hungry. When you wake up you are hungry and dehydrated. It has been possibly 8 hours since the last time you had any water or since food was eaten. The time between dinner and breakfast is the longest period your body goes without food and water; no wonder millions of people are grumpy when they wake up. Become a more approachable person in the morning and have some breakfast. Give your body energy and nutrition to start the day.

Our mom and dad made us have breakfast before school every morning. That was part of the morning routine. Being an adult doesn’t mean skipping out on this ritual. If you have time to stop at the coffee shop for a sugary coffee and pastry, by all means you have time to scramble up some eggs (hey have a hard boiled egg made the day before). Hitting snooze and sleeping for maybe five or ten more minutes just isn’t worth starting the day on a poor note for your health. And if you have kids you can set a good example by showing them you too eat breakfast every day.

Break the fast and break the cycle of poor health. After all, breakfast is the meal of champions.

11/27/2018 8:00:00 AM
Megan Johnson McCullough
Megan is an NASM Master Trainer and Instructor, professional natural bodybuilder, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist, member of Men’s Heath Fitness Council, Wellness Coach, Women’s Health Magazine Action Hero, candidate for her Doctorate, and fitness st...
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