Breakfast literally means, “breaking the fast,” and is a crucial part of any healthy eating plan.
Everyone should be eating breakfast, every day! The morning meal not only improves concentration and fuels exercise, but also helps us maintain a healthy body weight. Research has shown that breakfast will improve attention, mental performance and memory, allowing you to get more out of your day.
If you start the day without food, your body stays in a fasting state, which means your metabolism is running slowly in an effort to conserve energy. This makes losing weight very difficult! Many people think that weight loss is all about restriction (of calories), whereas in many cases, we need to be eating more.
Minimal food in the first half of the day will generally be rebounded with too much food in the second half of the day. The key is to give your body a regular supply of fuel, not letting yourself become overly hungry. Hence, those who regularly eat breakfast, tend to be able to maintain a healthy weight more easily than those who don’t.
A skipped breakfast is an opportunity missed to nourish yourself. You are unlikely to meet all nutritional requirements if you skip a whole meal each day. Breakfast is usually a meal that is high in fibre, which is essential for good digestive health. A bowl of high fibre cereal with skim milk and yoghurt, or 2 slices of wholegrain bread will give you a head start on you daily fibre needs, and keep you full until morning tea or lunch.
In terms of long term effects, experts have linked skipping breakfast to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you aren’t eating breakfast at the moment, take a look at the following list and find something that appeals to you. Start by setting a goal to eat within 1 hour of waking. In time, this will become a new habit and you will wake up hungry, ready for breakfast every day. Don’t be discouraged! These new habits take time to form and the only way to create this new routine is persistence!
Healthy breakfast ideas:
2 boiled/poached/scrambled eggs + 1 slice whole grain toast (optional extras: tomato, mushroom, spinach).
2 slices whole grain toast + ½ a small avocado.
1/3 Cup rolled oats cooked in skim milk + ½ Cup fresh or frozen berries.
1/3 Cup untoasted muesli + 100g low fat Greek yoghurt.
2 Weet Bix + skim milk + ½ a banana.
1/3 Cup Sultana Bran + skim milk + sliced strawberries/frozen berries.
Quick breakfast to go: 1 piece of fruit and 1 small tub low fat yoghurt.