Updated: Mar 21
The fact that doctors and dieticians often emphasise the importance of breakfast should tell you that it's not a myth! Here’s why...
Even though there are endless research studies and facts about the importance of breakfast, you’ll even find that the word breakfast itself, implies that this meal is crucial. If you break the word into two parts, you’ll find two words with an important message: Break-Fast. Still don’t get it?
Well, breakfast is the meal that breaks the fast that your body goes into every night when you sleep. If you decide to skip breakfast, your body will continue to fast until you eat later in the day.
Skipping breakfast = gaining weight
Studies show that people who skip breakfast tend to eat more high-calorie foods and they run the increased risk of gaining weight. A group of researchers used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain activity to see what happens in the brains of people who skip breakfast. Within the brains of these people, the ‘reward’ centres were activated more by the sight of high-calorie foods than low-calorie foods. The results of the research support the advice for eating a healthy breakfast as part of the dietary prevention and treatment of obesity.
Have you ever considered dieting by skipping meals? Think again!
Breakfast is crucial for brain functioning
Another important reason to eat breakfast is to help your brain to function at its best. Your brain needs fuel in the form of glucose which comes from the food that you eat. This helps you to work, talk and perform all other important activities. Studies show that eating breakfast helps to improve concentration, increases the ability to solve problems and boosts your mood.
No, metabolism, I am not hungry
Eating breakfast will prevent your metabolism from going into the hunger-mode. Several hours after you have eaten, your metabolism shuts down and acts as if it needs to store food. It stores food for emergencies like if a famine were to break out leaving you without food for days. So if you have eaten your bowl of cereal, your brain will tell your body that you are healthy and well fed and not in need of extra fat storage.
Coffee is NOT enough
If time only allows you to only have a cup of coffee every morning, you must simply make time for breakfast. Research shows that if you’re only drinking coffee for breakfast, you’re depriving the essential nutrients from your body.
Even though you may feel satisfied and energetic after having a cup of coffee for breakfast, this energy is only temporary. You will eventually feel tired and exhausted.
What’s on the menu?
Now that you’re informed about the importance of breakfast, you may find it difficult to decide what’s going to be on the menu each morning. Some people say that having any breakfast is better than having no breakfast. This is not entirely true as your body needs essential nutrients which are not found in all foods.
If you like traditional breakfasts, consider the following ideas: eggs, French toast and bacon (although be sure to use wholewheat bread and lean bacon!). If you have limited time on your hands, rather have cereal and milk.
If you really aren’t in the mood for breakfast during the mornings, try having an English muffin with cheese; see it as a morning snack rather than breakfast. Don’t forget about yoghurt and fruit; not only are they very healthy and delicious, but preparing them won’t take you longer than 5 - 10 minutes.
You don’t only have to eat the usual
Feel free to experiment with different ideas. If you’re tired of bacon and eggs and you crave something completely new, then try having a smoothie.
At least you know that it’s healthy and doesn’t only contain a few coffee beans, boiling water and milk.