I bet if I say ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, you’ll have heard that? I know that in our house, most days, I want to eat breakfast straight away (and I’m awful if I try to train without breakfast), but my husband can’t face anything for about 60-90 minutes after he gets up. Sometimes, one of the children doesn’t really want to eat straight away but has to because they have no opportunity to eat until about 11am at school, which is too late. So, is breakfast really that important?
There’s a another saying that ‘skipping breakfast slows down your metabolism’, and therefore causes you to put on weight. But does the science really support this?
Some clinical trials have actually shown that intermittent fasting gives the body a well-needed break and reduce dangerous levels of fat around our organs. Traditionally, this approach recommends fasting two days a week (the famous “5:2 diet”) but other research has shown that a daily 12-hour fast between dinner and lunch can have the same effect. This is perfect if you don’t really fancy breakfast!
If you’re ravenous the second you wake up, it probably won’t do you any good to sit with a rumbling tum until lunchtime. Listening to your body (and its hankering for avocado toast, my current fave) is the key to good health. Why breakfast can still be the most important meal.
While eating breakfast may not “speed up” your metabolism, that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to your morning meal. Your morning routine sets the tone for the day – and if you have a nutritious, protein & veg-based breakfast, you’ll be more inclined to eat more healthily the whole day through. If you can get a serving or 2 of vegetables into your breakfast, you will have far less trouble staying on track for the rest of the day. And if nothing else, it will get you away from eating cereal!
Top breakfast tips!
- Get your vegetables in. Contrary to popular belief in modern Britain, breakfast can be as green as your dinner. And, while most people don’t have the stomach for a salad first thing in the morning, you sneak those greens into a shake/smoothie. As I may have mentioned once or twice, my current fave is mashed avocado on toast with cherry toms & an egg. Or tomatoes, mushies & spinach with eggs or bacon.
- Choose cereals wisely. Whole grains aren’t all bad, but do have a look at the label to see how much sugar per 100g there is. Porridge oats, Weetabix, or Shredded Wheat are better alternatives.
- Power up on protein. Yep, this your excuse to have some good-quality bacon, eggs, and/or sausages. Protein is the most satiating macro-nutrient, so it will keep you going… and going…
- Eat healthy fats – see the post from last night. Fats are the most satisfying foods around, so you won’t be compelled to duck out of the office for a mini-break muffin (hence the avocado love!).
- Stay away from sugar – as much as you can, but especially at breakfast time. Sugar is a massive part of the UK’s morning routine. Before you grab that bowl of crunchy nut corn flakes, toast & jam or croissant, think about
what tone you’re setting for the rest of the day.