Two days ago, when I was working with my student at Literacy Partners, I overheard the lecture of another teacher to her class – the importance of having breakfast, and the only words I could hear are metabolism and yogurt.
Then I decided to have a regular breakfast which I normally skip for various reasons – I take my whole grain bread sandwich with tofuti and cardamom tea to office. I slowly sip my tea while I work, but I normally eat my sandwich almost at the time of lunch, usually after 11 a.m.
Yesterday in addition to my sandwich and tea, I brought my homemade yogurt also. I guess something went wrong with my yogurt (it tastes and smells good though), and I immediately got my throat infected. adi vaerae sangathi anukondi
So coming to the main track – I remembered an old German proverb
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper
- Breakfast is important because it affects your metabolism. If you miss breakfast, your body has to use stored energy to perform, taxing your system and telling your body to store more fat in the cells. It tells your body that if we get fed less, we should store more food as fat.
Breakfast provides energy that your body needs to make it through the day.
Here are some of the ways regularly eating a healthy breakfast may help you lose excess weight and maintain your weight loss:
Jumpstart your metabolism from the overnight fast: Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting periods and replenishes your supply of glucose. Glucose is your body’s energy source and is broken down and absorbed from the carbohydrates you eat. In the morning, after you have gone without food for as long as 12 hours, your glucose levels drop. When this happens, your body compensates by releasing the glucose that has been stored in your muscle tissue and liver, called glycogen. Once all the energy from the glycogen stored is used up, the body breaks down fatty acids to produce energy. Without carbohydrates, fatty acids are only partially oxidized, which can cause reduced energy levels.
After 12 hours of sleep your body has been fasting overnight, and in the morning you are almost in the first stages of starvation. Skipping breakfast keeps your body in ‘starvation’ mode, while eating a good meal will give your metabolism a boost. If you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is keep your metabolism at this lowered state. Eating a healthy breakfast will increase your fat burning ability. Breakfast, therefore, can boost your energy levels as well as your metabolism for the day.
Eating breakfast reduces your hunger later in the day, making it easier to avoid overeating. When you skip breakfast, you may feel ravenous later and be tempted to reach for a quick fix, such as candy from the vending machine. In addition, prolonged fasting — which occurs when you skip breakfast — can increase your body’s insulin response, which in turn increases fat storage and weight gain. In fact, skipping breakfast actually increases your risk of obesity.
Eating breakfast gives you energy, increasing your physical activity during the day. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and replenishes the glycogen stores that supply blood sugar (glucose). Skipping breakfast is associated with decreased physical activity.
Eating a Healthy Breakfast
What constitutes a good breakfast? High-fiber cereals and fresh fruits are healthy choices that require little preparation. Other options include:
- Yogurt, granola, and low-fat granola bars for on-the-go choices
- English muffins with low-fat cheese and tomato slices
- Fresh pineapple chunks, low-fat cottage cheese, and a slice of whole-wheat toast
- Oatmeal, grits, or another hot cereal topped with cheese
If you don’t like traditional breakfast foods, the American Dietetic Association suggests options like a
- peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread
- leftover rice mixed with yogurt, dried fruit, and nuts, sprinkled with cinnamon.
While some choices are more nutritional than others, that even a handful of saltine crackers or a glass of juice is better than beginning your day with nothing in your stomach:
“Yes, you could have something healthier, but jump-starting your metabolism will help your body burn calories throughout the day, and burning calories is essential to weight loss.”
While any breakfast may be better than no breakfast, there are some foods you might want to avoid because they’re high in sugars, sodium, saturated fats and calories. Cut back on sugary cereals (over 5.0 grams per serving), high-calorie pastries, and meats like bacon and sausage those are high in saturated fat and sodium.
Breakfast should include protein and plenty of fiber; the combination will help satisfy your hunger and will keep you feeling full until lunch time. The protein can come from low-fat meat, eggs, nuts or dairy products. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Unfortunately, many of my close acquaintances including me are skipping breakfast. If you’re one of them — whether you’re trying to save time or cut calories — you may want to reconsider, especially if you’re trying to control your weight …