Common breakfast statements:
“I just can’t eat anything in the mornings!
“Breakfast makes me feel sick”
“I don’t have time”
“I’m trying to lose weight so am skipping breakfast”
“There’s no way I’m giving up my corn flakes”
“Can I just have a protein shake”
The most important meal of each day is your breakfast, as it sets you up for the day and can give your metabolism a significant boost if you can get the right nutrition from your breakfast.
Breakfast is also important to provide your body with the nutrients it has been craving following the prolonged fast you have just undergone whilst sleeping. Now during the day, you would not likely allow a significantly prolonged period of time without eating because we would end up being very tired and hungry for much of the day until your next meal.
To ensure such effects do not occur it is crucial to eat regularly, meaning that breakfast is even more important.
As a result of the high importance of breakfast, I thought I would add my top 5 reasons why breakfast is so important and beneficial:
You’ll Be Much Leaner
There is a lot of evidence out there suggesting that those who do not regularly eat breakfast are more likely to have a higher body mass index and are more likely to be obese than those who regularly eat breakfast( Ortega et al, 1998, Cho et al, 2003). Additionally, those who omit breakfast from their daily diet end up eating more calories overall during the day compared to those who eat breakfast.
This also leads to the breakfast skippers to generally overeat later in the day and thus more likely to gain more weight compared to those who do eat breakfast regularly.
Lower Risk of Diabetes & Insulin Resistance
As a result of skipping out breakfast, the body begins to become more resistant to insulin. Insulin is the main hormone that carries sugar around the blood, either taking it to the cells to be used as energy or converting it to fat for storage. Through skipping meals throughout the day, the cell receptors become less sensitive to insulin thus leading to excess sugar remaining in the bloodstream.
This causes the body to begin producing more insulin so that it can get the blood sugar in to the resistant cells. This can then become a vicious cycle which can cause weight gain, reduced insulin sensitivity and ultimately diabetes.
Greater Consumption of Protein, Vitamins & Minerals
Making sure we get all of the micronutrients (vitamin & minerals) in our diet can be difficult, but it is even more difficult if we miss out on breakfast. If we eat a healthy high protein breakfast combined a source of healthy fats (e.g. meat & nuts or egg & avocado), then we have a much greater chance to consume sufficient micronutrients like calcium, zinc, iron and other vitamins.
Also, eating a healthy breakfast results in consuming a greater proportion of the protein, healthy fats and fibre that we need throughout the day. Both of which helps with health and achieving your ideal body composition, as they helps blunt the insulin response we have after eating and help to keep us fuller for longer.
Better Variation in Your Diet
Through making sure we eat a healthy breakfast that provides with sufficient micro- (vitamins & minerals) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats & protein), we often make much better and healthier food choices throughout the day (Lattimore & Halford, 2003).
Thus, we often fall in to the trap of making bad food choices during the day if we skip breakfast or have a low nutrient density breakfast (e.g cereal or toast), as the lack of nourishment and fibre means we are not kept fuller for longer, consequently encouraging overeating during later meals and snacks.
Overall, those who often eat breakfast are typically more likely to consume more vegetables and milk, fewer soft drinks and less junk food like chips compared to those regularly miss out breakfast.
Less Likely to Smoke or Drink Alcohol
You heard me! Research has shown that if we ensure we eat breakfast then we are less likely to engage in health compromising behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol and not exercising (Kapantais et al, 2011, Keski-Rahkonen et al, 2003). As a result we are then much more likely to live a healthier lifestyle and achieve our goals of weight or fat loss compared to not regularly eating breakfast.
So if your goal is to get/stay leaner, have more energy, eat less crap throughout the day and be less irritable then eat a nice healthy breakfast to start your day. If your goal is to get/stay larger, have less energy, eat more crap food later in the day and stay irritable then ignore this post and carry on.
Cho, S., Dietrich, M., Brown, C. J., Clark, C. A., & Block, G. (2003). The effect of breakfast type on total daily energy intake and body mass index: results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 22(4), 296-302.
Ortega, R. M., Requejo, A. M., Lopez-Sobaler, A. M., Quintas, M. E., Andres, P., Redondo, M. R., & Rivas, T. (1997). Difference in the breakfast habits of overweight/obese and normal weight schoolchildren. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin-und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition, 68(2), 125-132.
Lattimore, P. J., & Halford, J. C. (2003). Adolescence and the diet‐dieting disparity: Healthy food choice or risky health behaviour?. British journal of health psychology, 8(4), 451-463.
Keski-Rahkonen, A., Kaprio, J., Rissanen, A., Virkkunen, M., & Rose, R. J. (2003). Breakfast skipping and health-compromising behaviors in adolescents and adults. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 57(7), 842-853.