I think we can all agree that throughout our lives, we have heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
I remember my parents telling me that as I was literally running out the door to meet friends or go to school and thinking to myself ‘I just don’t have time’ to eat breakfast. (While sneakily picking up a poptart 2 hours later).
As I grew older, breakfast began to flow into my routine more frequently, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly started to understand and consistently take time to have a nutritious, balanced breakfast.
So what is it about breakfast that makes it so important?
Here is what I have learned from my years in the public health and health education field:
Eating breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism.
Eating a meal in the morning boosts your metabolism right out the gate. When you wake up in the morning, it’s been roughly 8 to 10 hours since dinner. Your body is waiting for you to give it nutrients it needs to function at its best. If you skip breakfast and wait until 11 or 12 to eat, all morning, your metabolism is simply what we like to call “resting”. By eating first thing in the morning, and then every 3 hours or so throughout the day, you will keep your metabolism functioning at its best. Doing so will also help to prevent the storing of fat in the body.
Breakfast gives the body more energy.
If we eat a balanced amount of nutrients for breakfast, we are essentially fueling our body and allowing it to increase our energy stores. Anyone ever get in that 10am or 2pm slump where you are feeling groggy and begin to think that cookies or chips are the answer? By eating breakfast, you are telling the body it’s time to wake up for the day and get moving, which in turn, will leave you feeling more energetic!
Increases likelihood of eating healthy meals throughout the day.
If you eat a balanced breakfast (a breakfast containing more than one food group; i.e., toast PB and a banana or a veggie, egg and cheese scramble), you are more likely to make healthier decisions throughout the day. Why? Because if you start the day off giving your body what it needs to wake up and get working, you will be less likely to have that mid afternoon energy crash that leaves you craving candy or a bag of chips.
Some of my favorite breakfasts to start the day are:
-2 egg, veggie and cheese scramble with everything but the bagel seasoning
-A piece of whole wheat toast with PB2 and a sliced banana
-Banana egg pancakes
-Peanut butter banana chocolate shake
-Open faced turkey sausage, egg and cheese sandwich
So next time your mom, dad, aunt, grandma say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, believe them. I do (now 😉 ).