It’s 6am, you are up and about and ready to start your day, but have no appetite or time to eat breakfast, and so you decide to postpone eating until the next meal of the day, which is only at 12pm. In essence, choosing not to eat breakfast means you are consciously making the decision to hamper your health as well as your performance at work or even at home. Perhaps it’s because you want to lose a few kilos?
Registered Dietitian Nathalie Mat puts that weight-loss myth to rest and explains how, by not eating breakfast, you are in fact depriving your body of sufficient nutrients that it needs in order to function on a daily basis. “Our bodies are not given any food overnight while sleeping, the first meal of the day helps to get our body started and get our metabolisms going,” says Mat. “Skipping breakfast is associated with higher weight gain and poorer performance.”
Perhaps you struggle to gulp down a meal in the morning due to the fact that you simply do not possess an appetite at that time. According to Mat, you are not alone: “Many people report having no appetite in the morning. I often find this is because they are eating too large a dinner. Reducing the size of your dinner may improve your morning appetite.” Choosing healthy foods that form a balanced meal will ensure your blood sugar levels are consistent meaning you won’t burn out later that morning, which is often the case.
“A healthy breakfast is a balanced one that includes a mix of wholegrain starchy foods (such as high fibre cereals, porridge, wholegrain or sourdough bread and even legumes like as beans or chickpeas) and protein rich foods (such as dairy products, eggs, lean meats or fish),” says Mat. “For example, it could be oats porridge with low fat milk, bran rich cereal with milk or wholegrain bread with some cheese, egg, beans or even peanut butter.” You can also add fruit to your breakfast. Fruit is a natural source of sugar but should be consumed as fresh fruit rather than juice if you want to control your blood sugar levels well.
Not only will eating a decent breakfast improve your performance throughout the day, but sustaining a lifestyle that is balanced in general will put diseases like cancer, strokes and heart attacks at bay. “Poor diet, physical inactivity and smoking are believed to contribute to those conditions,” says Mat. “These can be prevented by managing your lifestyle choices.”
The sooner you make the first step by eating the first, crucial meal of the day, the sooner you will begin living a more health and vitality-filled life.