I am sure you probably rolled your eyes when you read the title. But the old saying about breakfast being the most important meal of the day is true. It is the first meal your body gets after fasting for about 8-10 hours, which explains why it has such an impact of your body unlike the other meals.
If you are ready, let’s discuss the 12 key reasons to eat breakfast and the risks you might encounter when skipping breakfast.
Reason 1 : Brain Power for you and your kids
Have you ever slept in and been late for school or work? We all have and because of this carelessness, we have had to skip breakfast.
Following on from this, because you’ve skipped breakfast you will spend the first few hours of your day feeling lousy and on top of that, you will struggle to focus and get as much work done.
After those 6-8 hours of fasting, your brain needs energy for fuel ( glucose, the blood sugar). If you don’t give your brain that fresh supply, you will have trouble focusing, processing new information, and won’t remember much.
This is the same for children. Several reports from the FRAC (Food Research and Action Center) have shown that children who are eating a healthy breakfast each day can improve their:
- math test results
- reading scores
- cognitive functions
So if you want to have that mental edge for your and your children, repeat after me: breakfast is not the enemy, it is good for our brain.
Reason 2 : Get the Essential Nutrients
This is the perfect time to get a balanced breakfast that will bring you all the essential nutrients your body needs to be in tip top shape.
What is an ideal breakfast? A balanced breakfast should include at least proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and fruits. Be creative, Nothing is set in stone.
For instance, I like to have scrambled eggs, granola, whole grain pancakes or waffles and a super yummy green smoothie (spinach, cucumber, green apple fresh lemon and some coconut oil, this is a super high quality energy smoothie.
I tend to try other combinations depending on my mood and my budget, but I rarely skip the smoothie (don’t get me wrong, I don’t do the same smoothie every day haha)
Reason 3 : keep your cravings under control
Back in 2012, the SFN (Society for Neuroscience) produced a study that showed skipping breakfast could result in higher calorie consumption throughout the rest of a day. The study spanned over several days.
On some of the days, the group of “guinea-pigs” were served a breakfast of 750 calories before they had to look at pictures of different foods (vegetables, chocolate, fruits, chips, etc). On other days, the same group would be shown the images after skipping breakfast.
As a result, on days when the participants had skipped breakfast, they had stronger cravings to eat unhealthier and on top of that, ate as much as 20% more at lunchtime and put on more weight.
This is easy to understand, when you don’t eat any breakfast, you are hungry, your stomach is growling. Imagine you come across (only by chance…) those foods you know are not good for you, your mind says no but your stomach says yes…; you have more risks to give in to temptation. It is the same reason why I don’t shop groceries when I am hungry. You always end up with stuff that was not on the list.
Reason 4 : It helps you to lose fat
You already know that by skipping breakfast, your body is litteraly starving, you are hungry, you did not get the nutrients your body needs. As a result of this, your body will require more calories throughout the day to continue functioning properly. This leads to you eating larger portions, thus actually putting on weight. Eating breakfast will lead lo to less binging in the long run.
The other reason why breakfast is important is because, you get to control what you eat right in the morning instead of buying food on the way to work which is usually not very healthy for your body and mind.
A study revealed that those who don’t eat breakfast are about 4.5 times more likely to be overweight.
All in all, if you want to lose weight then eat breakfast –it will stop you from eating more throughout the day. So next time, you are tempted to stop eating breakfast because you think this will help you lose weight, remember that this will have the opposite effect.
Reason 5 : It helps with Muscle Gain
Skipping breakfast results in being hungry earlier in the day and as a result, we eat more junk food and are tempted by those high-calorie treats. On the other hand, if you eat breakfast then these cravings are avoided and you are minimising the temptation that you have to eat junk food. By eating breakfast, you are really regaining control and can maintain your body weight.
At the same time, if you are aiming to build your body muscle then breakfast can play an important part.
The thing is, if you’re trying to build your muscles then you will have to eat bigger portions than what you would normally eat, mostly proteins to build muscles. This can be hard, especially if you’ve spent your life eating small portions and are used to have less muscle on your body. If you listen to a lot of muscular actors (like Henri Cavill and Ben Affleck), then you’ll see that they all say the same thing: the real struggle is increasing how much you eat.
So let me recap, in case I was not clear enough. If you skip breakfast, you tend to gain weight (more fat). If you eat breakfast, you get a better control of what you eat, so you can lose weight, but breakfast is also a key meal if you want to build muscle. Not only you don’t want to skip it but you also need to eat bigger portions of proteins to build muscles so to get the most out of your workouts ( I used to skip breakfast, and could not understand why I was not building muscles, now I know…)
Reason 6 : It can give you Healthier Skin
Eating your 3 meals a day (one of which is, of course, breakfast) will make your skin a lot healthier. Specifically, kicking the day off with an egg breakfast will show in your skin.
Eggs contain a range of proteins, as well as both Vitamin A and Vitamin D – all of which are useful for maintaining healthy skin. It also has Lutein, a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that protects your skin from free radical damage and helps preserve your skin elasticity.
Of course the best thing would be to prepare your eggs in the morning for your breakfast. But we all know the issue here is that not everyone has the time to cook eggs in the morning.
So in this case, the best thing to do would be to boil some eggs each night and store them in the fridge overnight. Simply microwave them in the morning, and enjoy an effortless breakfast. ( this is also goof for muscles… oh geez, I am obsessed with muscles…mind you, you would understand if you knew how skinny I was haha)
Reason 7 : Avoid unnecessary stress from the Get-Go
Several studies have shown that whatever happens in the 1st hour of your day will have a strong impact on how the rest of your day is.
For example, if you wake up early and eat a healthy breakfast, not only are you relaxed and not in a race against the clock, but you are completely worry free.
By getting up early, you’re removing the anxiety, stress, and risk of being late to work, you are ensuring that you have eaten a proper breakfast before leaving, and you don’t have to rush around like a madman.
Starting off your day relaxed will set you up for success.
Reason 8 : You Can Save Money
If you don’t eat breakfast, you usually end up buying snacks, cakes, coffees on the way to work each morning and while it can be a nice treat, it should only be something that you do on occasion. There are a few reasons for this.
- Firstly, you can save yourself a lot of money. If you are buying a cup of coffee and a bagel each morning, that money will quickly add up and over time, you’ll notice that you’re spending a lot more money than necessary on your breakfast.
- Secondly, it is not super healthy to buy those processed snacks every day and it’s good practice to get into a routine of making your own healthy breakfast instead. Besides, it is pretty easy and fun. What are you waiting for?
Reason 9 : Wake up your body and Start Your Day Full of Energy
Besides getting the nutrients you need, breakfast is also your wake up meal. This is the very definition of it if you think about it (break the fast).
When you fill your belly with a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast, you’re giving your body a “jump-start” and letting it know that your day has begun.
The reason that our bodies receive an energy boost after eating breakfast, and the reason that they react so positively to breakfast, is fairly simple to explain. If you spend 8 hours asleep, that’s 8 hours of no food consumption. So when you fill your belly, your body instantly processes the nutrition.
This gives you the boost you need to start the day and be productive!
Reason 10 : Boost your immune system
When I did some research about the key reasons to eat breakfast, I got to admit I was surprised to hear the correlation between breakfast and immune system. But it seems that eating a substantial breakfast could help to fight flus and colds.
This is what concluded a Dutch study which showed that eating breakfast could lead to an increase of a natural antiviral agent in your body by 450% called Gamma interferon, which in turn activates your immune cells, the famous white cells.
Those who skipped breakfast had a decrease in gamma interferon by 17%.
This makes sense, when it is wintertime, your body needs to burn more calories to maintain your body temperature. So, eating breakfast helps your body get enough energy to “work” properly and be able to fight germs and viruses.
Reason 11 : Stabilise Your Blood Glucose Level
Skipping your breakfast or not can have an impact on your blood sugar level.
Why? When you eat breakfast, you blood sugar level rises a little but you won’t be that hungry till lunchtime, which as you know mean you won’t be tempted to eat anything in large portions.
If you skip breakfast, then your body will produce more “hunger hormone”, which will push you to overeat at your next meal. This will lead to spikes in blood sugar or glucose. Those spikes force your body to produce insulin in bigger quantity (the hormone that shuttles the blood sugar in the cells) otherwise your glucose level will stay high. If this occurs too frequently, your body can progressively burn out and develop diabetes.
A study showed that skipping breakfast could raise the risk of developing diabetes by 21-28 %
Reason 12: It may protect your heart
A recent study showed that those who skipped breakfast had a higher risk of developing heart disease ( by 27%)
As you already know, breakfast skippers usually overeat at other meals and eat less healthy food. As a result, they gain weight with a much higher risk of diabetes, high cholesterol (from too fatty foods).
All those factors obviously raise your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Now that you know all the reasons to eat breakfast, you don’t have any more excuses to go out with an empty stomach. Even if it might be a real chore at first, believe me this gets much easier with time. After a few weeks, it will be as natural as brushing your teeth…but more pleasant…