WRITTEN BY: Darlene Reid, ACE-CPT
Breakfast is the best way to start your day! No matter how busy you are, it is important to make sure you fuel your body so that you can have energy throughout the day. If you don’t eat breakfast, you are likely to become tired when your brain and body run low on fuel. People who eat breakfast typically are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Many people believe that they will lose weight if they skip meals, but that isn’t a great idea. The meal that usually gets skipped is breakfast - not a good choice. If we skip breakfast, we are likely to be hungry before midmorning. Many of us grab a cup of coffee then, or eat some type of sugary food to get some energy. This might work for a little while, but by lunch we are even hungrier which makes us crabby, which in turn may cause us to make bad spontaneous food choices. Eating a good breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day.
When cutting calories, breakfast is usually the first to go. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), new research suggests that people who are successful at losing weight - and more importantly, keeping it off - eat breakfast every day. ACE goes on to mention that researchers from the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver analyzed data on nearly 3,000 people who had lost weight. Only 4 percent admitted to not eating breakfast every day. What was eaten for breakfast wasn’t known, but researchers speculate that eating breakfast helps people manage both their hunger and food intake throughout the day.1
Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting period, replenishes the body’s supply of glucose, and provides other essential nutrients to keep energy levels up throughout the day. A healthy breakfast should contain some carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. Protein can come from meat (lean, of course), eggs, beans, or soy. Carbohydrates should come from whole grains, whole cereals, and/or fruit sources as well as fiber. Stay away from sugary cereals, syrups, pastries, and white breads, because these are digested quickly and will leave you hungry and tired in a couple of hours. Protein and carbohydrate combinations will keep you fuller and ward off the hunger cravings until lunchtime.
If you don’t like to eat breakfast or feel you do not have the time, you need to make time or try to eat healthy small meals throughout the morning. For example, have a hard-boiled egg or protein shake, then a couple of hours later eat a piece of toast with peanut butter or low-fat butter. If you are still hungry, maybe you could have a couple of pecans or walnuts.
Remember that eating a healthy breakfast is the best way to start off your day. You owe it to yourself. You will quickly notice how much better you will feel throughout the morning and the rest of your day.
1 Taken from ACE Fitness Matters, ACE’s official magazine.
Darlene Reid, ACE-CPT
Ms. Reid owns Reid Fitness. She is a certified American Council of Exercise trainer, a YMCA Fitness Specialist, and a trainer for the YMCA GET REAL weight-management program. Her current trend specialty is fitness phone coaching. Reach her at www.reidfitness.com or [email protected].