I am sure you have all heard that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
To me, all meals and snacks are important as we what we put in to our bodies has a direct effect on our energy and mood levels as well as affecting our energy balance between energy input (what you put in to your mouth) and energy output (how active we are).
However, if you are training for an event or perhaps on a weight loss track, then it is especially important that you do not skip breakfast…
Why is Breakfast important?
Break the Fast – breakfast is important as it kick starts our metabolism after the night long fast, which means you start burning calories after you eat your breakfast.
Set the tone for the day – it is common that when people skip breakfast, they are playing ‘catch up’ during the day and end up on snacking on high sugar foods.
Helps you to lose weight. People who eat breakfast have a better chance of losing weight, and keeping it off. When you skip breakfast, you are usually so hungry by lunchtime you would eat twice as much as you necessarily need!
Throughout the day you may not necessarily have some of the nutrients you need. You can have whole-grain cereal and berries with non-fat milk to get the fibre, folic acid and calcium in one step.
Studies have shown that school children were more alert and successful at school when eating breakfast – keep your wits about you and succeed in the day by having breakfast!
HERE ARE SOME BREAKFAST SUGGESTIONS 🙂
QUICK AND EASY
What: Homemade fruit smoothies or a medium-sized banana can be made quickly or grab and go.
Why: Making time for breakfast can be difficult; however, grabbing an often sugar-laden cereal bar on your way out won’t get you off to a good start as it will only result in a mid-morning energy crash. Pre-make some homemade smoothies, pop them in the freezer and defrost the night before. Blitz oats with plain yoghurt and a handful of frozen fruits for a delicious burst of energy, calcium and vitamins. Oatcakes and fresh fruits are also perfect on-the-go foods – ready to eat and easy to carry.
BREAKFAST FAT BURNER
What: Egg-white omelette with grilled vegetables OR porridge with dried fruits (with skimmed milk) will help whittle your waistline.
Why: Egg whites are low in calories but high in protein making them a low-GI food. Low-GI foods have little effect on our blood glucose levels and therefore help keep hunger at bay and reduce the likelihood of mid-morning snacking on high fat/ sugar foods. Vegetables are also low in fat and calories but high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, resulting in a breakfast that is nutrient rich but at the same time low fat. Add a little chilli powder for an early kick-start!
THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE!
What: Fresh fruit salad topped with plenty of seeds or a fresh juice made with lemon, ginger, dark green leafy veg and colourful fruit will fight fatigue and help beat that sluggish morning-after-the-night-before feeling.
Why: Fruit is packed with detoxifying vitamins and minerals and also contains high levels of fibre that help us to maintain a healthy gut and keep our bowels working smoothly. Dark green leafy veg also promotes liver health. Additionally, colourful fruit and veg contain antioxidants which protect body cells from free radical damage.
BREAKFAST BRAIN BOOST
What: Scrambled egg, sardines or beans on wholegrain toast will help see you through a busy day.
Why: Eggs, sardines and beans all contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin E, iron and protein that are all essential for a healthy brain and are thought to improve thinking power and possibly memory. Sardines also contain essential omega-3-fatty acids which have been linked to intelligence and improved brain function – just the thing to get you through that all-important job interview or morning meeting. Additionally, wholegrain toast contains plenty of B vitamins that help to release energy slowly from food, thus keeping us mentally alert and ready to go all day long.
What: A small bowl of porridge, muesli or low-sugar wholegrain breakfast cereals will help you get the most out of your workout.
Why: Wholegrains and oats contain slow-release energy which help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and keep you fuller and energised for longer – just what you need before hitting the gym for an intense workout. Add your own fresh or dried fruits to cereal and porridge to boost sweetness and vitamins and mineral intake, and make sure you leave an hour gap between eating and working out to ensure proper digestion.