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Why Breakfast is Important

There are a lot of arguments going to and fro over whether breakfast is indeed "the best meal of the day" or whether we should skip the early morning feed up and opt for having a much later "breakfast" or waiting for lunchtime before eating again.

Here, I look at why breakfast generally considered to be the most important meal of the day and how it plays a role in helping a person to reduce their body weight by raising metabolism.

Why is Breakfast So Important?

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and the body's first hit of energy in the form of calories that it gets after a good eight hours of sleep. In that time it has been effectively fasting. In fact, the word breakfast is made up of the words meaning to break your fast. The point here is that you should start the day with a good breakfast to help you lose weight.

Now there are differences of opinion here. Some say to eat as soon after you get up in the morning as possible, as this is how to increase metabolism and get it working much faster and at a much higher rate sooner in the day. However, doing this negates one other important point in that once you've eaten breakfast you cannot exercise, or you're likely to bring it back up again!

For many people, the early morning run or workout is the only time they are in the necessary frame of mind to get motivated to do this and often the only time they actually have the physical time to do it. That means putting breakfast on hold at least until after you've done your exercises.

Rehydrate First

This is not a problem and in fact can work in your favor when to take into consideration the eating schedule discussed in the previous post, Eat Only When You're Hungry. So when you get up, it's important to rehydrate your body before anything else, so a glass of water is a good thing to drink before going out for your run or other form of exercise that you normally do.

After showering, then eat a good wholesome breakfast. It's important that breakfast fills you up and even more important that it fills you up with low GI carbohydrates. That's because they will release their energy slowly throughout the morning and prevent you from feeling hungry part-way through the morning before you eat your lunch.

This is important as you are far less likely to eat snacks if you are not feeling hungry and therefore not prone to gain empty calories by eating a mid-morning high calorie snack.

On the contrary, a high GI breakfast will cause your blood sugar levels to peak too early. This will result in giving you a rush of energy early on which will not be sustained through the morning and you will end up feeling hungry before lunch and tempted to grab a snack.

So the best things to eat for breakfast are what?

Oats to Start the Day

Porridge (oatmeal) is the single best thing to eat for breakfast. Oats provide low GI carbs and plenty of dietary fiber as well as a good supply of nutrients to set you up for the day. They help lower bad LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol and regulating and steadying your blood sugar levels throughout the morning.

Try adding some walnuts, raisins, prunes, dried or fresh cranberries or blueberries to give it some added interest. Or go the whole hog and add some sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds as well and you'll be doing your body a whole load of good!

Most processed breakfast cereals contain too high levels of salt and sugar to be remotely healthy and that includes a very well known bran based cereal. Whole wheat cereals are only any good if they contain no added salt or sugar, but these are difficult to find.

Muesli is a good substitute for porridge to add some variety, although again you should watch out for brands that add salt and sugar and seek out only those that are free of those and other additives.

The downside of breakfast cereals that contain no additives is they tend to lack the taste of the processed ones. So in order to make them taste better and be more interesting, try adding your own additives in the form of sliced banana, chopped dried apricots, chopped fresh strawberries, slices of apple, peach, plum... okay, you get the idea.

Fresh or dried fruits are an excellent addition to oat based cereals! Breakfast can indeed be a very healthy and exciting way to start the day!


Posted on Thu, 12 Nov 2009 in Weight Loss Tips | 2 Comments

2 thoughts on "Why Breakfast is Important"

matthew says:

Thanks, that was a nice post about the importance of eating a good healthy breakfast and how it helps you to lose weight. I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

Walt says:

Isn't a good health really about what you eat, or about what you do as a form or exercise? If you really get those two things right, it may begin the end of unnecessary and uncomfortable weight or happiness, and the beginning of having to "work hard" to keep that good health and weight. I believe this article here answers my quest for info on fasting weight loss