You may have heard the proverb ‘early to bed, early to rise’ and associated it with healthier living. However, an hour or two spent in bed after a night of heavy binge-eating or drinking may not be the most healthful way to begin the day.
Indeed, while it’s essential to get plenty of sleep and nourishing meals are important too, emerging evidence suggests that getting up late and eating the least nutritious food first thing in the morning may not be the wisest choice. According to a new study, eating breakfast reduces the amount of energy you have available to burn during the day, leading to increased calorie consumption. Therefore, if you want to lose weight, you may want to eat breakfast.
The Importance Of Eating A Healthy Breakfast
Let’s face it, breakfast cravings can be pretty strong, especially when you’re tired and stressed after a long day. That’s why many of us reach for quick and easy options that provide the most energy first thing in the morning – think toasted muesli with chocolate, white fluffy bread with butter, and instant porridge. While these foods may be easy to grab when you’re rushing between work and school, they’re not the best for your health.
Breakfast is an important meal because it provides the body with nutrients essential for good health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that people who eat the recommended five or more food groups daily have a 28% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is compared to people who eat fewer than three food groups per day. So, having breakfast every day may help to reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
The CDC recommend that adults consume vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to maintain a healthy weight. So, by eating these food groups, you’re naturally going to increase the nutrition and fiber in your diet. Additionally, breakfast provides essential vitamins and minerals including folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin B12. Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects by acting as a natural antidote to spina bifida and other birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Additionally, vitamin C and vitamin B12 act as cofactors in metabolism which means they help metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The good news is that vitamin C is water-soluble, which allows it to be easily absorbed by the body. So, there’s no need to wait for it to digest before it can do its job. Lastly, many nutritionists believe that eating breakfast reduces the likelihood of overeating later in the day; when you eat quickly absorbed nutrients in the morning, your body uses them for energy, leaving you feeling fuller and less likely to snack. The takeaway here is that eating breakfast may help to keep you well-fed and prevent overindulgence later in the day. It also helps to reduce the amount of food that you need to go to school or work the following day, so it’s good for the environment too. Finally, eating breakfast gives you the energy to get through the day which may reduce the chance of you becoming depressed or anxious.
What Type Of Breakfast Should You Be Eating?
While many people prefer to eat quick-cooking breakfasts because they’re easier to prepare, there’s no reason to feel that you need to hurry to prepare your food. In fact, when it comes to preparing breakfast, you want to ensure that you cook food that is good for you and sustainable. That’s why you should try to limit your intake of highly processed foods and instead opt for healthier options like eggs, beans, and vegetables. You can also prepare foods like oatmeal and brown rice that are higher in fiber and contain all the essential nutrients your body needs to function.
Why Skipping Breakfast May Not Be The Best Idea
When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re delaying the important work of fueling your body with essential nutrients. If you’re rushed in the morning, you may not have the time to prepare a healthy meal, so a quick grab and go option works best for these circumstances. However, this may backfire because it forces you to rely on eating out which often comes with its own set of health risks. When you eat out, you’re rarely served fresh food and more likely than not, you have to sit and wait for it to be served. For people wishing to lose weight, it may be more beneficial to have an early morning walk or bike ride before eating breakfast. This will allow you to fuel your body with nutrients and burn off some of that food later in the day. In this case, it may be smarter to have a small snack in the morning to get your metabolism going. You could also cook a healthy breakfast the night before and store it in the fridge so that you can just grab and go in the morning. Finally, many people underestimate the importance of nutrition timing when it comes to weight loss. While it’s essential that you consume enough nutritious food to maintain a healthy weight, you may want to avoid eating the most energy-dense food first thing in the morning. Let’s say you’ve had an indulgent night out and eaten an entire bag of cookies. If you consume these in the morning, they’re going to give you a burst of energy followed by an inevitable crash later in the day. Instead, it may be smarter to have some prunes or a small handful of nuts as a snack during the day. Again, it depends on your personal preferences, but if you’re looking to shed some pounds, it may be worth considering what time of day you should be eating and what you should be avoiding.
The Advantage Of Eating What You Want When You Want It
While it’s important to have healthy choices available when you want them, it’s also vital to know when you should be having them. If you find that you’re always hungry at certain times of the day, it may be a good idea to eat what you want when you want it without worrying about the repercussions later on. Indeed, this may be the key to successful weight loss. People who eat according to their cravings, especially in the evening, may find that their energy levels increase and they experience a decrease in appetite. Therefore, missing breakfast may not be the end of the world as long as you’re mindful about what time of day you’re eating it and ensure you’re having nutritious foods. In some cases, it may be worth considering an evening meal replacement to help you stay on track. For instance, if you’re finding that you’re constantly struggling with mid-afternoon hunger pangs, a soft drink may be the answer you’re looking for.
Eating Breakfast When You Aren’t Fed Can Hurt You
Let’s say you’re at work, you’re feeling tired and drained, and all you want is a quick bite to eat to give you a little boost. Instead, what you may find is that eating a large meal first thing in the morning gives you a massive boost of energy, which can leave you feeling sluggish and tired by midday. In fact, a lot of people report that eating breakfast makes them feel more energized and ready to take on the world. This is probably because eating breakfast makes you feel full, satisfied, and more importantly, in control of your appetite. When you eat something you want but need to avoid, you may experience an uptick in hunger levels and be tempted to eat something else. So, if you find that you’re constantly battling feelings of deprivation when it comes to food, having breakfast may not be the right solution for you. Instead, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day may be a better option. In this way, you can still indulge in food that you love while not letting it disturb your healthy habits.
Eating What Is Nourishing You Is The Key To Weight Loss
When you’re trying to lose weight, you may find that what is nourishing you is also helping to hinder your attempts at weight loss. For example, lots of water may leave you feeling full and bloated, so drinking water is great to keep you hydrated but it prevents you from shedding those extra pounds. Similarly, some foods, like chocolate, may give you an instant boost of energy followed by an increase in blood glucose which leads to a crash and a sugar high. Again, this could be terribly counterproductive if you’re looking to shed some pounds because it may leave you feeling sluggish and less able to function. In these instances, you may want to avoid eating foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates because they don’t nourish your body the way foods like eggs and green vegetables do. These are some of the reasons why skipping breakfast may not be the best idea if you’re looking to lose weight. If healthy eating is important to you and you want to continue seeing favorable results, then you may want to consider what time of day you should be eating and make sure you’re having the right foods available at that moment. Remember, what is nourishing you may also be the very thing that is preventing you from losing weight. So, always consider what is causing your weight loss stalls and make some changes where necessary to continue progressing toward your goal weight.