Breakfast: Why it really is the most important meal of the day
When you think of breakfast, what comes to mind? Is it thoughts of a bowl of cereal, or perhaps a plate of eggs, bacon and toast?
Or is it more along the lines of a cup of coffee and a bagel/muffin from some drive through on your way to work, or depending on how late to work you are, just an idle thought of "I wish I had the time but I am in a hurry right now" ?
While everyone has a different lifestyle and various demands on their time, breakfast is something that really should be ranked higher in priority than it generally is. Even if it means waking up just 15 minutes earlier than normal, having a good healthy breakfast is important to having a good and productive day.
So, back to the question of why is breakfast so important?
Excerpt from John Hopkins:
•Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration in the classroom.
•Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight.
•Hunger sets in long before it's time for lunch, but because it's not convenient to eat properly, many people who have not eaten breakfast snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
•People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast would have provided.
•Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.
Let's consider this:
On average, an adult will get anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep per night, and will typically have their last meal approximately 2-3 hours before going to sleep. With that in mind, if a person has dinner at 7:00pm, goes to bed at 10pm, and wakes up at 6am, then for the past ~11 hours the body has not had any food.
11 Hours without anything to eat, by this time your body is in survival mode and is slowing your metabolism to guard the remaining calories it has left.
Now, when you wake up in the morning, and in the process of getting ready to face the day, your metabolism will start to "wake up" as well to help provide you with the energy you need to get things done. Problem is though, is that it is using energy stores that are already severely depleted from maintaining your body while you were sleeping.
When breakfast is skipped, and nothing (healthy) is eaten to replace the little amount of energy your body has left, then before lunch time arrives you start to feel sluggish and tired, and in most cases a sugary snack from the vending machine feels like the answer. Sure the sugar and or caffeine may give a brief "jump start" but that usually does not last very long, and the unused calories and sugars that have not been burned off are stored away as fat which can lead to obesity.
However when a healthy, protein packed breakfast is consumed in the morning before starting your day, you are replenishing your energy stores with the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. Now your body has the fuel it needs to give you the energy to get things done during the day and you do not need to rely on vending machines to get a "quick fix" that really does not fix anything and can actually cause more problems.