Why Breakfast is Good for You

Ok... If you are reading this is because you do want to hear the "why breakfast is good for you" sermon.

Well, you may have read it in the paper, or maybe you've heard it on the radio on your way to work. It's almost a cliche! Almost everybody knows that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day".

If it's so good... how come many people skip breakfast?

People do. There are lots of excuses for not having breakfast, including (but not limited to):

Lack of time

not being a morning person

trying to lose weight

Not finding anything good for breakfast, and

having forgotten to have it

A while ago I used to skip breakfast too.

Later on I would have "whatever", and then a very heavy lunch (depending on how hungry I would be by lunch time).

But when I started paying attention to what I ate (and how and how much), I realised the damage I was causing to my body by skipping the most important meal of the day.

What happens to our bodies when we skip breakfast?

Understanding this question will help you realise "why breakfast is good for you", and hopefully, you'll reconsider making breakfast a must in your everyday life.

For starters, if you skip breakfast you're making it harder for your body to lose weight, and your energy levels will tend to be lower than those of a person who looks after herself.

Why?

Think about it. By the time breakfast is due, your body has not received any food for about 8 hours (a third of your day). Compare this with your "day" hours, when you have 3 (if not more) meals.

It is amazing how, if you are used to skipping breakfast, you condition yourself to feel "ok", but a close examination of your "fasting" mood would reveal that your levels of energy are low. What happens is that your body is rested at the end of a good sleep, but you still need the energy after you wake up.

Your body does not stop just because you go to sleep. It goes on breathing, digesting, pumping up blood everywhere in your body, and moving (amongst many other physiological processes).

It constantly needs fuel (ie food), and even if you're not hungry early in the morning, your body will still need the extra energy contained in a breakfast meal. It makes sense, doesn't it?

But breakfast is more than an energy source. Breakfast is good for you because it:

provides glucose to your brain, making you mentally efficient and alert. You get "the edge" by having breakie (Australian for "breakfast"); ;-) reduces your cholesterol levels (depending on what you eat for breakie, of course!);

gives you vital nutrients and vitamins;

makes you slimmer, by jump-starting your metabolism (how quickly your body burns energy), which is slow after relative inactivity at night. makes you "Mr or Ms Happy". An energized and balanced meal may alter your mode and make you feel better during the day.

What to have for breakfast?

The opposite of skipping breakfast is having the wrong things for breakfast (and possibly too much of it too!).

Every meal is capable of giving you energy. The question is "how long will that energy last for?". This is important to know because that will determine whether you still feel "charged up" till lunch time, or whether you're starving by 10 AM.

Avoid things like chocolate chip muffins and other high sugar meals. The energy levels are high (and they taste deliciuos, I know!) but short-lived, and the residual makes you bigger and heavier. So, these foods are a no-no.

Fresh fruits and cereals, are a healthier choice, but you have to be mindful of the sugar contained in cereals. Some of them can have enough sugar a whole family in one single serving!

But what if you're not "a breakfast person?"

There is no such a thing as a "breakfast person".

If you need to do something for your health, you do it, and you can condition yourself to make having breakfast part of your life and take pleasure on it.

But I've got a couple of tips that can help you in your transition to having breakfast:

Know "why" breakfast is important. Reading this article was a good start; ;-)

Buy fruits and cereal (but mind the amount of sugar that some cereals contain);

Check out my (ahem... )delicious low fat breakfast recipes and try some (you'll like them, I promise);

plan your meals. Planning ahead to have interesting and tasty meals for breakfast will help you enjoy it;

If you don't have the time to prepare breakie (you don't have 5 minutes for yourself!?), you may choose a good low fat fast food outlet and be good and have a low-fat-low-sugar-meal.

But whatever you do... do have breakfast!

... it's good for you! ;-)

Have a great day!

Jeff Rosales is "The Skinny Chef", the editor of http://www.Delicious-Low-Fat-Recipes.Com: a growing collection of delicious low fat recipes, weight loss and healthy eating articles, interviews and product reviews. Jeff's recipes are so delicious... you won't believe they're good for you!

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