By Anthoney J. Andersen – Steroidal.com
It’s 10 a.m., and you’ve been at work for exactly an hour. You stare at the clock in a restless state, your foot tapping vigorously against the floor – your stomach churning in a way that seems almost animalistic.
You scratch your head furiously, hoping that your brain will wipe the hunger from your stomach as if it were an Etch A Sketch.
But it doesn’t.
And now you must remain in discomfort until that big hand hits the 12, signalling that it’s lunchtime.
Your stomach continues to echo in vast emptiness, as it harasses you like a bully preying on the weak – reminding you of the dire consequences of not eating breakfast.
RISE AND DINE
There’s a reason that you’ve heard the saying: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Because it’s true.
Not only does eating breakfast provide your body with the proper nutrients it needs to jump start your day, but it is also linked to many health benefits – including weight control and improved performance.
According to WebMD, eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast can help you achieve the
- A healthier diet that’s higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
- Improved concentration and performance at school or at the office.
- More energy and endurance while engaging in your favorite physical activity.
- Lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Karen Gilbert, MS, RD, president/founder of Decision Nutrition, says that she’s heard every excuse imaginable on why people choose not to eat breakfast.
“The top excuse is that there simply isn’t time,” says Gilbert. “The next is that they’re just not hungry. These are simply excuses. If you want to live a healthier life, you have to make a commitment and always have some quick and healthy grab-and-go breakfast item on hand.”
Eating breakfast everyday can give you the upper hand, by supplying you with the mental advantage to carry out your day-to-day tasks without worrying about the thunderous groaning taking place inside your abdomen.
When you wake up in the morning, your body craves the necessary fuel to get going.
“Glycogen storage starts to deplete,” says Susan Kraus, registered dietician at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
“Without eating breakfast, you’re more prone to cravings and less likely to make healthy choices in the morning and throughout the day,” she says.
While at the office, you also run the risk of watching your work falter, as you focus every ounce of mental energy on your irritable digestive tract, rather than your workload.
Many experts have concluded that starting your day off by consuming a nutritious breakfast can not only improve your mood, but can also boost your metabolism.
“During the night when we’re sleeping, our metabolic rate runs slowly and conservatively, but once we’re awake, our bodies need to speed up and break out of its fasting metabolic state,” says Megan Moore, RD, of Aramark at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, TX.
When it comes to losing and maintaining your weight, flooding your body with foods that are high in fats and calories is not a health conscious decision.
According to the National Weight Control Registry, 80 percent of the individuals in the registry that have lost at least 30 pounds – and kept it off for an entire year – consumed a breakfast every morning that was high in protein, fiber and whole grains.
When you consider your choice for breakfast, try adding a little extra lean protein to your meal. By doing so, you may find yourself feeling fuller, and maintaining that satisfied feeling until lunchtime.
“Protein blunts your hunger the most, and is the most satiating,” says Wayne Campbell, PhD, and researcher at Purdue University.
To sustain your energy throughout the morning, consider pairing high-fiber foods with protein that promotes alertness – like egg whites, turkey, chicken, fish and lean meats.
“Breakfast just means breaking the fast; it doesn’t have to be associated with specific foods,” says Kraus.
“Breakfast can also be a smoothie, a muffin, waffles or fruit,” suggests Kraus. “Just as long as your fueling your system with some type of sustainable nutrients.”
In a society that is constantly on the go, it can be difficult to find the time in the morning to squeeze in a bowl of cereal and cup of fruit.
With that in mind, consider setting your alarm five to 10 minutes early, just so you leave enough time to fuel your body with the energy it needs to help you power your way through the morning rush.
Losing sleep can be tormenting, but think about the health benefits that will arise from it: a satisfied belly and a razor sharp mind.