Notorious for skipping breakfast? Just ‘don’t feel like eating’ first thing in the morning? Trying to lose weight by cutting down on calories? Or maybe you simply don’t have time?
Whatever your excuse, our response remains the same… Never, and we mean NEVER, skip breakfast!
1. Breakfast helps boost your metabolism
If you want your metabolism to run at its maximum efficiency (in a state of thermogenesis) you need to eat regular, frequent meals throughout the day. This is because your body needs a certain number of calories to function optimally, and if you starve your body of essential nutrients your metabolic rate will slow down to compensate for this.
A slower metabolism means lower energy levels, fatigue, mood swings and lack of concentration. And, if you continue to do this for a prolonged period of time your body will begin ‘grabbing’ onto food and storing it as fat, rather than burning it as energy.
So how does breakfast fit into all of this? While you sleep your energy requirements and therefore metabolic rate drops. Breakfast (or breaking your fast) is how you kickstart or reboot your metabolism for the day!
2. Breakfast helps you achieve your daily nutrient requirements
Your body has daily nutrient and caloric requirements which enable it to perform normal day to day activities and functions. These requirements are increased in accordance with the amount and type of exercise you do.
Breakfast is not only the best way to boost your metabolic rate for the day - it also provides you with an opportunity to fuel your body with the key nutrients and vitamins it needs. Skipping meals (not just breakfast!) doesn’t just leave you hungry - it results in your body become nutrient deficient. Short term this results in symptoms such as fatigue and poor concentration, but long term can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, muscle cramps and numbness throughout the body.
4. Breakfast helps keep your blood sugar levels constant
When you ingest food your body breaks this down to form glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream. Glucose is the body’s main fuel source, and is essential for you to perform everyday functions.
When you eat food your glucose levels will rise slightly, then drop as energy is used by the body. This is why it is important to eat regular, balanced meals throughout the day - keeping your blood glucose levels relatively stable is key to having an efficient, consistent metabolic rate. Assuming you’re eating balanced meals which contain Low GI foods (otherwise known as complex carbohydrates), your blood sugar levels will remain within an optimal range of 4 to 8mmol/l (millimoles per litre).
Eating breakfast is essential, as during the night your glucose levels fall as you go through an extended period of not eating. First thing in the morning is usually when your blood sugar levels will be at their absolute lowest. By having breakfast you boost your glucose levels to their optimum level, helping your body perform at its best throughout the day.
4. Breakfast will help improve your concentration, productivity and memory
Assuming you’re choosing the right foods to start your day with, eating breakfast is the best way to improve your concentration and memory. Why? Because, like the rest of your body, your brain needs glucose to function. Without it your brain slows down and performs less effectively - which is why your concentration, productivity and memory start to suffer.
Remember: what you eat directly affects the structure and performance of your brain. If you want to spend your day kicking goals, fuel your body properly!
5. Breakfast will leave you in a better mood
You're probably already starting to see a pattern… skip breakfast and your body’s performance suffers! Which means missing the first meal of the day can also affect your mood.
Drops in your blood glucose don’t just leave you feeling fatigued - it can also increase feelings of irritability, frustration and aggression. In other words, it can leave you feeling hangry! Give your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to operate, and start bringing a bit more cheer to your day.
6. Eating brekky can actually help you lose weight
Time and time again, people trying to lose weight start their day the wrong way - by skipping breakfast.
We understand the ‘logic’. Skipping meals means you eat less, you consume fewer calories, and therefore you’ll lose weight. But unfortunately, it’s not that simple! In fact, missing the first meal of the day means you’re more likely to actually gain weight.
As we’ve already discussed, you need to eat regular meals to maintain your metabolic rate and blood glucose levels. Breakfast is a key part of kick-starting this process every day and should never be missed. Otherwise, your body will underperform, begin storing food, and not burn fuel effectively. This essentially translates to weight gain! And, as if that isn’t enough incentive to break your fast - skipping breakfast also means you’re more likely suffer from cravings throughout the day, often leading to binge eating and poor meal choices.
Want to lose weight? Eat regular, healthy, balanced meals that are correctly proportioned. You’ll see better results as your metabolism improves, you’ll keep the weight off long-term, and you’ll take better care of yourself overall.