I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone tell me they don’t eat breakfast. As someone who always eats it, I always have trouble relating. I mean, I am positively starving every morning, I am too hungry to skip even if I wanted to, and the times I DO skip, it throws off my entire day! But, unfortunately, far too many people underestimate just how important the most important meal of the day really is.
Breakfast Sets You Up For Success
Starting off your day with a well-rounded breakfast can dramatically improve your focus and energy levels for the entire day. The key components of a healthy breakfast include protein, carbs, and some fat. Lean protein such as egg whites, turkey and chicken are imperative to preserving and building lean muscle mass, keeping your carbs from digesting too quickly, and kick start your metabolism. Slow-digesting, fibrous carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and wild rice are important because they provide you with longer-lasting energy, keep your blood sugar levels steady, and are a great source of fiber. Healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, and nuts are also a key component to a healthy breakfast, as they can improve focus and help keep you fuller longer.
Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight
The misconception is that skipping meals can make you skinny. False. In fact, that can be counterproductive. A healthy breakfast is important when trying to lose weight, as it activates the thermogenesis process, which causes your metabolism to rev up, which in turn will burn more calories and help maintain a healthy appetite. The key to weight loss is a caloric deficit, and you can maintain one while still eating regular meals throughout the day (including breakfast!). Skipping breakfast can actually cause you to reach for foods that could be detrimental to your progress later in the day, so ignoring your hunger isn’t the right way to do it.
What Can Skipping Breakfast Really Hurt, Anyway?
Skipping breakfast can cause your hunger levels to increase (naturally), and a rise in the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. What’s that mean? You’re more liable to overeat later in the day because you haven’t been controlling your hunger. Also, your muscle glycogen levels are at their very lowest upon waking- so missing out on an opportunity to replenish your glycogen levels first thing can damage your progress in the gym and be hurtful to your lean muscle mass. Plus, skipping out on breakfast will most likely cause your blood sugar levels to become unsteady and drop, which results in that hangry feeling we all hate, along with lack of focus, minimal energy, and mood swings.
One of my favorite breakfasts include a whole grain protein bagel, a protein isolate shake, some egg whites with a yolk, turkey bacon, and some nut butter. Other options are avocado toast with a side of protein, an omelet with veggies and lean protein, or oatmeal with some nut butter and a protein shake. Regardless of what healthy and delicious combination you put together for your breakfast, know this- it isn’t a meal you want to skip!