LIFESTYLE

The Importance of Eating Breakfast

So many people are under the false impression that if they reduce their calorie count by skipping breakfast, they are more likely to lose weight. I cannot express the extent to which this is a myth. Breakfast is a crucial part of your journey to fat loss.

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Breaking the Fast

Breakfast is named this way for a reason. After having been asleep for a long period of time (I recommend a minimum of eight hours per night), your body is starved of food. Its natural reaction is to slow the metabolic rate, causing the body to go into fasting mode. This significantly reduces the amount of calories being burned.

When you wake up in the morning, your body continues to function in fasting mode until it is refuelled with food. Allowing your body to remain in this state for prolonged periods of time will increase your insulin response. The result of this is that your body will store more fat; exactly what you’ve been trying to avoid, right? If you skip breakfast, you don’t replenish the body’s energy stores, and in this state, you simply cannot function efficiently.

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By eating a nutritious meal in the morning (ideally within around one hour of waking up), you literally ‘break’ the ‘fast’ that your body is experiencing. Your morning meal acts to stimulate your metabolism, so your body is able to begin the calorie burning process. The longer you wait to eat, the longer your body will remain in fasting mode, thus burning significantly fewer calories. Think of your body like a car: eating breakfast acts to jumpstart your engine (the metabolic rate).

So many people claim that they don’t have time in the morning for breakfast. This is simply not an excuse. It takes less than ten minutes to prepare and eat a nutritious meal! Wake up a few minutes earlier – this is your health we’re talking about after all. If you’re definitely not a morning person, there’s still no reason to miss your beakfast. Why not make a batch of healthy granola bars full of oats, nuts and seeds, at the weekend? Slice and store them, and there you have it, breakfast on the move every day for a whole week!

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Research

Research reveals that people who regularly consume a balanced breakfast have an increased chance of losing weight. Those who skip breakfast are typically more tempted throughout the day by high-fat, sugary products such as fast food, chocolate and fizzy drinks. This occurs because missing breakfast provokes negative effects on brain function. Research has proven that in those who avoid breakfast, the brain’s reward system is triggered upon seeing calorie and sugar dense foods, with little nutritional value.

Furthermore, research exposes that by skipping breakfast, you are likely to consume a much larger lunch than those who have eaten a balanced meal in the morning. Eating a stable meal for breakfast means you will be less likely to binge throughout the day, whilst also leaving you feeling fresh and energised for the day ahead.

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