Breakfast – The Essential Meal to Lose Weight and Feel Great
Have you been searching for ways and means to enhance your productivity to its peak? Have you been also wondering why some people seem to be at their energetic best, while you might just feel sluggish throughout your day, particularly in the afternoons? Well, the answer is simpler that you may think. It might lie in what those energetic people had for breakfast! In fact, it might even boil down to whether they had their breakfast in the first place or not.
BREAKFAST – THE ESSENTIAL MEAL
A delicious and nutritious breakfast has farther-reaching health effects than you can imagine.
To begin with, having proper breakfast keeps your body’s metabolism in check. While skipping breakfast might make you think that you are consuming less calories, it is well documented that it might lead to a much higher body mass index (BMI) which means you will have more accumulated fat in your body[i].
A study at the Telaviv University found out that individuals who regularly ate a healthy breakfast were likely to lose a whopping 240% more of body weight against those who had bigger dinners[ii]. And you must be aware that skipping breakfast and cutting down on your nutrition throughout the day will not only leave you with less energy and less mental power but it will also leave you at risk of making bad, unhealthy decisions later in the day, especially at night.
THE TOP 4 BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
There too many benefits for having a healthy breakfast. Here is a quick list of top 4 reasons you must ensure you have a nourishing and well-balanced breakfast before you head out for the day. And you need to do this every day if you want to lose weight, stay healthy and feel energized and happy.
- Boost your metabolism so you can burn more fat. It will prevent your body from thinking that you are on a starvation mode. If your body feels fuel will be limited, it will send signals to slow down your metabolism to conserve energy, so you will be eating less but will be unable to lose weight or may even put on weight.
- Avoid cravings and overeating by having adequate nutrition at breakfast. A good breakfast will nourish your cells and keep you feeling satisfied so you don’t have to be tempted by those cookies in the office or at the coffee shop. You will also not be starving later in the day which can lead you to eat more than you need or eat whatever is there, as opposed to eating the right foods for your body.
- Maintain your blood sugar levels stable during the day. When you wake up, your body has been without food for many hours. This means that your sugar levels are at the lowest which can make you feel tired. A balanced and healthy breakfast will help you stay energized without the need of having coffee and sugar to keep you awake.
- Fuel your brain so that you can be more productive and focused during the day.
A HEALTHY BREAKFAST – THE CONSTITUENTS
Your secret to a healthy breakfast lies in including all key groups of a healthy meal. Here, is a list of the major components a SMART and healthy breakfast should have:
a) Clean proteins, which are responsible for building and maintaining every cell in your body. They are also necessary to help your body get rid of toxins and waste, and build and maintain lean body mass. Having a leaner body looks better and burns more calories. Eating adequate protein throughout the day will also help you stay satisfied and energized between meals which will support your weight loss efforts. Some examples of healthier proteins: plant-based protein powders, eggs, quinoa, beans, nuts and seeds, organic chicken and turkey, grass-fed meat, wild-fish. The minimum amount of protein is 0.36 grams of protein for each pound of weight. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs. you will need to eat a total of 36 grams of protein throughout the day.
b) Healthy carbohydrates provide easy fuel, vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs to stay healthy and energized. Examples of healthy carbs are fresh fruits like bananas, berries, apples, grapefruits. Or veggies like green leafy greens (spinach, arugula, romaine), tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and any other non-starchy veggies.
c) Healthy fats need to be included every day in every meal to be able to stay satisfied between meals, burn fat, fuel your brain and feel happy. Good sources are avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil or fat from clean animal protein.
SKIPPING BREAKFAST TO COMPENSATE
Let me tell you that if you think skipping breakfast can compensate for the binge eating or unhealthy choices you indulged in last night, you are not alone. I used to think and do this for many years. And I got to tell you that I can now see that while I was doing that, I had the most weight struggles and eventually began to be affected by poor mental capacity and on-and-off depression.
I want you to know a few important facts on what skipping breakfast does to your body, your brain and your mood.
i) An energy-deficient and low-powered brain
Your brain thrives on nutrients, healthy fats and glucose. The absence of enough of these elements in your body makes you lose focus and concentration.
ii) An edgy and irritable state of mind
When your body is deprived of nutrition early in the morning, the stress response in your body is triggered, making you more vulnerable to anger outbursts and irritability, especially in the first half of the day. And a higher level of the stress hormone will make you feel hungrier later, store more fat, and damage the cells in your body.
iii) Excessive cravings and weight gain
When you miss breakfast, your body gets into the survival mode and you tend to have more cravings for sugar and unhealthy foods during the day. Your metabolism also goes into slow mode to conserve energy so you will store more fat.
iv) Increased vulnerability to diseases
There is ample evidence to show how people who regularly miss breakfast are at a greater risk of developing disorders like diabetes and hypertension, as well as many other chronic diseases that are too many to list here.
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[i]: The Science Behind Breakfast. The rush University Medical Centre.//www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/why-you-should-eat-breakfast. Web. 31-17-2017.
[ii]: Daniela Jakubowicz, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein, Oren Froy. High Caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women. Obesity, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/oby.20460