Just like mama told you, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
Don’t skip breakfast thinking you “save up your calories.” There is more to food than calories in versus calories out. The interesting thing is multiple studies show that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories than those who don’t. By the end of the day, non-breakfast eaters become ravenous. You’re ready to mow down on a bag of chips or cookies, or pull over to your favorite fast food restaurant. There are a few reasons for this; however, the main reason is related to regulating your blood sugar and insulin balance.
The Insulin Connection
Anytime you eat, you will increase your blood sugar. As blood sugar (glucose) increases, you release insulin into the body. If you go without eating until midday, your blood sugar levels decreases. This is when you get to starvation mode. Read: Understand Your Hunger Level.
Because of other physiological factors that affect your emotional state, your judgment as to what you eat becomes impaired. Instead of choosing fruits or vegetables, you’re prone to eat a processed carbohydrate that is high glycemic and possibly high in fat. This puts you into a yo-yo eating pattern the rest of the day, as you release more insulin than what was needed. You begin to dip back down below your normal blood sugar level. This causes you to get stressed, maybe even get a headache. To relieve the pain (whether emotional or physical), you go back to eating crap. Forgive my French, but you know it’s true.
Want some research? Go to MrBreakfast.com.
Before I leave with “You need to eat breakfast,” you still have to eat a sound breakfast. Pop-tarts and doughnuts with coffee is not a good solution!
Here are some tips about breakfast:
- Prepare — Know what you’re going to eat the next morning before you get up. You can go as far as preparing it the night before. Moreover, you can make something like an egg dish with veggies in it and keep it in the fridge. It could last you all week!
- Create a routine — If you’re like me, you have a routine in the morning of taking a shower, etc. A part of that routine is eating breakfast. At first it may be tough, but give it some time. Eating breakfast will be like brushing your teeth.
- Get up a little earlier — Hitting the snooze button over and over is not going to make you feel any more rested. So, you might as well get up. If you’re not a “snoozer” then set your clock to wake up 15 minutes earlier and go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
- Get the right combination — Include a starchy carb, a fibrous carb, and a lean protein. A traditional breakfast could be oatmeal (starchy carb) with vegetable omelet (veggies = fibrous carbs, eggs = protein). Getting the right combination of food is vital for any meal to regulate blood sugar.
- Keep it easy — Understandably, you may not have time cook in the evening or morning. There are a lot of things you can do, ranging from cereal to protein shakes.
Written by Kelly Huggins, Exercise Science, B.S.