We all heard the saying “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper” but is there any truth to this? Can I get by skipping breakfast and making up for it at lunch and supper instead? What am I even supposed to eat when Im short on time and honestly I don’t really have an appetite that early in the morning anyway? These are some of the questions which this blog post will hopefully help shed some light on.
Why is it important?
Not only does having breakfast influence your brainpower and physical energy but research has found a link between having breakfast and reducing the risk of high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Do I have to eat it at a set time?
The concept of breakfast is to “break the fast” that your body had from the night before to lunch time. Breakfast can occur within 3 hours of you waking and can be staggered along those 3 hours. By having breakfast it will help prevent you from making unhealthy food choices later on in the day when you feel hungrier because you skipped breakfast. These unhealthy choices are often full of saturated fats, salt and sugar. Portion distortion also occurs as you rationalize that you can have a bigger portion at lunch and/ or supper as you had skipped breakfast that day. However this is not true. Research has shown that in fact when someone eats breakfast they have better weight outcomes and are at a lower risk of obesity.
What can I eat for breakfast?
Breakfast can range from a cooked porridge such as oats, all the way to last night’s leftover dinner. There are no set rules for this. However it is wise to choose a healthy option which will give you the fuel needed to tackle the day ahead. It is important to always include a lean protein source such as eggs, yoghurt or chicken, a healthy fatsuch as avocado, nuts or seeds and a complex starch such as whole wheat low GI bread, oats or All Bran flakes. Do not feel pressurized to eat the breakfast bars and biscuits which are aggressively marketed to us as a breakfast option as these are generally loaded with sugar which is unhealthy.
Breakfast success steps
1. Plan ahead. We all know that the mornings can be chaotic especially when you need to be out the door in time to skip the morning traffic. Set yourself up for success by laying the table with dishes, utensils and ready to serve foods such as cereals the night before. Low GI cereal options include oats, All bran Hi Fibre, Pronutro whole wheat, Nature’s source low GI muesli and Futurelife smart food. Slice fruit, boil eggs or cook oats the night before.
2. Wake up earlier. Even 15 minutes earlier will assist in ensuring you can sit down and eat at peace without any distractions or anxiety.
3. Have a set breakfast time as a family. If it is not scheduled in, it won’t happen. This will teach your children how to work within time slots so that they are ready on time for breakfast and can leave for school on time.