We only live once, so why not make the most of it? The ‘Better Me‘ series hopes to give some ideas on how to add fun and meaning to our lives.
How many times do you think you’ve heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? It is probably one of the most frequently used sayings, tirelessly repeated by parents, teachers, doctors, TV presenters, nutritionists and personal trainers worldwide. Yet the reality is that for many of us breakfast is the least important meal of the day, simply because we skip it.
While some choose to skip breakfast as part of an intermittent fasting regime, the less committed among us skip breakfast because we lack the time or appetite for food. Yet studies show that people who do eat breakfast make better food choices during the day. Perhaps because a good start to the day motivates us to continue in the same vein. Research also shows that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
Personally, I can see why. Whenever I skip breakfast the mischievous part of my brain is secretly pleased, because it thinks it can go away and spend those extra calories saved being naughty. So come Cookie Monster time (typically mid-morning or mid-afternoon), I am more likely to succumb to temptation than if I’d had my breakfast in the morning. My Cookie Monster food choice will typically be higher in calories, fat, sugar and salt. It will be consumed at a later part of the day and lovingly stored in that special place round my thighs. So, not only will I end up eating more calories, but those calories will not even provide me with the nutrients I need. After the short-lived sugar rush, my choice will leave my high and dry. Feeling demotivated but secretly longing for more sugar (which, incidentally, is addictive) I will probably make further bad choices during that same day. I might as well, seeing as (a) today’s efforts have already gone down the drain and (b) I am a useless idiot who is not disciplined enough to be healthy and fit. Having already failed in my own eyes, all I can expect of myself is more failure.
If any of the above sounds even slightly familiar, it may be worth taking those extra ten minutes to have breakfast in the morning. Generally, it is best to have breakfast within an hour of waking up. If however, like me, you tend to work out in the mornings, you are better off saving your breakfast until after your work-out.
Before you go and stock up on cereal, bagels and skinny muffins though, please consider the level of sugar, fat and sodium in your breakfast choice. It is almost always true that the less processed your food choices, the healthier they will be. Check out next week’s post for some healthy and quick breakfast ideas.