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Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

Breakfast literally means “to break the fast” as it’s the first meal of the day after a stretch of not eating overnight. Breakfast gained this title back in the 1960s after American nutritionist Adelle Davis suggested that to keep fit and avoid obesity, everyone should “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

Most of us grew up with our parents telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but a recent study of 30,000 adults found that 15% of people regularly skip it. Their mums would not be happy!


It is true that a healthy breakfast provides the body with important nutrients, helps to make you feel energised and nourished and many people also believe that it can promote weight loss as well.


But is it really the most important meal of the day?


Calories

Simply put, your body needs a certain amount of calories every day in order to exist. If you eat less calories than your body burns, you will lose weight. If you eat more calories than your body burns, you will gain weight. Thats the basics of weight loss maths.


To find out how many calories you need every day, click this link.


Your body doesn’t know whether it is morning, afternoon or evening - all it knows is that it needs a certain number of calories to exist.


The average 40 year old male will burn around 1900 calories a day and an average 40 year old female burns around 1500 calories per day. Whether those calories come from breakfast, lunch or dinner doesn’t make any difference to your body, as long as it gets what it needs. However, eating breakfast in the morning can make a difference to your energy levels throughout the day and your tendency to snack.


By skipping breakfast, you risk feeling hungry mid-morning and then choosing unhealthy foods in order to keep going. By eating a healthy breakfast, you have a much better chance to feel fuller for longer and avoid eating any snacks.


This is why a lot of health professionals recommend eating breakfast.


What should you eat for breakfast?


Once you decide to eat breakfast regularly, the next thing you need to consider is what to eat. As mentioned above, one of the advantages to eating breakfast is to give you the energy you need to get through the morning and avoid snacking on unhealthy foods, so it’s important to eat something that will help with this.


A balanced breakfast typically includes protein, fiber, and a range of nutrients. If you’re looking for a healthy morning meal, try easy options like eggs, whole wheat toast with toppings, nuts, and green tea.


Breakfast cereals are extremely popular but widely differ in the nutritional content so it’s important to know what you’re eating.


When choosing the healthier cereal options, don’t forget to consider portion sizes, the type of milk you use and whether you sprinkle any sugar over it too! it all counts towards your daily calorie intake.


The NHS website has lots of healthy, delicious breakfast options if you need some motivation and ideas.


Try experimenting with different breakfast options until you find something that works for you, that you enjoy eating and that keeps you full all morning.


Breakfast before exercise


Making sure that you have sufficient energy in order to exercise is important if you want to achieve the best results from your workout. There is some evidence to suggest that the occasional morning workout on an empty stomach can assist weight loss, but the long term effect of doing this regularly can be quite negative.


The Top 10 Healthy Breakfasts to Eat Before a Morning Workout


1. Bananas

This is by far the best grab-and-go breakfast before a workout. Not only are bananas easy on the stomach, but they also provide a dose of healthy carbohydrates to fuel your workout. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter and you’re good to go!


2. Cereal and Granola

A handful of healthy cereal or granola with ingredients such as oats, corn, wheat flakes, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds will provide much-needed carbs, fiber, and protein to give you the fuel you need to get through a tough workout.


3. Smoothies

Smoothies are packed with nutrients that go down quickly, making them an ideal choice for a pre-morning workout breakfast.


4. Yogurt

A cup of plain yogurt is another easily digestible option that will provide much-needed carbs and protein. Add honey, jam, granola or a sliced banana for an extra dose of energy.


5. Oatmeal

Whether you opt for instant or original, oatmeal made with water will give you a healthy blast of complex carbs and protein. For additional flavor, add brown sugar, raisins, nuts, or berries.


6. Hard-Boiled Eggs with Fruit

Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient way to eat an easily digestible protein. Add a side of fruit such as grapes, a banana, or a nectarine for even more energy.


7. Turkey Roll-Ups

Slices of deli turkey digest easily and provide a good amount of protein. Roll them up in a tortilla for a healthy dose of carbs.


8. Breakfast Bars

As long as you choose the right ones, granola and protein bars are compact, easy to eat, and packed with tons of nutrients. Bars that are rich in protein are an ideal breakfast before weight training, but you’ll want to avoid them if you’re heading out for a long run.


9. Protein Pancakes

These pancakes are super easy to make and packed with protein. Top with peanut butter, a banana, and granola, and you’re good to go!


10. Toast & Avocado

Here’s another in the easy-to-make and easy-to-digest category. Get more out of this breakfast by using whole-grain low-carb smart bread.


Summary


Research and medical opinion differs on this subject quite widely, but the general consensus is that eating small portions of healthy food regularly throughout the day is the best way to stay energised.


If you don’t normally eat breakfast and can function normally throughout the day without any side effects or resorting to snacking on unhealthy options, then there is no scientific evidence to suggest that you should make any changes. However, if you find that you do need to snack mid-morning, and want to lose weight then changing your routine to include a healthy breakfast might be the right thing to do.


At Get Fit Today we can help with nutrition, meal plans and exercise programming to help you lose weight and get fit and healthy at the same time. If you would like more information on this, please get in touch.








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