Everyone knows that the key to successful weight loss is a combination of regular exercise, healthy eating and a positive mind. There’s no point working out five days a week if you’re going to give in to temptation and inhale three kebabs and a packet of Hobnobs when you get home.
Healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean dieting, it refers instead to eating sensible, balanced amounts of the right foods at the right times – and that includes a good breakfast.
There’s a reason why people have said for many years that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. After six, seven or eight hours – if you’re lucky – of sleep, your body and brain need some fuel to power and prepare them for the day ahead. Like a car, you can’t run on an empty tank, you need some petrol.
It’s a well known fact that people who eat breakfast lose more weight than people who don’t and this is due to several reasons:
- Breakfast provides the energy your body requires in order to perform activities. Therefore, you’re not so tired and can do more.
- It kickstarts the body into producing the enzymes needed to metabolise fat, helping to shed the pounds.
- Eating a good breakfast keeps you full for longer and may make you less likely to reach for elevenses.
In addition, breakfast is generally good for you. Those who eat breakfast are 50 per cent less likely, according to US researchers, to have blood sugar problems. Consequently, they have a decreased risk of developing diabetes or having high cholesterol levels which could lead to heart disease. Also, some breakfast foods such as grains, seeds and dried fruit provide vitamins and minerals that are hard to find in other foods.
People who don’t eat breakfast often complain that it’s “too early” to eat or that they don’t have time in the morning. Paltry excuses! Ways to rectify this include not eating too late the evening before, going to bed earlier or eating breakfast on the train/ bus on the way to work.
Who wouldn’t want to eat breakfast with such an array of delicious morning munchies options available? Uninspired? Try some of these:
Make your own muesli by toasting some oats, then adding seeds, nuts and fruit as desired. Slice a banana on top, garnish with blueberries and pour on some yoghurt. This high fibre option will keep you full until lunchtime and the nutrients derived from the seeds, nuts and fruit will do all sorts of good.
Alternatively, how about blasting lots of lovely fruit up into a smoothie, which you could drink on the way to work? Smoothies are far more filling than you might imagine and allow you to be really creative. Experiment with flavour combinations, thin out a little with water, milk, fruit juice or low-fat yoghurt and enjoy.
For traditionalists, two slices of wholemeal or granary bread with a scraping of butter and some Marmite or a bowl of whole-grain cereal is fine. Top with honey or dried fruit for sugar and splash over some semi-or skimmed milk to reduce the refined sugar and fat content.
To say breakfast is the “most important” meal of the day underplays how significant it really is. Providing energy, nutrients and warding off chronic conditions, can you really afford not to eat it?