The Biggest Nutrition Mistake: Skipping Breakfast

by Chrissy on April 5, 2014

breakfast3Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. When you eat is just as important as what you eat. Think of it this way, your body has just been fasting for the last 9-12 hours since dinner last night. Your body is low on energy and energy storage. You need to refuel, especially if you are going to get a morning workout in! You need enough carbohydrates to have a successful workout and to help your body tissues recover. Breakfast not only influences how we perform physically, but it has cognitive effects as well. Your brain needs energy just as your muscles do. 

Another risk of skipping breakfast is a prolonged increase of a stress hormone called cortisol. At night, cortisol levels increase and when you skip breakfast you may be at an increased risk for fat storage and breakdown of muscle. Make sure to eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking up in the morning.

Studies show that breakfast is a must have!

  • Dieters who eat breakfast daily have the most success.
  • Students perform better in school.
  • Athletes work harder and longer after a high carbohydrate morning meal.

There are many excuses in the non-breakfast eater’s world. You may think you do not have time to make a healthy breakfast so you grab a donut on your way out the door. Instead, you could grab an apple, granola bar, and a serving of low-fat milk to go. Maybe you are not hungry around breakfast time because you ate too late so limit late night snacking. Maybe you do not like breakfast foods. There is nothing wrong with having last night’s leftovers for breakfast! Fad dieters may want to skip breakfast to save up their calories. This is just setting yourself up for failure. Without breakfast, your appetite is ravenous and your sugar cravings are out of control. You will most likely over eat and make poor food choices throughout the day.

Some good choices for a balanced and quick breakfast include:

  • A bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with almonds, fruit, and low-fat milk
  • Low-fat yogurt mixed with fruit; a side of 1-2 slices of whole-wheat toast with butter or peanut butter
  • Scrambled eggs, a whole wheat roll, fresh fruit, and a glass of milk
  • My personal favorite: a big fruit and vegetable smoothie

As long as your breakfast contains a mix of carbohydrates and protein, your muscles and brain will be refueled and ready to go for the long day ahead.

-Macy Focken

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