According to the Spanish Agency of Consumer Affairs, Food Security, and Nutrition, almost 30% of the population leaves the house without eating breakfast, instead having a coffee when they get to work for example. It’s surprising, isn’t it? Another even more worrisome fact is that only 3% of children today are eating healthy breakfasts on a regular basis.
Most of us – children included – almost always limit ourselves to a glass of milk and a pastry, for example. Something that’s sweet and rich is instantly satisfying and lets you leave the house with a little energy. But what’s the long term result? Day after day, the population is becoming more obese.
Another misconception that we’re here to correct today is the belief that in order to lose weight, you’re better off skipping breakfast. In today’s article we want to explain what can happen to your body if you skip that first meal of the day. Hopefully this information will help you make the right choice from now on.
Did you know that by skipping breakfast you’re actually causing weight gain?
This might surprise you, but the justifications you almost always hear from people who leave home without eating breakfast fall into the following categories:
- Lack of time
- Had a large dinner the night before
- Want to lose a few pounds
If any of these sounds familiar to you, you should understand what kinds of consequences that continued “fast” can have for your health.
- Starting the day without any food is directly related to a later drop in energy, poor intellectual performance, fatigue, and moodiness. Did you know that your brain uses about 20% of the total energy you consume in order to function normally? That’s why if you don’t get enough nutrients and vitamins you can feel sluggish and get headaches, causing you to perform poorly at work.
- People who skip breakfast often suffer from constipation.
- Skipping breakfast causes what professionals call a “metabolic syndrome,” or an accumulation of fat, typically in the abdominal area. This is primarily due to the fact that your body, when it senses a lack of food, starts activating enzymes that stockpile fat. So far from losing weight, your body is actually collecting all the lipids and fats it can and storing them for later, the abdomen being a particularly favored spot.
- In turn, abdominal fat can lead to higher levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. All of these can eventually cause serious cardiovascular problems.
- According to an interesting study conducted at Harvard University’s School of Public Health in Boston, men who leave the house without breakfast or just drink a coffee in the morning are at a higher risk for heart attacks after several years.
As you can see, skipping breakfast is a risky behavior. Not only does it slow down your metabolism, but by accumulating fat in particular parts of the body you can develop even more serious problems down the road. So be sure to eat your breakfast!
Six tips for healthy breakfasts that won’t cause you to gain weight
1. Incorporate whole grains
Oats, for example, are some of the best healthy breakfast options available. Oatmeal accompanied with some slices of apple and grapes makes a delicious option. Rye bread is another great food to add to your breakfasts. Some natural plum jam and fresh squeezed orange juice will turn it into a treat you’ll love.
2. Try a little protein – are you surprised?
You should already know that protein is essential for building muscle mass. What good is losing weight if your skin hangs off your bones? A healthy breakfast should have a portion of protein, like a hard boiled egg, for example. Dressed with a little olive oil it can be delicious. You can also make a simple spinach omelet.
3. Milk, tea, or coffee?
We usually recommend trying vegetable milks made from almonds, oats, rice, or other nuts. They’re lactose free for the intolerant and they provide lots of energy. You might as well use them as creamer for your coffee as well, or even added to your green tea. You can’t go wrong with these.
4. Eat some fruit
And do you know what fruit is the best option? The one you like the most. Whether it’s green apples, pears, kiwis and strawberries, sliced papaya, or pineapple. Ideally you should choose fruits that are fresh, and if you’re wondering whether you can choose fruit juices instead, remember that juices almost always contain added sugar. It’s better to eat a piece of the natural fruit with the skin or peel.
5. Don’t forget the nuts!
You can eat a handful of nuts every day – added to everything else they give you an excellent dose of magnesium and healthy fatty acids like omega-3.
6. Say “yes” to probiotics
One of the best choices is plain Greek yogurt with no added sugar. It gets your metabolism going and also replenishes the healthy intestinal bacteria that improve your digestion.
So now you know… never leave home without breakfast!