Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body needs a healthy supply of energy to jumpstart the morning. After going many hours without eating, the body needs fuel. If it does not receive any new fuel, the body will create its own in the form of stored blood sugar that is released into the bloodstream.
When the body is fasting, that is, not given any supply of new energy, it slows down to conserve what it has left. This is counterproductive. The trick is to keep the metabolism going all day long at a steady rate. It all starts with breakfast.
Breakfast blunders occur when there is no time or desire to prepare a healthy meal or on the weekend when a big breakfast is consumed. The biggest mistake to avoid is skipping breakfast. When the body is without a new source of energy by going too long without eating, the body goes into a starvation mode.
In the starvation mode when a meal is finally eaten, which usually ends up being too many calories and carbohydrates, the body will grab all the fat and store it. Digestive organs become overworked and often an imbalance of nutrients occurs. This is especially the case for those dealing with diabetes. The goal is to stabilize blood sugar, not overload the body with too much food.
When the fast is broken at breakfast and preparation and eating time is limited, items high in sugar and caffeine are the favorites. Being tempted with a donut and coffee for extra sugar and caffeine is a mistake. Breakfast should be a meal that provides the body fuel for the next couple of hours. Usually, the process of digestion takes between 3 to 5 hours. A donut and coffee will leave the body famished within 60 minutes.
Many people complain that they are not hungry in the morning. They may brag about the extra time that they have to sleep because of skipping the most important meal of the day. These folks may not be functioning at their highest level during the morning hours because their energy tank is only half or one-quarter full. School children and teens who eat a healthy breakfast with a high protein source score higher on tests and pay attention better.
Stay away from sugar cereals and drink at least 8 ounces of milk out of the bowl or cup. At least 7 to 10 grams of protein will help the body feel fuller and avoid feeling hungry as quickly. At one time daily eggs were forbidden; studies now reveal that they are a healthy way to increase protein, especially at breakfast. Cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are healthy sources. Peanut butter and other nut butters are a tasty choice to increase protein.
Planning for breakfast before bedtime assures a healthier morning meal. Refrain from eating that high protein snack at night and save it for the morning. Leftovers from the evening meal usually provide excellent protein. Rise and shine and eat.
Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.