It is important to start off the day with nutritious food that can set a healthy tone and keep you satisfied for a few hours.
When you upgrade your breakfast, you’ll notice a difference in your energy and focus, and it can even help with cravings. As a bonus, you’ll be surprised how paying more attention to your first meal of the day can even help you lose some weight.
Watch the video or read below for the whole scoop.
Let’s start off by talking about the word breakfast. Break it down and it literally means Breaking The Fast. Technically, you want to be fasting from after dinner to your first meal of the day in the morning (this means no late night snacking ladies)!
What about meal timing?
This first meal can be early or later depending on how you operate best. But we would not suggest waiting until after 12:00pm as you want to get in at least one hearty meal in the morning. Our metabolism is highest in the daylight hours so it’s a good idea to take advantage of that.
Listen to your body – within reason – if you are hungry too soon or too often after eating, question whether you had enough to eat, how balanced the meal was, and if in fact you are even physically hungry (vs emotional hunger/habit/environmental trigger).
It is really important to be making that distinction so you are only eating when that physical need is there, and not for other outside reasons.
The other thing that comes up a lot when talking about meal timing is “IF” or intermittent fasting.
This can be great as long as when you DO eat your first meal, you have not let yourself get OVERLY hungry. This will create a stress response that can backfire. It can also make you so hungry you tend to just grab anything to get filled up and bypass a nutritious choice.
If your body is never ready for food before noon, give it some time to adjust. You might need to move times back slowly, but it is worth giving a try.
Now onto WHY Breakfast Matters
1. Better metabolism
- Research has pointed to metabolic benefits of having a heartier meal earlier in the day and lighter at night. There’s a saying that goes: eat like a king at breakfast, prince at lunch and pauper at dinner.
- The problem with having lighter morning and mid-day meals is that they often lead to insatiable hunger and cravings as the day goes on and over-snacking on unhealthy foods. So think about your own eating pattern and if this sounds familiar.
2. Blood sugar balance and satiety
When blood sugar is in balance, this helps curb the impulse to eat too soon after a meal. If you ever felt a need to eat an hour after breakfast, or notice an energy slump or cravings too soon after, it’s more than likely your meal wasn’t well balanced or you didn’t get enough calories overall.
When blood sugar is balanced, its easier to stretch the time between meals (we like to see about 3-4 hours) rather than the older philosophy of grazing throughout the day.
Combining protein, fat and fiber-rich carbohydrates is the ultimate trifecta which helps to balance your blood sugar and also increase satiety.
- Protein has been shown to be the most blood sugar stabilizing and thereby satiating nutrient – one of the main reasons is that it induces prolonged ghrelin suppression (ghrelin is our hunger hormone, so keeping that suppressed for longer is really helpful)
- Fat, along with adding great flavor to a meal, also contributes to blood sugar balance and satiety, especially when combined with fiber.
- Fiber provides bulk and helps you feel full for longer. It can also slow stomach emptying and increase digestion time.
3. Provides an amazing opportunity to get in healthy nutrients
Not only are we talking about your macros of fat, protein, and carb, but an array of important vits, mins, and antioxidants.
Skimping on this meal with a processed bowl of cereal, donut, or a piece of toast won’t deliver the brain nutrients or muscle fuel you’ll need to meet your nutrition requirements, which is so important at this stage of our lives.
We have to take every opportunity to feed our cells so our metabolisms function well and our brains and bones are well nourished.
So now you know how important it is to prioritize your first meal. But why are so many still struggling with their breakfasts?
Over the years, We have found 3 reasons women don’t eat the right kind of breakfast:
- It’s hard to overcome the diet mentality that you should eat as little as possible during the day to save calories. So how many times have you said to yourself – today is gonna be a “good” day! And you have this really light breakfast and tiny salad for lunch. Then it all breaks down in the afternoon and you’re climbing the walls for chips or any kind of sugar!
- Women THINK they are eating a healthy breakfast but in reality they are not. Some examples could be low calorie yogurts, packaged oatmeal, or whole wheat toast with egg whites and pam spray.
- Also, our fast-paced lives (working and commuting long hours leading to late night meals and snacking) may lead to poorer health and weight outcomes.
These issues can be addressed successfully, whether it’s a mindset change about dieting and saving calories, figuring out how to plan your meals, or having good breakfast ideas to keep you well fueled.
These are exactly some of the challenges we cover in our intensive 3 month Simply Nourished program, where we walk you through whatever challenges you have when it comes to healthy eating and weight struggles.