Monday, 25 October 2010

Why breakfast is essential......

There was some talk the other day, on Twitter, in connection with breakfast and what the best options were, for weight loss. And of course there were a few comments along the lines of:

"But I can't/don't eat breakfast. I just have coffee and then get something to eat later on..........."

I suspect that, whilst the majority of us  know that breakfast is heralded as the most important meal of the day, that many of us skip it?

I know that getting three kids ready for school each morning, in conjunction with my own early morning exercise routine, alongside getting lunchboxes ready, slapping a load of washing on, as well as trying to remember to get the meat out of the freezer for tea, that breakfast for myself is often the very last thing on my morning "things to do" list.

Plus, I am an ex-smoker. For over 25 years, my "breakfast" was strong coffee and a couple of cigarettes. That was all I needed, and all I wanted.

And before I ever lost any weight, when I was snacking a lot late at night, I was simply never hungry in the mornings for breakfast.

It's habit, pure and simple. Easting breakfast is a habit. One that we have as kids, and insist upon for our children, but often relinquish as adults?

So to all those that struggle with the idea of breakfast, I empathise, I really do.

But......the benefits of breakfast are so positive:

  • Eating breakfast makes you feel better. It gives you energy. It makes you feel awake and gives you vitality.
  • A healthy breakfast makes your brain work better, no matter how old you are. Simple as that. We all know that kids do better at school if they eat a decent brekky. Same for grown ups.
  • Breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day. If you eat well and healthily at breakfast, chances are you will continue a healthy eating pattern for the rest of the day.
  • Eating breakfast fires your metabolism. Imagine your metabolism as a fire. Overnight it is dormant embers. In order to relight the fire, you need to give it some fuel, to get it burning again. Breakfast is this fuel. Otherwise your metabolism just is sluggish all day and you will never burn off calories.
I can almost hear the excuses coming through my screen.

I remember how reticent I was to ever start having brekky.

1. I don't have time: Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier. If you are making brekky for kids, just give yourself the exact same brekky.  At the very least, grab a piece of fruit and eat it in the car.

2. I am just not hungry at breakfast time: look, I am not suggesting you eat a four course hotel buffet breakfast. A piece of fruit or a yogurt will do. Just try it for a few days, gag it down for a few days if you have to. I am willing to bet your body appreciates and comes to expect it really quickly. And in a few days you will be hungry for brekky and you'll enjoy it.

3. But if I eat brekky I find I get hungry earlier in the day - this means I am ending up eating more calories than if I skipped brekky? Maybe. You will get hungrier earlier. Because your body and its metabolism is firing properly. Your body is efficiently using the energy you're giving it. If you eat a healthy, breakfast, chances are your body will want a healthy morning tea. And then a healthy lunch. Hey. All these healthy meals. How good is that. (But if you had skipped brekky, what are the chances you'd have been so hungry by 10am that you ate high calorie high sugar high fat food like a doughnut? Or an early fast food lunch?)

I could go on and on and on about the need for low GI and protein packed perfect breakfasts.

I am tempted to.

But I won't.

Let's not worry about forcing ourselves to eat a perfect balanced breakfast every day. Let's go easy on ourselves and just eat something healthy for brekky:

A bowl of cereal? Find one you like that is high in fibre and low in sugar and you'll be on the right track. (Goddess knows, there is enough choice in the cereal aisle. Sultana Bran is still the one I come back to, time and time again.)

A yogurt? (I avoid diet ones - I am not a fan of the chemicals used as artificial sweeteners)

A banana? An apple?

A slice of toast? (No butter, with honey or marmalade or peanut butter.)

Cut fruit? (This is how I started persuading my body to eat breakfast. A small amount of cut strawberries or watermelon. It was all I could face. Still love it now.)

A milk shake or a smoothie? I often make up a protein shake. Mine is choc full of fibre (I use psyllium husk) and a banana. This keeps me going all morning, very well.

A small carton of Up and Go? (Or similar?)  (I sometimes stop at the servo for one of these if I am desperate.)

A cereal bar?

So now that?

Just eat some nice breakfast every day. Do it, do it for yourself.

Tell me if you are a brekky fan or not?

What are your best and easiest and quickest and healthiest breakfasts?


  1. Motorbikes_LadyOctober 25, 2010

    I love my breakfast. Monday to Friday it's a coffee 1st thing with hubby then give him his breakfast while making his lunch and morning tea to take to work.

    Once his gone to work I will usually have a bowl of generic cornflakes with generic milk or sometimes if I'm not wanting cornflakes but we have fruit still in the house I will grab a piece of fruit or two to have.

    Of a weekend breakfast usually consists of hot breafast like snags or bacon,fried or hard boiled eggs and hash browns or otherwise about 2 to 3 slices of toast (hubby normally cooks on weekends the reason for so much toast) with grilled cheese & tomato on it done under the grill.

    Also cause it's a weekend its usually brunch at our place cause of the time we get up.

    I agree with you so much when you say set your clock 10 mins earlier if you think you don't have time for breakfast. I'm always saying that to people who ask how I manage to have breakfast.

    (((( Hugs ))))

  2. I am not a breakfast fan. I love my coffee. Mmm. And if we were hanging together in years past, I would've been sharing your smoke with you.

  3. I love my brekky, and I literally will not leave the house without it. Even if I'm going out for brekky, I have a little something before I go!

  4. I make sure i eat breaky everysingle day now:-) coffee of course first then glass of juice and cut up Banan with pine nuts and yoghurt its really yum as well as filling.

    before it was the same coffee ,smaoke ,nothing by 11am i was bloomin starving and stuffing my self with what ever i could find in my fridge!

  5. I'm SO with you on the not loving breakfast routine.
    I have managed to reform myself with bircher muesli or scrambled eggs in the microwave or baked beans that I make up at the start of the week with garlic on a thick seedy toast.
    Here's to having healthy starts to the day.

    x Felicity

  6. fatgirlwearingthinOctober 25, 2010

    I cannot imagine not eating breakfast. I never used to, but once I got into the habit of it, if I don't eat, I feel sluggish with a foggy mind. My meals always consist of fiber - I get most of my fiber in at breakfast, actually. Cereal always seems to be the way to go: oatmeal and english muffin, Fiber One and a Vitatop. Even cream of wheat (wow, am I getting old!!) Like anything else, I think we just need to develop habits. They'll stay with us a lifetime.

  7. Loving my breakfast routine these days. I make porridge (real stuff, not that wimpy pre-packaged powder) for Miss1 and I each morning, and we both love it. This morning we had it with mashed banana, yum! Sometimes I add cinnamon, brown sugar, dried apricots, grated apple/pear, anything really! And for some reason, we don't ever get sick of it. And it fills me up until lunchtime. Perfect! :)

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  9. My reason for not breakfasting is that if I eat soon after I get up I feel really sick! I do have breakfast most days now, but its usually around 9am when I can handle it. Is that really bad?

  10. I love to have breakfast! If I don't then I'm eating too much the rest of the day trying to make up for it.

    I have these flax waffles with a little peanut butter and some fresh raspberries on top. Good source of protein in the morning and the waffles are loaded with omega 3s. Other than that, egg whites or oatmeal. On my non-dieting days I like a whole grain bagel with a little butter. :)'re making me hungry and I'm off to bed!

  11. You make so much sense. But I am one of those who have a million excuses, shift work being only one.

    I want to try and eat breakfast. I will try. If it helps me lose weight, it is worth a go. Again. LOL

  12. Andrea (Revealing the Real Me)October 25, 2010

    I'm a weet-bix kid Luce! Can't beat it for fillingness, price and you can add anything to it! Great post xx

  13. Jodie at Mummy MayhemOctober 29, 2010

    I've never understood how people can skip breakfast. I just couldn't do it, and my kids would *never* do it. They get too hungry! (Growing boys.)

    The 8yo used to do 6 Wheetbix last year, but I think he overdosed and doesn't like to do it now. This morning he has eaten a big bowl of Cornflakes with pureed apple on top, followed by a slice of toast with jam. ;)

  14. I eat breakfast "later", around 9am or later. Best breakkie - quick and healthy - is cooked oat bran, add a mashed banana and a big spoon of cottage cheese. Protein hit! I flavour it sometimes with almonds and/or a dash of vanilla. Filling and keeps me going, also prevents sweet snacking late morning.

  15. I always eat breakfast, not because I'm awesome (although, let's face it, I am) but because I'm freakin starving by the time I get up in the morning! Sometimes when I get up in the middle of the night to feed my 4 month old I'll have breakfast at 4am then again at 8am. I even get excited shopping for new cereal... yes it's quite sad.

  16. I'm huge on breakfast- an up n go as soon as I get up, then toast. If I don't eat it, I feel sick within an hour...

  17. LOVE my breakfasts. I used to have porridge with golden syrup for years. But a few months ago I switched to two poached eggs on a piece of toast. My sugar cravings disappeared instantly. I didn't realise the golden syrup had been triggering them. It is one of my fave meals of the day. GREAT POST x

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