Thursday, October 20, 2016 2:00 PM

Breakfast a Meal with a Troubled Soul

Everyone loves breakfast foods, yet if we skip a meal during the day it is usually breakfast.  I am guessing most of us tend to value those two or three rounds of rudely interrupted “snooze” alarm sleep more than that first meal of the day.  Why do we do that to ourselves, when we hear all the time that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? 

Why is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day? 

Consider the literal meaning of the word breakfast, i.e., “break” – “fast.”  Meaning, from the time you finish dinner until the time you wake up in the morning you are fasting.  In a 24hr day, that is the longest time period you go without eating.  Hence, your first meal in the morning you are breaking the overnight fast.  When you get up, you are essentially running on fumes.  Think about it another way, how far will your car go if the needle on the gas gauge is on “E”?  Get my point?

The experts suggest that the first meal of the day should ideally be consumed sometime within the first two hours that you drag your comatose body out of bed.  I get asked all the time if slamming a meal replacement/protein shake on the way to work counts as breakfast.  Let me answer that question this way: the experts suggest that your healthy breakfast supplies you with 20-35% of your daily caloric allowance.  So let me ask you, how many calories are there per serving in your protein shake of choice?
 
Shaking the Cobwebs

We all kind of wake up in a fog when we first get up.  Most people try to combat this by going straight to that cup of joe thinking caffeine is what is needed to clear the nocturnal haze.  Think of this, though, breakfast will will stop the fasting process that your body resorts to during your slumber and prevent our bodies from slowing down our rate at which we burn calories.  That gray matter knocking around inside your noggin needs fuel too!  Studies have proven that eating breakfast can improve concentration and memory.  It is also proven to be able to change our mood and make us happier by decreasing stress levels. 

Not only do we improve our ability to function by taking on board fuel to start the day, we also take in some pretty critical nutrients such as calcium, iron, protein, fiber, etc.  The reason this is so important is that research has shown that if we skip breakfast we are less likely to take them on board later in the day. 

Are you trying to shed a few extra pounds?  Research has shown that folks that partake in breakfast tend to be within their ideal weight range, compared to those that pass on the first meal of the day.  Those that skip breakfast tend to be the ones who reach for sugary mid-morning snacks later in the day.

Hangry Much?

Hangry - (hang-ree) adj

  • A state of anger caused by a lack of food; hunger causing a negative change in emotional state
 
Spare your coworkers and take some time for breakfast!  Not only will you be healthier and happier but your coworkers might thank you!  Go online and search quick, easy ,healthy breakfast ideas or recipes or something similar.  You will come up with all sorts of great suggestions to help start your day off right!

Karissa Bouchie
Clinical Nutrition Manager
Nutrition & Dining Services

Tim Clark
Manager Fitness Club
Community Medical Center Fitness Center