As usual, your mom was right. Most of us can recall our mother’s voice each morning, sternly reminding us to eat breakfast. After all, she would say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, she might not have known just how right she was.
Not only do we need energy to start the day, but researchers have learned that breakfast also affects our mood and our waistlines. Those of use who regularly skip breakfast are likely to gain more weight, mostly because we make it up later in the day by eating more.
Eating breakfast has many benefits to your health and skipping this important meal can reduce your weight loss success and your general well-being. And there are many other reasons why you shouldn’t skip breakfast if you are trying to lose weight.
1. Lowers your metabolism
One of the worse things about skipping breakfast is that it lowers your metabolism. Your metabolism is your body’s ability to burn calories and is often referred to as your body’s furnace. Eating regularly helps to keep the ‘fire burning’ and by skipping breakfast you are essentially letting the ‘fire’ burn out. While this is a bad idea at any time of the day, it is particularly bad first thing in the morning as your body has been fasting all night and breakfast helps to kick start your metabolism and provides you with energy for the day ahead. Keeping your metabolism firing is essential for burning fat and calories when trying to lose weight.
2. Lowers your concentration levels
If you have ever missed a meal, you will know how had it can be to concentrate on even the simplest tasks. Regularly skipping breakfast lowers you concentration levels and makes it hard for you to perform at your best. Not only will your concentration levels be affected but your memory and coordination as well. Definitely bad news if you have a job that requires you to use all three!
3. Lowers your energy levels
When you skip breakfast and don’t provide your body with any fuel, you also don’t provide yourself with any energy. We all need to eat a certain amount of calories a day to ensure our bodies are getting enough energy. When you don’t provide enough fuel, it is very hard for your body to do everything it needs to do each day. This will leave you tired and lethargic, and you’ll find it very difficult to get through the day, not to mention exercise.
4. Lowers your blood sugar levels
Skipping meals and not refuelling your body for a number of hours can lower your blood sugar levels so low that you will experience hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia occurs when the amount of sugar (or glucose) in your blood drops below 4.0mmol (this is a measurement used by medical professionals to measure the amount of glucose in the blood). When this happens, you may experience sweating, dizziness, nausea, and shaking. Regularly eating meals will help to prevent this and boost your metabolism at the same time. Maintaining good blood sugar levels is very beneficial to your weight loss journey.
5. Mid-morning cravings
One of the worst side effects of not eating breakfast is that come mid-morning you are so hungry you are more likely to fill up on high fat, high sugar snacks with no nutritional value. These snacks are also high in calories and can throw all your good work out the window. Eating breakfast (especially a healthy one), helps to control cravings and keeps you full and satisfied, meaning you are more likely to eat a healthy snack at morning tea to tide you over til lunch (and keep your metabolism burning to help with your weight loss).
6. Leads to overeating for the rest of the day
Skipping breakfast not only leads you to choose the wrong foods at morning tea but can lead to overeating for the rest of the day. When trying to lose weight it is easy to believe that once you have eaten the wrong thing, that there’s no point in trying until tomorrow. A healthy breakfast helps to set you up for a good day ahead and makes it easier to say no to unhealthy foods.
7. Stops you losing weight
As mentioned earlier, skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism and your ability to burn fat and calories. When you lower your metabolism, it is much hard for your body to burn fat and calories, hampering your weight loss efforts. Small, regular meals, starting with breakfast is a great way to fire up your metabolism and keep your weight loss on track.
8. Makes exercise difficult
Another side effect of skipping breakfast is that it makes you tired and lethargic and this makes it very difficult to find the energy or motivation to exercise. As you know, regular exercise is essential if you are trying to lose weight. Exercise requires energy and the best source of energy is regular, healthy meals, including breakfast.
9. Makes you grumpy
There’s no nice way to put it – being tired, lethargic and hungry makes you grumpy! Skipping breakfast, especially if you don’t eat until lunch time will make you grumpy and agitated, which is not a great combination if your work requires you to be around other people? It’s hard to be nice when you can’t concentrate, are fighting hunger pains and don’t have the energy to stay awake.
10. Makes it difficult to stick to your plan
When it comes to weight loss, stick to your plan is very important and it is difficult to do that when you are hungry and chocolate is calling you. If you want to stick to your weight loss plan, you need to make breakfast a must. It not only kick starts your metabolism but makes it much easier for you to make smart food choices for the rest of the day.
11. Any breakfast is better than no breakfast
Many people think that breakfast needs to be some healthy, ‘hippy’ type meal. Anything you eat at breakfast is better than going hungry. If you don’t have the time to eat breakfast at home, try keeping something at the office to eat there or try getting up a little earlier (easier said than done!). Smoothies and milk shakes are also an option for those with little time.
Skipping meals is never a good thing and if you are trying to lose weight, it is far better to eat small regular meals to boost your metabolism than to skip meals, believing this will help you lose weight. If you have been skipping breakfast to help your weight loss goals, stop now! Start adding breakfast to your eating plan and you’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel and the difference it makes to your weight loss journey.
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