Many of us skip the first meal of the day in order to save a few extra calories or minutes in order to rush out of the door on time. Others complain that they don’t have much of an appetite first thing in the morning. Needless to say, there’s a reason why we’ve all heard the expression, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,”—because it’s true! Here are four compelling reasons to inspire you to make a change, and start incorporating some healthy plant-based recipes into your morning routine.
1. Eating Breakfast Helps With Weight Loss
Eating within the first 30 minutes upon waking is a sure-fire way to rev up your metabolism. As you’ve been sound asleep for 7 to 8 hours (hopefully!) your metabolism slows down and blood sugar drops. By delaying the breaking of your fast to later in the day (let’s say lunch), low blood sugar and fatigue will cause you to eat more over the course of the day, consuming MORE calories and fat than if you actually ate breakfast. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetics Association indicated that women who ate breakfast regularly consumed fewer calories in a day and tended to exercise more. Plus, with your metabolism fired-up, you’ll be more efficient at burning more calories during the day!
2. Eating Breakfast Stabilizes Blood Sugar and Controls Cravings
Fasting for periods of time (including sleep) causes blood sugar to drop (and consequently, for fatigue to kick in). As the day passes, low blood sugar and fatigue morph into “I-need-to-eat-right-now!” hunger, making it harder think clear enough to reach for the right food choices. Rather than choosing a well-planned, healthy breakfast, a hunger-dulled brain will grab anything convenient that might deliver energy, just to break the fog. We may have a tryst with caffeine to compensate for skipping breakfast, then reach for a quick energy-fix such as sugary, refined carbs a few hours later when the caffeine disappoints as the day drags on. This sets you up for a rollercoaster of blood sugar spikes and dips throughout the day, unstable energy and constant cravings. So, if you want to get rid of those late-night snack binges, begin by eating breakfast!
3. Eating Breakfast Makes Morning Workouts More Effective
Do you skip breakfast before morning workouts because you think a full stomach will slow you down? Don’t! If you want to get the most of your workout, you need to properly nourish. Upon waking, glycogen levels (energy stored in your muscles) are low. Like a toy with low but not-quite-dead batteries, working out in the morning without breakfast leaves you with slow reaction times and poor performance. If you want the greatest energy to put into your workout, to yield the greatest output, you need to fuel up on foods that allow you to perform at your best. By working out when glycogen levels are low, you run the risk of burning out too soon to get the results you wanted from your workout. Pre-morning workout breakfast doesn’t need to be heavy — fuelling can be as simple as an apple or spouted grain toast with coconut oil. Vega Sport makes it super simple. Simply mix Vega Sport Pre-workout Energizer with some water and you’re good to go!
4. Eating Breakfast Boosts Cognitive Functioning
The human brain, although extremely complex, operates on a simple principal: it requires ample nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, to function optimally. Even the slightest nutritional deficiency can have a huge impact on brain chemistry, resulting in impaired learning and cognitive functioning, decreased attentiveness, inability to problem-solve, anxiety, and other behavioural disorders. Skipping a meal entirely or substituting wholesome meals with refined sugar and saturated fat-laced, nutritionally-depleted foods can have the same effect.
If this and the other three pro-breakfast arguments in this article have finally convinced you to get on-board with breakfast, take note: a breakfast of sugar-laden cereal does not deserve the same kudos as a breakfast of cooked quinoa with hemp seeds. A sugary start to the day will have the same negative cognitive impact and weight management implications as skipping breakfast all together. Opt for a breakfast rich in plant-based proteins, fiber and healthy fats for long-lasting energy and mental alertness.
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