When we break down the word breakfast we get the words ‘break’ and ‘fast’. That’s because that is exactly what eating breakfast does. It breaks our night-long fast and kickstarts our bodies and metabolism for the upcoming day. Many individuals aren’t eating breakfast however and missing out on its benefits. In fact it has been estimated that 15 percent of adolescents and one third of adults in Australia don’t eat breakfast. So what are the benefits of eating breakfast and how can we easily ensure we eat this everyday?
Benefits of Eating Breakfast:
– Boosts metabolism
– Boosts energy levels to fight fatigue
– Provides essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as folate, B vitamins, iron
– Provides fibre to keep us regular
– May help to keep weight down – those who don’t eat breakfast have been shown to be significantly heavier than those who do eat breakfast.
– Helps to reduce illnesses associated with obesity such as heart disease and diabetes
– Helps control our appetite for the rest of the day
– Improves mental performance
– May help in curbing food cravings throughout the day
Common Reasons for Skipping Breakfast:
– Not enough time
– Too tired
– No readily available breakfast foods in the house
Suggestions to Overcoming Barriers to Eating Breakfast:
– Make sure healthy breakfast food options are available in the home such as porridge/quick oats, plain yoghurt, low-sugar muesli, wholegrain toast, baked beans, eggs
– Prepare breakfast the night before e.g. boiled eggs
– Set the alarm clock for just 10 minutes earlier – realistically your body won’t miss the extra 10 minutes of sleep but it will miss not eating breakfast.
– Keep accountable – for instance, you might like to request that your family ask you at the end of the day if you ate breakfast today.
– Find a quick alternative e.g. a protein shake made with low-fat milk, plain yoghurt, berries, and psyllium husks
– Pack a breakfast option for morning tea if you find you are just not hungry until mid-morning. Note though that your body gets used to what it consistently does. So you can train your body to be hungry for breakfast by consistently eating something first thing in the morning, even it is something small.
Hopefully with these simple tips we will all soon be enjoying the health benefits of eating breakfast.