It turns out the food pyramid was as terrible a FAIL. It taught us the "benefits" of a low-fat, mostly grain diet. It was after several years of this crappy campaign that obesity rates skyrocked. "Eat mostly carbs covered in light or nonfat dairy!" they said. Yeah... How'd that work out for America, FDA???
What they DID get right was the importance of breakfast. By my own admission, when I'm not growing a human/pregnant, my breakfast consists of a cup of coffee. If I have a cup or two of coffee, I can run off that steam for hours! Sometimes even until 3 or 4pm, when I wonder why I'm feeling dizzy. "Oh yeah! I haven't eaten today! I should fix that." I say to myself.
|Sprouted-grain breakfast wrap with eggs, cheese, avocado and veggie sausage|
The problem is, my metabolism is already in "starvation" mode. So when I finally do consume a meal, my body is saying to itself, "Process this slowly! It might be the only thing we get for awhile." Even if I get around to eating lunch at noon, that's a full 17 hours since my last meal, assuming I had dinner around 7pm the previous night.
Seventeen hours! That's all it takes for your body's metabolism to dip back down into the low-burning zone. It's anticipating not having food for a long time and it wants to conserve energy (aka the calories you've already consumed) so that it lasts for as long as possible. Bottom line: you burn the calories you consume too slowly, leading to weight gain.
Now, pregnant Paige wakes up hungry. Ten hours of not eating anything when you're building another human is a long time. I eat within an hour or so of waking up. I feed my toddler first, because that boy wakes up HANGRY, and I may or may not steal some of whatever I'm feeding him. Then I finally get to tend to my own needs. The above pic is actually the breakfast I made myself the morning my water broke with Henry! It was a good thing I went all-out, because I wasn't allowed to eat again until dinner the next day.
With breakfast, my calorie burn stays high all day! I never feel sluggish. I never start to see stars when I stand up quickly. I'm also never letting myself get "starving" or super hungry. It's a much more balanced approach to consuming energy so that - low and behold! - I have energy to last all day.
Consuming breakfast jump starts your metabolism. It wakes it up from the sleep state your body has been in overnight and gets you moving. It sets the stage for the rest of the day. Not just for your energy level, but how many calories you'll actually burn. When you keep your metabolism fed with small portions of healthy food (not refined carbs covered in I Can't Believe It's Not Butter or "light" cream cheese!!), it stays revved up all day long. That means you can eat more without gaining weight, since your calorie burn level is staying high all day long.
And who doesn't want that?! Go eat yourself some breakfast.