An Uncomplicated Life Blog: The Benefits of Breakfast

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Benefits of Breakfast

Remember in grade school where we were taught, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!" and all about the food pyramid?

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.


14 comments:

  1. I use to NEVER eat breakfast, but in the last several years I've eaten breakfast every day. I can't imagine going without it! It truly is the most important meal of the day.

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  2. I can't function without eating breakfast! You are right, it is so important to keep your body from going into starvation mode. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast is a great way to kick off your metabolism. Awhile back I switched from eating cereal to making scrambled eggs every morning. It takes a little more time, but it's made a big difference. I was able to lose some stubborn weight and I feel better, too.

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  3. I am a breakfast eater. Sometimes I actually eat two breakfasts because I wake up so early! It's good that you realize this because eating breakfast really is important (though I can't imagine making it almost through the day without remembering to eat..I'd pass out by noon!).

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  4. So i need to have that wrap for breakfast - that would surely keep me full longer than the 2 hard boiled eggs I've had the last few days!! xo, biana -BlovedBoston

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  5. Breakfast is everything to me! I literally wake up and the first thing I think is " time for breakfast!" Then throughout the day I eat small meals every few hours. My husband on the other hand is the complete opposite. He is adamant that if he eats breakfast he will be starving al day and eat double what he usually would. I don't get it!

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  6. I love breakfast and have to have it every morning. When I was little I would never eat breakfast but now I always do. It's the most important meal of the day.

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  7. I agree the food pyramid didn't get much right, but YES breakfast! I can't imagine NOT eating it! By the time it's 10 am, I have eaten 3 already ;)

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  8. I have been making a point to wake up earlier to get breakfast in lately. I used to always be a drink two cups of coffee and motor until 2pm kinda girl as well but then when that time would hit, I was insatiable. That breakfast looks so good! High protein and fiber for the win!

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  9. I'm for sure a bfast girl and wraps are a favorite of ours. Sometimes i don't eat until a bit later in the morning but I always eat it. And yes, the food pyramid was a total failure. Stupid FDA.

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  10. I've never been a breakfast eater, like ever. Up until about a month ago, I'd go as long as possible without eating something in the mornings, basically until I couldn't stand it. I felt like crap so I've been forcing myself to eat something as soon as I get to work (and usually again later in the day). Seems silly that this one thing makes a huge difference when its so obvious!

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  11. i know how beneficial and important breakfast is.. and i'm the same as you, sometimes i go hours without eating (and i don't have a kid to worry about lol) and then i wonder why i feel sick! i need to get better at it.

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  12. The pyramid was a fail and the plate isn't that great. I need to get better at eating regularly.

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  13. Preach girlfriend! I’m a strong advocate of eating breakfast. I couldn’t function without it!

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  14. I fully agree that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your day depends on it.write my paper for me If you want to stay healthy and strong You`d better have a good breakfast.

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