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Is it an old wives tale, or is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Perhaps your mother always made you eat hot lumpy porridge in the morning, so as soon as you escaped her clutches, you developed the coffee and cigarette habit in college, and ever since then breakfast was a bagel... at lunchtime.
But it’s actually true, breakfast can make or break a diet, because breakfast helps set the tone for the rest of the day. If you’re one of those people who think skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight... think again. Here are the top reasons why you should definitely eat breakfast, every day:
- Break the fast. Ever think of what "breakfast" means? Your body responds to not eating for hours and hours by slowing down it's metabolic rate. By eating breakfast, you wake up your metabolism and get your engine humming, burning those calories you need to burn to lose weight.
- Eat more, weigh less. Researchers have repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast have a better chance of losing weight, and keeping it off. When you skip meals, you’re so hungry by lunchtime you'd eat an entire cow! Research carried out at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh has shown that eating breakfast cereal in the morning helps aid weight loss.
- Are you interested in doing better at work and school? Don’t be a bed head... breakfast helps wake you up. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more alert and do better on tests than people who skip breakfast. Conversely, a hungry child can be apathetic, disinterested, and irritable when confronted with difficult tasks. Breakfast is the key." No doubt adults need breakfast as much as kids do.
- Breakfast is your chance to eat the foods you may not eat the rest of the day. You can have whole-grain cereal and berries with non-fat milk - here is your fibre, folic acid and calcium in one easy-to-grab bowl. Low-carbers need to go very easy on grains, so opt for the highest-fibre brand you can find. However, why not indulge instead in the typical eggs and lean bacon breakfast most other eating plans frown upon?
- Skipping breakfast makes you grouchy. Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to be in better moods (when I’m hungry - watch out!). Breakfast gets you started on the right track for the day. If you start out with a healthy breakfast, then you set the mood for lunch. You're more likely to choose something reasonable for lunch if you’ve paid some attention to your breakfast choices.
- Cancel the Danish or sugared doughnut first thing in the morning - they cause a blood sugar dip a couple of hours later. You’ll be desperate for something to perk you up, and are more likely to grab another high-sugar refined carb, for a quick sugar rush.
- Breakfast makes your machine run better. Get yourself on a schedule with a healthy breakfast, and you’re ready to take on the world.
- If you’re a parent, set a good example. By skipping breakfast, your kids will think it’s not important. Breakfast doesn' have to be a big affair, but don’t wimp out... make it a habit, and your kids will be way ahead of the game too.
- Don’t eat dessert for breakfast. If you think a cereal bar with 30 grams of sugar is a breakfast item, then think again. Some cereal bars contain nearly as much sugar and fat as a regular chocolate bar.
- One more word about labels... if it says, "Nutritious," it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. Cereal manufacturers are experts in marketing, using words that send a message of health, but unless you read the labels, eat at your own risk. Kids’ cereals often have more sugar than sweets. Protect your kids from getting hooked on these cereals... they’ll get used to all the sugar, and will want only pre-sweetened cereals.
Whatever your diet you follow... breakfast is one meal you don’t want to miss.
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