The age-old debate still has many of us questioning whether eating that all-important first meal of the day is really crucial. Given our busy lifestyles these days, it’s easy to fall into a habit of skipping breakfast in the mornings – our tired bodies often prioritise getting those few extra minutes of shut-eye rather than eating a balanced breakfast and with a 9-5 job (and commuting, socialising and exercising in between), sometimes we simply ‘forget to eat’.
No matter your excuse, there’s a reason why eating breakfast as an energy-fuelling way to start your day has been passed down from generation to generation and continues to play out in the home and office kitchens throughout the world. Still not convinced? Read on.
The health benefits of eating breakfast
Ever noticed how on the days you skip breakfast you end up being cranky, snack all day long in the hopes of raising your energy levels and are too pooped for the gym after work? That’s because people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have healthier lifestyles overall, including exercising more, snacking less and having superior nutritional profiles, i.e. eating a healthier diet with more fibre and macronutrients.
Science aside, most dietitians and nutritionists are advocates for eating a good breakfast in the morning as it breeds better dietary patterns and, naturally, a better overall health status.
The nutrition behind breakfast
A well-balanced plate of protein, whole grains, healthy fats and a fruit or vegetable is your best bet for reaping the full benefits of the morning staple. Both the protein (animal- or plant-based) and fat will keep you feeling satisfied (and less likely to snack) for longer, while whole grains and fruits or veggies add a dose of necessary fibre, vitamins and minerals to your diet.
The optimal time to eat breakfast
Many dietitians and nutritionists agree that eating breakfast within an hour of waking up is ideal. However, this will depend on your schedule and needs. For example, a person training early in the morning will need a quick, easily digestible source of carbs (think banana or oats) to fuel their workout, followed by protein-rich, hydrating food that replenishes fluids and helps the body recover. Those who don’t exercise in the morning can eat at home before they leave for work or at the office, depending on their hunger levels and whatever is most convenient for them.
Quick and convenient alternatives to a sit-down brekkie
For those days when you’re pushed for time, opt for a hydrating, nutrient-rich smoothie or juice that you can take with you on the go. Look for a shake mix that has a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals and is low in sugar. Add your milk of choice and some ice cubes, fruits or vegetables and you’re ready to go. Alternatively, blend your smoothie or juice from scratch – this requires a little more prep time but can also be enjoyed in your car before a meeting.
At Herbalife Nutrition, we believe that starting your day with breakfast and hydrating your body from the inside out will encourage you to make healthier choices throughout the day. Good choices turn into good habits, which are the cornerstone of optimal health and well-being.