The notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is more than just an old wives’ tale. If you are trying to lose weight, or simply want to ensure that you have lots of energy throughout the day, then the act of breaking your fast early in the day is important.
Reasons Why Breakfast Is Important
Research has found that people who eat a healthy meal first thing in the morning have improved concentration levels and more energy than people who do not. In addition, they are less likely to feel the need to snack before lunch time.
The key here is a healthy meal cereal bars, sweet jams, muffins and sugary cereals are not nutritious. Many of those products are marketed as a healthy way to start the day, with pictures of fruit on the box or bold lettering indicating that the food is fortified with vitamins and minerals. This is nothing more than cunning marketing designed to divert your attention away from the fact that those meals contain simple carbohydrates or more sugar than a small chocolate bar.
A good morning meal is one that contains foods with a low glycemic index. These foods release energy at a slow, steady rate. This keeps your insulin levels steady throughout the day, stopping you from feeling hungry and preventing the crash that comes after a typical sugar rush.
Morning Meals and the Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet encourages people to eat natural, unprocessed foods that are high in protein and contain healthy fats. Instead of eating cereals, grains and heavily processed snacks, followers of the Paleo diet choose their foods through one simple test: would a cave man have been able to eat this? If the answer to that question is no, then the food isn’t Paleo. Fresh meat, eggs, in-season fruit and nuts are all good examples of Paleo foods. Breakfast bars and Cocoa Pops are not Paleo.
If you are looking for ways to improve your early-morning nutrition, then eating Paleo is a good starting point. You don’t have to force a huge amount of food down your throat first thing in the morning, especially if you’re not used to eating as soon as you wake up. However, a handful of nuts, a boiled egg or a small piece of in-season fruit is a good starting point.
Ideally, you should break your fast with something that will satisfy you until lunch time. By curbing your cravings first thing in the morning, you should find that you no longer feel the need to snack. This means that you will feel fuller and more satisfied, but end up eating fewer calories across the course of the day. If you’re trying to lose weight, that should be good news for you. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, you should still appreciate the other benefits of filling up on nutritious food early on in the day. You’ll have more energy, better concentration and more calories left over for tasty treats at the end of the day.