Breakfast: The Forgotten Meal

By: ERIN FOTHERGILL

Edited by: ARYA ROERIG

Ever since we were children, our mothers have pounded the importance of breakfast into our heads and guess what? It’s true!  Just like there is a food pyramid to help us make wise choices regarding how to fuel our bodies, a proper breakfast is just as vital.  As kids, we thought of breakfast in terms of sugar loaded Pop-Tarts and Frosted Flakes or fat-filled breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds.  As adults, one of the biggest problems regarding breakfast is actually just the opposite; failing to eat it.  Some people blame a rushed lifestyle or the fact that they can’t stomach food directly upon waking.  The International Food Information Council Foundation reported in a 2009 study that only 44 percent of Americans actually eat breakfast yet 93 percent recognized the meal’s importance.

One of the greatest benefits of breakfast, as pointed out by WebMD, is better weight management.  Many studies have proven that those who eat breakfast tend to weigh less.  By consuming a proper number of calories in the morning the body fails to enter “starvation mode.”  Skipping breakfast often causes you to overeat later in the day and to ultimately consume more calories than if you had actually eaten breakfast.  A higher body mass index (BMI), a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, is also associated with skipping this vital meal.  Eating larger and less frequent meals results in excess body fat storage.  By simply eating breakfast, one can stop these risks and live longer.  A study conducted by the Georgia Centenarian found that of those people who lived to be 100, the vast majority ate breakfast consistently throughout their lives.

Another perk of starting your day off with breakfast is greater focus and concentration.  It is just as important for college students and working adults to be able to concentrate as it is for elementary age children.   The International Food Information Council Foundation also conducted many studies that proved participants had higher productivity levels as well as memory retention when properly fueled in the morning.  In a nutshell, breakfast gives you the energy to get things done!

So, what constitutes the perfect breakfast?  It’s the proper balance between protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.  I like to refer to it as the “breakfast pyramid.”  Protein works to satiate you over extended periods of time and build lean muscle.  Carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide the energy needed to power you throughout your day.  When choosing carbs, make sure to stick with complex carbohydrates like those found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Fruits and vegetables also provide essential macro and micronutrients as well as fiber. It is fiber that causes that “stick to your ribs” feeling you get when you start to feel full.  The daily recommended amount of fiber to be consumed is 25 to 30 grams; however, a WebMD study showed that the average person only takes in around 13 grams.

Achieving a proper balance between these nutrients is possible even with the busiest of schedules.  The mother-daughter team of Jessica Smith, a junior at the College of William and Mary, and her mother, Cindy Vandermeer, are constantly on the go. Whether it be at work, school, or during a workout, the two make it a priority to incorporate breakfast into their daily routines.   Cindy loves to eats brown rice topped with Agave nectar, cinnamon, and brown sugar, which she says makes her feel fuller.  Jessica, an extremely involved student on campus, prefers egg whites sautéed with spinach and turkey sausage from Trader Joes.

Here are personal top three breakfast picks for people on the go! If you’re craving something sweet, prepare a bowl of oatmeal the night before and store it in the fridge.  In the morning, reheat it in the microwave and top with banana slices, peanut butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup.  If you’re more of a savory person, scramble a couple egg whites with salsa and throw them in a whole wheat wrap and top with some low-fat shredded cheese.  Finally, if you can’t stomach the thought of solid food right when you wake up, try making smoothies.  In a blender, combine a container of low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries, ice, and a splash of almond milk.  Put it in your favorite thermos and you’re good to go!  With these foolproof methods, there’s no reason not to start off your day with a delicious and nutritious meal.

Photo Source

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Home, Sections, Your Nutrition

Subscribe to Get Fit Get Life for the latest health news!

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

One Comment on “Breakfast: The Forgotten Meal”

  1. June 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    what we were taught when we were kids did make sense, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. mytravelfitness.com

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: