There was a time when breakfast used to be the time when most of the family were together.
Papa Smurf popped off to work after reading the paper, Mamma Smurf cooked up the eggs and cereals, whilst the kids lamented over their day at school.
Fast-forward 50 years.
Most people are on their way to work before the sun rises. Kids are hurried off one arm in jumper with the other grabbing a bit of toast. Mum in the meantime is grabbing a bit of lippy and providing a gentle but firm kick up the backside to get out of the door.
Yet we all know and rightly so – breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Skipping it altogether will tee you up nicely for fat gain. Particularly around the mid-rift. Through years of looking at eating habits and body fat distribution patterns I can firmly say that whose who skip breakfast consistently end up looking like a pear.
In same light using a cereal box as your method of starting the day has also had a large part to play in keeping people erring towards the muffin top shape.
Most of us are familiar with the food pyramid?
Well try the reverse food pyramid in the sense that make your breakfast the largest meal of the day and taper off your calorific intake as the day progresses.
Assuming that we all know that 5-6 ‘feedings’ are better than 3 ‘fill-your-boots- type’ meals then your calorific intake at each meal would look like this if you were shooting for 1500 kcal a day:
Breakfast – 400 kcal, Meal 2 – 200 kcal, Meal 3 – 300 kcal Meal 4 – 200 kcal Meal 5 – 200 Meal 6 – 200 kcal
Better blood sugar management, leaner physique, no hunger, better moods, more food to eat (!!) and so on. What is there not to like about this?
You see instead of perpetuating a cycle of sugar cravings by leaving gaps between meals (longer than 2-3 hours) we are actually feeding our bodies regularly.
So what’s the big deal with breakfast?
What you eat first in the day will determine your hormonal and energy levels. Try this practical experiment. For the next five days try meat, salad and nuts breakfast. Think of it as having dinner for breakfast.
See how your energy levels are for the rest of day. Then go back to your cereal based breakfast and compare.
I will guarantee more energy and certainly less sugar cravings. It is unsurprising that your dopamine levels will increase providing you with extra ‘get-up-and-go’ to face the day.
Some other options for breakfast can be leftover dinner, homemade patties with a side salad or chicken breast with salsa or Guacamole.
Typical comments I have received in the past are ‘I felt like gagging’ and ‘where am I going to find the time?’
All I can say to this is – ‘try it, you won’t be disappointed’
So what then do you have for dinner? Try something light like a salad with cold meats or a Vegetable Omelette.
In fact Eggs are quick and easy to knock up alongside the fact that they are rich in choline, a nutrient geared towards optimal brain health. Not a bad food to have on your side if you are in the middle of a feeding frenzy at the zoo.
Most of my female clients have settled into the swing of cooking up their breakfast whilst knocking up dinners.
For the males this is a bit tougher. For most of them, reading the instructions on a Pot Noodle is as far as it goes.
Although one athlete I used to room with at college was caught emptying the contents of one a pot noodle into a saucepan before transferring it back into the pot to eat.
This is the same guy who assembled a flat pack bed downstairs.
So can you see how important your nutrition is to your brain health?
Start your day with a power breakfast, not some dehydrated excuses of fruit with an empty cereal. Prepare your food the night before whilst you cook your dinner. At worst have left-overs. Your brain, waist line and energy levels will thank you with open arms.