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Breakfast: Power of the first meal

Rhonita Patnaik
Filed on October 30, 2020 | Last updated on November 1, 2020 at 04.49 pm

Having a meal after waking up might be the single most important food decision of your day. The food you take in in the morning fuels you for the entire day. I go by the saying: 'Breakfast like a king, lunch like prince and dinner like a pauper'. If you've ever wondered why, read on.

1. YOU'RE LITERALLY BREAKING A FAST.
The period between your last pre-bed meal and hitting the alarm is usually the longest stretch of time your body goes without fuel. Eating within two hours of waking up can impact how levels of glucose (blood sugar), and the insulin that brings glucose to cells to be used for energy, are regulated for the remainder of the day. Skip breakfast, and it isn't just your body running on empty: It's your brain, too. Plus, the longer you put it off, the hungrier you'll be when you actually sit down to eat. Stuffing yourself with unhealthy treats in an attempt to satiate your hunger will cause your glucose to ebb and flow, creating unsteady energy levels and the potential for more overeating.

2. REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
People who skip breakfast tend to overeat the rest of the time - and overeating is an obvious culprit in unwanted weight gain, which can lead to high cholesterol and blood pressure issues. Studies have shown that breakfast eaters have lower incidences of heart disease than "skippers."

3. BETTER FOCUS
Your brain loves the energy it extracts from meals, making a sensible a.m. bowl of oatmeal just as important for focus and concentration as it is for physical exertion.

4. GET IN YOUR FIBRE
Because whole grains and fruit make regular appearances at the breakfast table, you're more likely to meet your recommended fiber intake by eating breakfast. In addition to fueling your digestive system, fibre can also help reduce cholesterol.

5. REDUCED RISK FOR DIABETES
People who skip breakfast tend to over-compensate later on in the day, leading to larger, less nutritious meals that can wreak havoc on insulin levels. In one study, subjects who didn't eat in the morning had a 21 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes than those who made the time for a bite.

6. LOSE WEIGHT BY EATING MORE
If you restrict your largest meal to breakfast, you're on your way to shedding pounds. Skip breakfast and you don't get the nutrients and calories you need to get through your day. When your energy levels are high, you're also more likely to make waist-friendly choices, like exercising and cooking healthy meals at home instead of opting for fast food.





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