Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

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21 February
11:18
21 February
11:32

No one meal is better than any other. The most important thing is that people eat regularly and don’t skip meals. So whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner - they’re all equally as important.

Breakfast is probably the most commonly missed meal of the day, because people are busy in the morning and it’s down to planning and being organised. But the most important thing is having something to eat. Having something is always better than having nothing because it gets blood sugar levels lifted to start the day off well.

Basically breakfast - breaking the fast - comes after not eating overnight. Consequently the body’s energy stores have gone right down; blood sugar levels have dropped and although you might not feel hungry immediately when you wake up give it a couple of hours and those energy and blood sugar levels will have plummeted further leaving you feeling pretty lethargic.

"What you really want to eat are foods that release their energy slowly and steadily, keeping you fuller and going for longer"

What you really want to eat are foods that release their energy slowly and steadily, keeping you fuller and going for longer. These are often referred to as low glycaemic index foods, for example, eggs, oats or porridge with milk, low-fat yogurt, or if you’re in a hurry a piece of fruit such as an apple or pear, or even a handful of nuts would be a good choice.

With low GI foods, energy is released at a slow, steady rate into the bloodstream as opposed to say sugar in a cup of tea or a chocolate bar which might give you a quick boost and shoot up energy levels, but then these will drop again soon after.

"Even if you don’t feel hungry at breakfast try getting into a new routine for a week or two and you’ll be used to it in no time"

It’s all about habit. If you haven’t eaten breakfast for five years your body gets trained into not expecting food at that time of day. It doesn’t even have to be five years. A couple of weeks and your body gets into a routine. So even if you don’t feel hungry at breakfast try getting into a new routine for a week or two and you’ll be used to it in no time.

People who are trying to lose weight probably think breakfast is a good meal to miss because it’s maybe extra calories that they don’t need. However, I would say the absolute opposite. If someone is trying to lose weight they absolutely need to eat. Otherwise their metabolism slows and blood sugar levels drop and all that leads to erratic eating and it’s not helpful at all.

"Not eating breakfast is like starting out without petrol in your car. You’re not going to get very far" 

In summary, breakfast is certainly one of the most important meals of the day. Always remember, you have to eat regularly. Young, old, overweight, underweight… everybody. Breakfast is important because it sets you up for the day. It helps you think clearly. The human body needs a regular supply of energy. Not eating breakfast is like starting out without petrol in your car. You’re not going to get very far. You might chug along, but you won’t perform as well as if you had a full tank.

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