Most people have heard the saying, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As a runner and personal trainer, I truly believe in this piece of wisdom and try to follow it as much as possible. Honestly, I can’t imagine running 4-6 miles in the AM and not eating breakfast before heading out to work. I think I’d pass out!
So, why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Many of you who are reading this already eat breakfast daily, but probably out of habit more than anything. When you eat breakfast, you’re more likely to eat more vitamins and minerals, eat less fat and cholesterol, have better concentration and productivity in the morning, and control your weight. According to the Mayo Clinic Web site, breakfast helps us lose weight by doing the following three things:
Breakfast and Weight Loss
- Breakfast reduces hunger – Eating breakfast reduces hunger later in the day, making us less likely to overeat.
- Breakfast helps us make better choices – Eating breakfast gets us on the right track for making healthier choices the rest of the day. People who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier throughout the day. Breakfast skippers tend to also skip fruits and veggies the rest of the day.
- Breakfast gives us all-day energy – Eating gives us an energy boost all day long. When waking after 7-8 hours of sleep, our blood sugar levels are low. If we do not refuel and replenish our glycogen stores that supply blood sugar, we may feel sluggish all day and, consequently, decrease our physical activity.
Although I am not trying to lose weight, I still think breakfast is important. But I also believe that what you eat for breakfast is just as important as actually eating breakfast. Breakfasts come in all shapes and sizes. So it is unfair for me to recommend one specific breakfast over another. However, as runner, I tend to make sure my breakfast includes a combination of the following Fab Five Breakfast Ingredients:
RWC Fab Five Breakfast
- Protein – This gives us energy in the morning and all day long. My protein usually comes in the form Greek yogurt, nuts, or peanut butter, but could also include lean ham, sausage, or bacon.
- MUFA – Monounsaturated fats, or MUFA, are healthy fats found in nuts and oils, among other things. Research shows that eating MUFA at every meal can help us reduce fat storage in our stomachs.
- Fruit or Veggie – With respect to my age, gender, and activity level, the Centers for Disease Control says I should be eating 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of veggies per day. I find that if I can sneak in a cup or two of fruit/veggies at breakfast, I’m more likely to do the same later in the day. To find out your recommended intake for fruits and veggies, check out Fruits and Veggies Matter.
- Dairy – I love eating dairy in the morning and late at night. A small glass of milk (or milk in my cereal) leaves me feeling refreshed and takes the edge of my hunger.
- Fiber – This is usually in the form of whole grains, like oatmeal, high-fiber cereal, granola, etc. Fiber keeps us feeling fuller longer and helps regulate the digestive system.
And there you have it. Breakfast – the most important meal of the day. It keeps us energized, productive, and at a healthy weight. So, if you’re not eating breakfast on a regular basis, as yourself, why?
And, what did RWC personal trainer eat for breakfast this week? Stay tuned to find out!