Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

You’ve most likely heard “Don’t skip breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day” or maybe you’ve heard “breakfast breaks the fast your body is experiencing from not eating throughout the night”.

There may even be some of you who don’t eat breakfast and you don’t understand all the hype.

Typically breakfast is the first meal you have and it is within an hour of waking up. Often times it will consist of 25-50% of our total calories for the day. This amount will vary based on each person’s total caloric goals.

I agree with Enette Larson-Myer, PhD., RD, FACSM nutrition professor at the University of Wyoming. She states that breakfast, or your initial meal, should consist of carbohydrates (oatmeal, toast, granola, etc.) fruit and protein.

Regarding fruit, I’d stay away from the fruit juices and eat the actual fruit. Juices tend to have less fiber and they aren’t as filling.

Eating breakfast can get the metabolism going and is a great way for you to start your day on the right foot. Additionally, you will feel full longer to ensure your body has the energy to get you through the day.

Morning workouts are also a great idea when you have eaten a fulfilling and vitamin packed breakfast. Your body will be properly fueled to sustain high intensity workouts and weight lifting because it is energized.

While I do suggest you eat something “healthy” and something that makes you feel good, if you’re option is to skip or have a donut, I say go for the donut. Some fuel will be better than none.

This is of course in moderation and for those once and a while incidents that planning was not in place. However, the most important point to take away is to make breakfast a priority and to incorporate it into your long-term health plan. Meal prep, keep your cabinet and work drawers stocked, and try some new additions to your routine.

The following are some healthy breakfast options:

  1. ⅓-¼ gluten free oatmeal (I like Trader Joe’s Brand) with 4 oz. unsweetened almond milk, ¼-½ cup berries and 1 whole egg with 2 egg whites.
  2. Protein shake mixed with 1-cup spinach, ½-1 cup kale, 1 tbsp. nut butter, 1 small banana and a scoop of protein mixed with 8-10 oz. unsweetened milk.
  3. 1-2 slices of whole grain toast with 2 tbsp. organic jelly or jam, 1-2 tbsp. nut butter with 2 Applegate Breakfast sausages and 2-3 egg whites.
  4. If you’re really in a bind, a protein bar (RX or Probar) may be your best option. The reasons I don’t like bars as much as protein powder for the most part are: bars tend to have more fats, sugars and calories. Often time companies (outside of the two mentioned and a few other use chemicals to bind all the ingredients and once you bake whey, it loses some of its quality as a protein.
  5. Collagen protein in your coffee. If you’re one to that feels you “need” your coffee and you just “can’t” eat breakfast. Adding collagen to your coffee you can at least start rebuilding muscle tissue and get your body a little fuel without changing up too much.

I hope the next time you wake up in the am; you will take a few minutes to grab something to eat before your day gets too busy. Even if you have to eat in the car, it’s adding the collagen to your coffee or whatever you can do to start your day with some fuel in your body. Again, more often than not choose quality over quantity and aim to get a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to scottstrainingsystems.com or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.

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