I am not a morning person and to be honest, I’d rather get an extra 15 minutes of sleep than prepare and eat breakfast in the mornings. But on the days I don’t have breakfast, there is a noticeable difference in my mood and eating patterns compared to the days I do have breakfast. For starters, I am grumpier and hungrier throughout the day and by mid-morning those sugar cravings really start to kick in. Suddenly, that almond croissant doesn’t seem like such a bad idea when I’m ordering my morning coffee.
While skipping breakfast in exchange for a sleep-in often seems like a good idea, the reality is that ditching brekkie may mean that you are compromising on your health in the long run. Remember when you were a kid and your mother used to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, it turns out she was right. Research has shown that eating a nutritious breakfast helps to fend off junk-food cravings and helps to control weight. Eating breakfast could also cut several risks associated with heart disease and diabetes.
According to a study conducted by Harvard researchers, men who routinely skipped breakfast increased their chances of developing T2 diabetes by up to 21%. Researchers in the UK have also found that children who skip breakfast are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in adulthood than children who regularly have nutritious breakfasts.
So why is skipping breakfast so bad?
Well, if you skip meals you’re more likely to snack throughout the day or even worse, binge later on in the day-which over time can lead to weight gain. Skipping meals also slows your metabolism, leads to unbalanced blood sugar levels and increases your chances of making poor food choices throughout the day. So unless you want to sabotage your weight loss efforts, skipping breakfast is a definite no-no.
Don’t feel like eating in the mornings? Then a liquid breakfast (and no I don’t mean coffee) is a great option for those of us who are time poor and have little or no appetite in the mornings.
For a quick and easy brekkie, get your blender out of the cupboard and blitz your favourite fruit and veggies for a nutritious start to your day. To get started, try the Blueberry Delight (recipe below) and then experiment with other greens, fruits, herbs and even spices.
Blueberry Delight smoothie
2 cups spinach, fresh
1 cup water
1 chopped kiwifruit
1 cup strawberries
1 punnet of blueberries
2 chopped bananas
1 handful of almonds
fresh mint leaves
Process the spinach, kiwifruit, strawberries, blueberries, banana, almonds and 1 cup of water in a blender until smooth. Divide between glasses and garnish with mint leaves.
Remember that the extra sleep-in might not be worth it after all!