Niagara Gazette

Features

October 9, 2012

BREAK THE FAST! The first meal of the day should nourish body, mind

Niagara Gazette — For most people, breakfast time comes at least eight hours after their previous meal.  In essence, while sleeping, you have been “fasting.” The word itself, when broken down, means to “break a fast.”  When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar may be low, and you may feel hungry.  

Eating a breakfast that contains a balance of protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates will allow your blood sugar to rise at a steady pace throughout the morning and provide your cells with the energy they need to carry out your morning activities. 

Proteins might include organic local eggs, plain Greek yogurt, raw nuts and seeds; healthy fats include coconut, cold-pressed oils, raw nuts and seeds and butters, and chia or flax seeds;  while healthy carbs includes whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

This way of eating allows you to think, move, and carry out the varied activities of your day with increased vitality and stamina.

Breakfast can even help with stress. There are measurable reductions in stress hormone levels when people have breakfast compared to when they skip it. Therefore, you are more insulated against emotional eating/snacking that stress can often induce. Breakfast eating also boosts concentration throughout the day.

However, if we enter our day with an empty stomach, we actually end up overeating throughout the day. Over the next few hours, your blood sugar will drop, and you may begin to feel sleepy or fatigued.  By the time lunch or your next meal comes, you will be ravenous and it is much more difficult to select healthy foods as you are interested in grabbing something quick to satisfy your body’s immediate hunger needs. 

In addition, if you don’t give your body some fuel first thing in the morning, your brain senses your stomach is empty, it sends a message to your cells to conserve energy in case another meal doesn’t arrive.  In other words, your body holds onto the fat stored in your cells instead of helping you burn it off. 

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