09/10/18 11:23 Filed in: Diet & Nutrition
Wow! It is October again!
That means it is National Nutrition Week. This year it has been decided that the theme for National Nutrition Week and National Obesity Week will be the same. Since these weeks run consecutively over the next 2 weeks, it makes perfect sense to combine them. So, what it is the theme?
Breakfast - The best way to start your day.
Ho hum, I hear you say with a big sigh. Not all this talk about breakfast being the most important meal of the day nonsense - again! It may be a topic that has been discussed ad nauseam, but there is good reason for that. It seems that a lot of people still haven't got the message!
I spend a large percentage of my days persuading people to give breakfast a try. The excuses for not eating breakfast are normally one of these:
- I get too hungry when I eat breakfast.
- I am not hungry first thing in the morning.
- I don't have time to eat breakfast in the morning.
- Won't eating breakfast make me gain weight?
Let's have a look at these excuses.
I get too hungry when I eat breakfast
This is a good thing! If you are eating a good, balanced breakfast, this means that your body is now using the energy you are giving it, rather than keeping it for later. When people come to me for their follow up consultation and tell me that they are starving mid-morning after eating breakfast when they never ate in the morning before, I always get very excited. I know that it is going to result in a lower weight on the scale. It happens at least 90% of the time.
You could be hungry because your choice of breakfast food is not ideal. Maybe you prefer to eat a high GI breakfast cereal, rather than egg on low GI toast. This will result in a drop in blood sugar, making you hungry enough to eat all of your packed lunch by 9 o'clock! This is not a good thing and needs to be addressed so that you opt for better, energy-sustaining food choices.
I am not hungry first thing in the morning
Neither am I! But no-one is asking you to eat something the moment you open your eyes. Get up, have a cup of coffee, have a shower, get the kids dressed and then start thinking about eating. As you know, I am all for family meals. With a bit of planning, breakfast can be a quick family meal that gets your day started the right way. I generally recommend that people eat breakfast by 8 o'clock. This is by no means set in stone. Some people do want to eat first thing in the morning. But a lot of people would rather take the time, after they get to the office or after they have done the school run, to take 10 minutes for breakfast.
If you really can't manage to eat in the morning, then swap your breakfast with your morning snack. Start the day with something small like a piece of fruit or a yoghurt (click here to learn how to make your own) and follow that up with breakfast at 10 o'clock.
I don't have time to eat breakfast in the morning
We all always seem to be in a hurry! Eating in a hurry is never a good thing. With all the benefits associated with eating breakfast, it only makes sense to make the time! Wake up 15 minutes earlier, or prepare breakfast the night before when you are cooking supper, or keep something quick, but healthy at the office. Unless you are one of the lucky ones who is eating breakfast like a king, then it is a meal that really doesn't take a lot of time to prepare or eat.
Won't eating breakfast make me gain weight?
No! I wish I could leave it at a simple no. However, it does require some explanation. Quoting from the press release from the National Nutrition Week committee: “The lack of breakfast leads to a far greater risk of compensating with unhealthy snacks to get through to lunchtime and with bigger lunch portions.” In other words, you are more likely to give into temptation and eat unhealthy snacks and you are more likely to eat more at lunchtime. It has bee shown that by eating breakfast, you set yourself up to make better food choices and to eat fewer calories throughout the day.
So, eat your breakfast!
With next week being National Obesity Week, sharing the theme of "Breakfast - The best way to start your day", I will focus next week's article on the many benefits of eating breakfast.