Ever heard the adage, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? While that might be up for debate – a good lunch can help you power through the day with stable blood-sugars! – brekkie is certainly an important meal that can make or break your energy levels, your mood and your sleep cycle. Yep, you read that right. So if you’re a serial skipper – or should we say, cereal skipper, this one’s for you.
Breakfast provides the fuel your body needs to kickstart a day of energy and vitality. Yet, in our busy lives, many people choose to skip this crucial meal, thinking they can make up for it later. But the choice to forgo breakfast can have a cascade of effects on your health, both in the short term and over time. Here’s what’s happening inside your body when you skip that morning meal.
When you skip breakfast, your body enters a fasting state that can lead to a slowdown in metabolism. This means fewer calories burned throughout the day, making it more challenging to maintain or lose weight.
Blood Sugar Rollercoaster
Skipping breakfast can result in erratic blood sugar levels - and it certainly doesn't help if you stop for a sugary latte on the way to work! Your body struggles to maintain stable glucose levels, leading to energy crashes, irritability, and cravings for sugary, high-calorie foods. The gut microbiome, the collection of trillions of microorganisms residing in our intestines, plays a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and even immune function. Recent research has revealed an intriguing link between the gut microbiome and circadian rhythms. Studies have shown that the composition and activity of the gut microbiome follow a daily rhythm, influenced by our body's internal clock. One study found that a whopping 60% of our microbiome composition fluctuates over a 24-hour period, and poor eating habits and irregular sleep patterns can result in more pronounced imbalances. That's why timing is everything – it matters when you eat after waking and it matters when you stop eating! The timing of our meals impacts how efficiently our bodies process food, and this is because our digestive organs, like the liver and pancreas, have their own internal clocks that regulate their functions. Consuming meals during the optimal windows of digestive activity can enhance nutrient absorption and energy utilisation. For instance, breakfast is often referred to as the "most important meal of the day" because it kickstarts our metabolism after a period of fasting during sleep. Eating breakfast within a couple of hours after waking can help synchronise our internal clocks, supporting better digestion and overall metabolic health. Evening meals, on the other hand, should be consumed well before bedtime to allow for proper digestion. Eating too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns and negatively impact gut health.
Impaired Cognitive Function
Breakfast provides essential nutrients and glucose to your brain, and that’s why skipping this meal can lead to poor concentration, reduced problem-solving abilities, and decreased memory function. Without the fuel provided by breakfast, your brain has limited access to the glucose it needs for optimal functioning, so you may find it more challenging to focus on tasks, whether at work, school, or during daily activities. This can lead to difficulties in retaining new information, problem-solving, and recalling important details. This is especially dangerous for your little ones as they’ll struggle to keep up in school.
Contrary to the belief that skipping breakfast aids weight loss, research suggests it may contribute to weight gain. When you miss breakfast, you're more likely to consume larger, less healthy meals later in the day and make poorer food choices – not to mention the craving-boosting effects of unbalanced blood-sugars that come with skipping breakfast.
Increased Risk for Heart Disease + Atherosclerosis
One of the most concerning consequences of skipping breakfast is an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries become clogged with plaque, comprised of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. This buildup can lead to reduced blood flow and potentially cause heart disease. Breakfast, particularly a balanced and heart-healthy one, can help regulate cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of plaque formation in the arteries. Try including the following foods in your brekkies:
- Hemp seed oil
- Chia seeds
Ditch the sugary cereals and white bread – those won’t do your blood-sugars any good! Need a little more inspiration? Try a delicious spinach and cottage cheese omelette made with ghee – keeping it simple can be just what the doctor ordered – a morning omelette is quick to make when you’re still half asleep, and it’s also easy to pack with a variety of veggies, like spinach, zucchini, carrot and mushroom.
You can even add in some chickpeas or other beans to give it an energy boost.
Healthy fats: You’ll have a few sources of healthy fats in this powerhouse brekkie, from the omega-rich eggs to the ghee, which boasts a good dose of linoleic acid, which researchers say may help with weight loss. Butyric acid is another fatty acid that ghee has in spades, and it’s a great start to your morning as research shows it will keep your digestive health in order – and fight inflammation too.
Vitamins and minerals: Slipping a good dose of veggies into your brekkie is one way to make sure you’re getting your 5 serves, along with getting your day off to a good start with a nutritional boost. Adding leafy greens to your omelette will provide you with vitamin K, vitamin C and even some iron – another important nutrient to pump your energy levels up and keep fatigue at bay. Ghee is also a vitamin-packed ingredient, providing 13% of our daily vitamin A needs in just a serve.
Here's a nutritious, satiating recipe from I Quit Sugar For Life – check the eBook out HERE.
Need a little help getting your health back on track? Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!