Every day millions of Canadians choose to skip breakfast. Usually this is done because of weight-loss goals, or a lack of time. I’m going to tell you why eating breakfast will help you lose weight, and give you some grab and go options if you’re in a hurry.
According to Canadian Living, approximately 40% of Canadian adults skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. Unfortunately for these people the concept of skipping breakfast to lose weight just doesn’t play out in reality.
- Eating breakfast helps jump-start your metabolism. After sleeping for 6-8 hours your body needs fuel. During the night your metabolism throttles back to preserve its energy stores (humans haven’t always had such an abundance of food at our disposal). Despite the fact that you have woken up your metabolism is still using calories at a decreased rate to preserve energy. To use big round numbers, say your body naturally burns calories at a rate of 100 calories per hour. During the night it scales back that burn to 60 calories per hour. If you don’t eat anything when you wake up your body will continue to burn calories at 60 calories per hour until you have provided it with additional fuel. If you don’t eat until noon that can be 200 calories your body doesn’t burn, never mind the fact that you will likely be irritable and feel sluggish because you haven’t eaten. In order to rev-up your metabolism again you need to eat breakfast. Ideally you would eat a nutrient rich breakfast high in protein and fiber to help your body feel full for longer, (i.e. 2 slices of whole wheat toast with almond butter, and a banana or mixed berries) but just about any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.
- Starvation eating is inevitable. At work you need energy to be alert and perform at a high level. Often those people who skip breakfast will binge on sugary, high fat, nutritionally poor foods throughout the morning. Sometimes they don’t even know they’re doing it. It could be a timbit here, granola bar there, and each of these small snacks is spiking your blood sugar to give you a temporary shot of energy before you crash below your pre-snack energy levels. This creates a vicious cycle of ‘micro-snacking’ your way to obesity.
You’re now convinced you want to eat breakfast, but you just don’t have the time to scramble a few eggs or even wait for toast. There are some great grab-and-go options and the same principals apply; you want to ensure you’re getting some protein and fiber to feel satisfied and get your metabolism going.
- Cinnamon Pecan Simply Bar - You know it’s a good day when you can start it with Cinnamon! The Cinnamon Pecan Simply Bar packs 16g of protein and 4g of fiber. It’s low on the glycemic index, so you wont feel your energy levels crash 45 minutes after you eat it. I’m not a fan of calorie counting, but for those of you who are, the Simply Bar has only 160 calories.
- KIND Almond & Coconut Bar - The honey in the KIND Almond & Coconut makes it taste like breakfast! 3g of protein and 3g of fiber will help tide you over, and since it too is low on the glycemic index you will get an even energy boost from the KIND bar for longer.
- Taste of Nature Brazilian Nut Fiesta - 5g of protein, 2g of fiber, low on the glycemic index, AND brazilian nuts are good for your brain! With a nutty taste these are a popular option for all ages.
- Almond Butter and a banana -Though not ideal, a heaping tablespoon of almond butter will give you about 4g of protein and 2g of fiber. A banana will add another gram of protein and 3g of fiber bringing the total to 5g of protein and 5g of fiber.
Our bodies need fuel, and breakfast gets us going in the morning. Breakfast helps us feel better, gets our metabolism revving, and allows us to perform at a higher level. Stop making excuses and start eating breakfast!
Daniel is the founder of Bare Foods, an avid endurance athlete, and nutrition junkie.