I hear way too often, “I don’t have time for breakfast.” Please stop saying that. You should definitely eat breakfast, and your first meal should be within a half hour of when you wake to start your metabolism. If you are not eating when you wake, your body will conserve fat or break down your muscle to use as energy.
Before I continue to persuade you to eat your breakfast, let me define a few terms: food — energy for your body; glycogen — storage form of glucose; glucose — released into our bloodstream and used as fuel for our cells.
Think about this: Even when you’re sleeping, your body is still at work. “What’s it doing?” you ask. It is repairing itself and getting ready for the next day. So, while you sleep, your body is still using and burning energy.
Since you are sleeping, you are not eating. Since your body is not taking in food (energy) while sleeping, the energy needs to come from somewhere, right? The possible energy sources are body fat or glycogen.
During sleep, your body can use body fat to fuel your body’s recovery process. Or, during sleep, when your body isn’t getting glucose from food, glycogen is broken down to release glucose into our bloodstream to be used as fuel for our cells.
So, the moral of this story is that your body needs to be fed when you wake to replenish your glucose supply. Now does it all make sense?
“What should I eat in the morning?” Since your glycogen level will be low after waking, replenish it. The way to do this is by eating good, complex carbohydrates that are low glycemic, whole grains rather than bleached carbohydrates. My quick go-to breakfast carb is good ‘ole Quaker Oats. Try oatmeal or sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel bread (found in the frozen section). These will penetrate your blood stream a little slower and not cause a spike in insulin.
Another part of a well-balanced breakfast should include a protein and some fat. For example, try an egg/egg white mushroom and tomato omelets.
Now will you eat your breakfast?
To improve your morning alertness and performance, it is extremely important to consume breakfast every day. Getting proper rest and fueling your day with a healthy start will definitely improve your health and fitness goals!
Oh, and one last thought. I also hear, “I’m just not hungry in the morning.” My suggestion is to put down the fork at night. If you are not hungry upon waking, you may be overeating at dinner or snacking too much before going to sleep. I suggest decreasing your late-night food consumption and see if this makes a difference.
Look for Tish’s column in upcoming editions of the MSR. If you like the column or have questions, she welcomes reader responses to Tish@BodyByTish.com. Also, find out more at www.BodyByTish.com, “Like” her page Body By Tish on Facebook and follow her on Twitter@bodybytish.