Breakfast is the most important meal…for good reason!
On today’s episode of Movin’ Together, Sara Vogt and Amiee Jones discuss an essential component of getting your day off to a great start: a healthy breakfast.
Keeping it simple is the heart of Movin’ Together and adding breakfast to the healthy tool basket is a logical follow-up to last month’s tool of hydration. Water and food, movin’ together! By adding a tool each month, we have the opportunity to work on developing habits that can have a significant positive impact on our health and on our lives.
Our morning routines are so important. We encourage everyone to hydrate first thing in the morning when they wake up thirsty and hungry! The habit of hydrating by drinking two glasses of water is helping Sara get her day off to a healthy start. Adding a balanced breakfast makes it even better. Initially, she felt that she did not have time to hydrate and eat, and it was not easy at first to start new habits. But each of us has the opportunity to take personal responsibility for how we want to feel and live.
Several years ago, when Sara made the choice to start eating in a healthier way, she began reading books by registered dietician, Pamela Smith including Eat Well, Live Well, and Food for Life. The author writes about breakfast and how we have all heard from a very early age that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—and yet so many of us are inclined to skip it. (Pamela, interestingly, also worked recently with the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain to help them develop the Wholesome Fixin’s items on their menu.)
The body gets the energy it needs from food through a process called metabolism. Metabolism is defined as the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. The rate at which metabolism occurs is known as the metabolic rate, and involves burning calories and supplying fuel for the body to function.
In her writing, Pamela Smith uses an analogy comparing our bodies to a campfire. The campfire dies down during the night and in the morning the fire needs to be stoked with wood to rekindle the flames. Likewise, our bodies depend on breakfast to restart our metabolism, which has slowed to a resting state at night. When you break the fast with breakfast, you meet the body’s demand for an outside energy source and boost the efficiency of its metabolic system. Skipping breakfast can result in your body turning to inside sources for energy and burning muscle mass, rather than fat, in its starved state.
So start your day off right — and increase your metabolic rate — by eating a balanced breakfast.
For those of you who want to shed a few pounds, the National Weight Control Registry — one of the largest ongoing studies of individuals who have successfully lost weight, with 10,000 members enrolled, approximately 80% of them women— has found that the majority of people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for five years or more eat breakfast every day.
Melina Jampolis, M.D., and Heart-Healthy Living advisory board member, says that by starting your day with a balance of carbohydrates and lean protein, you boost calorie burning in three ways: first, your body burns calories through the digestion, absorption, and processing of food; next, eating breakfast can boost your energy level, which helps increase calories burned throughout the day; and finally, providing your body with healthful fuel after night time “fasting” keeps your body from using calorie-burning muscle for energy during physical activity.
Shape up your morning routine by following these breakfast tips: include protein-rich foods like eggs or nuts on your breakfast menu. Consuming protein is critical to jump starting your metabolism for the day and preventing overeating later on, says Mark Hyman, M.D. A suggestion for a quick breakfast can be as simple as an apple or banana with some nuts! These fruits are powerhouses for life! Among many health benefits, eating bananas aids digestion, helps to stabilize blood sugar, and improves your mood. Apples, too, are a common fruit that can decrease your risk of diabetes, reduce cholesterol and boost your immune system. And remember that bitter is better. If we are focused on healthy eating, it is helpful to remember that cancer hates bitter—so throw some kale and spinach into that morning shake!
Next time on Movin’ Together: Rail Trail and some healthy snacks with our friend Linda Stager.
Some quick breakfast facts:
More hotels are offering free breakfast. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, 79% of hotels offered complimentary breakfast in 2012, up from 55% in 2010.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing showed children who regularly eat breakfast get significantly higher scores in verbal and performance IQ tests.
A study from Kings College (London) analyzing the results of 28 previous studies found the old saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” . . . to be backed by scientific evidence, noting that keeping calories down late at night is key to combating obesity.
Idea/Concept: Sara Vogt
Videography: Erin O’Shea, Kline Kaufer, Andrew Moore, Jason Fletcher
Video Editing: Erin O’Shea
Writing: Heather Weiner
Anchor: Sara Vogt, Amiee Jones
Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Senior’s Creations & The Main Street Olive Oil Co.