Make 2013 your year of eating breakfast

Here we go again- it’s time for New Year’s resolutions, many of which you make year after year but somehow never follow through on. And I would venture a bet that eating healthy or losing weight is at the top of many of your past New Year’s lists. This year, why not aim for success by making only one resolution you can actually achieve – one that will help make healthier eating a reality:   resolve to eat a balanced breakfast each and every day. And by doing so, you’ll set the foundation in place to be an enlightened eater as the year unfolds.

Healthy eating is not just about one nutrition issue such as eating whole grains or meeting your quota of fruits and veggies each day.

It’s about a whole range of eating behaviours – for instance, what foods you prefer and actually choose, do you skip meals and do your food choices energize you. When you actually look at all the variables involved  with healthy eating, it’s then easy to see why changing food habits can be such a large undertaking.  And if you attempt to tackle the entire task all at once, you probably end up abandoning your efforts in a flash.

By building on a foundation where you can set the tone for the day – increase your energy levels, decrease cravings and feel hungry at appropriate times – some of  your goals can be achieved with very little effort.

Eating a balanced breakfast is the perfect place to start. Skip your morning meal and or have only carbs, chances are that you’ll crave sweets or carbs later in the day as your energy wanes.  These foods boost insulin levels in the blood and make you hungrier all day long. And so your best intentions may be sabotaged after a few days of fighting intense cravings.

New research also shows that the impact of skipping breakfast may indeed be in your head. A study, recently presented  at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans, looked at MRI brain scans of  subjects who had either eaten a large breakfast or had skipped their morning meal entirely.  The scans showed that when the subjects were presented with food at lunch,  the brains of the breakfast skippers were more active when they saw high high-calorie foods. They also ate more than those who had eaten a larger breakfast.
Have smart choices to break the fast:  nutritious eats will be much more appealing and eating healthy won’t be such a drag. And by going for the right balance at breakfast can also provide a bounty of health perks at the same time.

Here’s a taste of some of the potential benefits:

•    Higher overall nutrient intake
Think of breakfast as one of your eating opportunities – a time when you can fit in various nutrient-rich choices. Those who skip their morning meal are more likely to fall short of their quota of their fruit and vegetable or whole grain servings.

•    Easier girth control
In both children and adults alike, there is a bounty of evidence supporting the link between having breakfast and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s not at all surprising that as people live life in the fast lane nowadays and  frequently skip their morning meal, obesity rates are skyrocketing. Besides helping you to make better food choices later in the day, breakfast can boost your metabolic rate or calorie burning potential.

•     Decreased risk for diabetes
Having nutritious breakfast eats goes hand in hand with better blood sugar and insulin readings. Add in the waist management aspect of diabetes and you can see the connection between breakfast and the odds of developing type 2 diabetes.

•     Lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure readings
Small frequent meals through the day, rather than one large one at dinner, are linked to better blood cholesterol profiles and blood pressure readings.

•     Higher energy levels through the day
Do you fall asleep right after lunch or do a fast fade in the late afternoon? Blame your lack of breakfast or an imbalance at your morning meal.

•     Better productivity
Numerous studies show that eating a smart breakfast goes hand in hand with  increased productivity – that means improved alertness and concentration than if you went without the right mix in the morning.

Next up: smart morning menu options


Are you a breakfast skipper or is your morning meal a must for you?  If you forego breakfast, what are some of the reasons why? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Categories: Tips and Tricks

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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2 Comments on “Make 2013 your year of eating breakfast”

  1. Paula Culhane
    January 17, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    yes, breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day -my mother always insisted on a healthy breakfast -am enjoying your different types of breakfast ideas -thank you …

    • January 17, 2013 at 9:29 am #

      Thanks for your comments, Paula! I’m glad that you’re enjoying my breakfast info. My mother, too, insisted I eat a healthy breakfast but as a teen as part of my rebellion, decided to stop eating it. I started again when I was in university studying nutrition. What can I say? It wasn’t too smart! My kids, on the other hand, ate it through their childhoods at my insistence (threat of earlier bedtime as they must have been too tired if they couldn’t eat breakfast :)) are now adults who would never even think of skipping this meal.

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