Should Breakfast Be The Start To Everyday?
Spent some time with a good friend recently and by the by, the topic of breakfast routines and the lack thereof came into context. I am a creature of some extremely peculiar habits, one being entirely incapable of starting the day without my breakfast. Such is the power of ‘the breakfast’ that woe will surely and most devastatingly betide those that have to deal with me having started the day without my breakfast. It’s my achilles heal and also stems from the fact that I absolutely love mornings. Early mornings to be precise. The prospects within the world seem much more maleable to the workings of my mind when I can channel the sweet energy of the breaking day, wielding the magical cracking beams of sunlight to stroke my canvass of thought for my journeys ahead.
Doing this on an empty stomach would be torture.
Alas, bringing me to the context of this post -
“ Brain scans show that skipping breakfast makes fatty, high calorie foods appear far more attractive later in the day, according to researchers.”
Scientific research carried out at Imperial College London tested what goes on in our brains to alter the decisions of what we choose to eat, having skipped breakfast. The test group comprised of twenty one people, all of normal weight. The subjects were shown pictures of high calorie foods while positioned in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine to scan their brain activities. The test was carried out on days when the subjects had gone without breakfast and on another when they were all fed a large 730 calorie breakfast an hour and a half before the scans.
The scans showed a significant bias created in the brain favouring the high calorie foods when the subjects had missed their breakfasts! The scans showed that the brain changed the way it responded to the pictures of high calorie foods but not low calorie foods when the subjects skipped breakfast. It was shown that the part of the brain thought to be involved in “food appeal” - the orbitofrontal cortex - was more active on an empty stomach.
The reasons for skipping breakfast that was brought up by my friend highlighted the problems that a lot of people face in this fast paced world that we live in… where’s the time?
Having a cup of coffee or just a measly bowl of cereal (worse still, a measly bowl of cereal packed with copious amounts of sugar) isn’t enough to recharge our tanks after a good nights sleep. This is why sometimes we may feel equally as hungry within the first hour after breakfast which tends to disturb us at work or at school. Because our metabolism (especially in younger individuals) is at it’s peak in the morning, not eating a full and hearty meal leaves our bodies struggling from a lack of calorific energy; the popular adage of eating breakfast like a king/queen, lunch like a prince/princess and supper like a pauper plays on our declining metabolic rates through the day.
Added to this predicament is keeping our bodies primed in the ‘straight and narrow’ of having stable blood sugar levels. If we happen to choose the breakfast overladen with sugar, our blood sugar levels surge then quickly recede, leaving us hungrier sooner and feeling like we can’t hold out past 11am.
Here is an article from fitness republic that gives useful tips of how to make easy healthy breakfasts and also outlines the massive advantages gained from starting the day off right!