By Kayleigh Caito

We hear this saying all the time: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Perhaps your mother or grandmother told you this while growing up. Well… they were not wrong! Breakfast is indeed a very important meal of the day. But, why?

Let’s start by breaking down the word. Break-fast, literally means breaking the fast. This is the first meal of the day, typically after an overnight fast. During sleep, our bodies are taking the time to recover from the day, both physically and mentally. Breakfast is the first opportunity our bodies get in the morning to fuel for the day. There are many things eating a healthy breakfast can do for us!

Benefits of breakfast: 

  1. Breakfast helps to jump-start the body.  This is our first opportunity to fuel for the day, whether that fuel is for your morning run or a big presentation at work.

  2. Breakfast provides calories and nutrition to help maintain focus. Since the brain uses carbohydrates as energy, it is important to provide the brain with fuel to help us think and focus in our jobs.

  3. Eating breakfast helps to curb our appetite. Have you ever gone without food in the morning and eaten twice as much food for lunch and dinner? I know I’m guilty! Believe it or not, eating breakfast can keep these binges at bay.

  4. Breakfast can help with weight maintenance/loss. It revs up the metabolism to keep our bodies burning calories all day. Eating breakfast can keep our bodies from going into “starvation” mode from fasting for too long. If we do not eat for a long period of time, the body does not know when it will get food again, so it goes into energy preservation. This means that our metabolism slows down so our food energy can last longer. This can be a problem if we overeat for our later meals since the body does not burn the calories as quickly. The body will store excess calories, promoting weight gain.

  5. Breakfast can help with muscle gain. During our overnight fast, muscle protein is in more of a catabolic state. Our bodies go through waves of muscle protein synthesis and breakdown throughout the day. The most synthesis happens after a meal, especially when a fair amount of protein is consumed. The body breaks down protein instead of building protein while we sleep overnight.  A breakfast high in protein is very important to jump-start muscle protein synthesis for the day.  So if you are trying to gain a little more muscle, eat a breakfast with lots of protein!

  6. Breakfast can help with our performance in the gym. Reason #5 is a great example of how it can help with muscle maintenance/gain. Especially if you workout in the morning, you do not want to skip out on breakfast. Eating a breakfast before a morning workout will provide the fuel you need to get through a grueling workout. But, if you workout in the evening, the fuel you get from breakfast, lunch, and all your meals will be beneficial as a source of energy as fuel.

  7. Breakfast puts us in a good mood!  (Any food puts me in a good mood!)

Healthy Breakfast Ideas:

  1. Oatmeal, Greek yogurt, glass of milk

  2. Cereal and milk, Greek yogurt

  3. Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit

  4. Overnight oats (you can find many recipes for this meal prep breakfast online)

  5. Whole wheat toast and peanut butter

  6. Omelet and a piece of toast or fruit (or both if you’re a hungry person)

  7. Scrambled eggs and toast

  8. Protein pancakes/waffles

  9. Sweet potato hash (excellent recipe here)

  10. Healthy cinnamon rolls (find my recipe here!)