What’s Stopping You from Eating Your Breakfast Today? Look Good, Feel Great with the Power of a Healthy Breakfast
“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” This adage suggests that breakfast should constitute the most important meal of our daily diet, followed by lunch, and end off with a light dinner. Studies have shown that a healthy breakfast has wide-ranging benefits for the human body, such as supporting metabolism, boosting mental alertness and improving digestionsays Susan Bowerman, Senior Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife.
Yet according to the Healthy Breakfast Survey conducted in 11markets across the Asia Pacific region by Herbalife, 21 percent of the Filipino respondents do not consume breakfast daily. While those who do, have an unbalanced meal that comprises mainly carbohydrates in the morning. Too often, breakfast is little more than toast, white rice, noodles or a cup of coffee, tea or chocolate drink – all of which digest quickly, leaving people hungry by mid-morning.
Skipping a breakfast meal might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but the side-effects could be detrimental to your health in the long run. For a start, skipping your breakfast could lead to more cravings later in the day which makes it harder to manage your weight.
Bowerman adds, “In general, we tend to make bad food choices when we are starving, as we would be more likely to indulge in food. Also, research has revealed that skipping your breakfast could increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.” By contrast, starting the day with a good breakfast has many benefits. Consuming your breakfast could do wonders for weight management, as food consumption releases gut hormones which control appetite, having a sustained effect throughout the day and helping to reduce the number of cravings. "Plus, there's less risk of heart disease and diabetes, while you can improve muscle health, memory, energy and mood by starting the day right.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that people who consume a high-protein breakfast tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day compared to those who do not, due to the appetite-suppressing effect from dietary protein, thus providing satiety between meals. But how can we practically incorporate a healthy breakfast into our daily eating habits?
According to Herbalife’s Healthy Breakfast Survey, the top three motivators for Filipino respondents to adopt a regular breakfast diet are if consuming breakfast contributes to health and well-being; if their breakfast can help in giving them more energy; and if their breakfast can be made more accessible to them.
With this in mind, perhaps making a few simple changes to daily living might do the trick – such as waking up 15 minutes earlier, opting for a quick and nutritious breakfast fix, or getting a friend or loved one to join you for breakfast. While this marks a positive start to a long-term change in lifestyle habits, the type of breakfast choices one makes will also have an impact on overall health and well-being.
When it comes to selecting just what to eat for breakfast, Bowerman advocates following Herbalife’s Global Nutrition Philosophy, according to which our total daily calories should be comprised of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fats, along with 25g of fibre and eight glasses of water. A healthy, balanced breakfast should provide you with an adequate amount of protein, while a few pieces of fruit or vegetables can provide sustained energy and fibre.
For healthy fats, nuts or avocado can serve as a delicious energy source for your body, adds Bowerman. And if time is pressing, consider having a protein shake, like the Herbalife Formula 1 Shake –which is easy to prepare and provides all the nutrients required to start your day right.
So, all you need to have a healthy breakfast each day is a little time and commitment. Choose ingredients that are enjoyable and nutritious, and you can make it a habit to start the day right and will soon enjoy the benefits as you feel and look better, with more zest for life.