Breakfast is often referred to as ‘the most important meal of the day’. By eating the right foods, you can make sure that you’re energized and ready to take on the day ahead. Below are four bad habits to break when it comes to breakfast.
Too many refined grains
Many of us start the day by eating grains – usually in the form of bread, cereal, pancakes or waffles. Grains are a good source of carbs and can help to provide us with energy to take on the day. However, many of us eat the wrong types of grains.
Instead of eating whole grains, many of us eat refined grains. Refined grains are grains that have been heavily processed, often removing all the nutrients and adding unhealthy ingredients like salt, sugar and chemicals. Refined grains are also lower in fibre compared to whole grains, which means that they don’t keep us full as long.
Most regular store-bought cereals, breads, pancakes and waffles are made from refined grains. By switching to whole grain alternatives like oatmeal porridge, muesli and whole wheat bread, you could increase your intake of nutrients, reduce your intake of unhealthy additives and stay fuller longer.
Too much added sugar
Many of us add sugar to our cereal, our tea and our coffee. All this sugar can add up – especially if you’re having multiple spoonfuls in your hot drinks and on your cereal.
Excess sugar is bad for the heart and it can contribute to weight gain and issues like diabetes. While sugar can perk us up in the morning, it’s typically followed by a sugar crash. If you eat lots of sugar in the morning, you could find that you become de-energised a couple hours later and this will often be accompanied by food cravings.
Can’t go through your morning without that sugar kick? Consider incorporating some fruit into your breakfast. The sugar in fruit is absorbed more slowly than refined sugar – the comedown isn’t as drastic. The body is also able to process it more easily, so it’s less likely to be converted into fat.
No fruit or veggies
On the topic of fruit, it could be worth incorporating some fruit into your breakfast in order to get your fix of vitamins. Vitamins help convert food into energy and are important for the immune system and healing.
You can also get your fix of vitamins through vegetables. Many of us reserve vegetables for lunch and dinner, but there’s no reason you can’t incorporate veggies into your breakfast. Healthy eating practices such as modern day macrobiotics typically promote eating a vegetable with each meal, so that your body is constantly topped up with vitamins and minerals. This can allow you to perform at your best.
Skipping breakfast altogether
Another bad habit worth breaking is skipping breakfast altogether (unless you fully understand intermittent fasting). When you skip breakfast, you fail to provide your body with the energy it needs to take on the day. You could find that you’re more likely to avoid exercise, and you may find it harder to concentrate. People who skip breakfast also often end up eating more for lunch. This, combined with reduced motivation to exercise, can contribute to weight gain.
Try to make it a habit of eating something in the morning. Something as simple as a banana is better than nothing.
This is a collaborative post.