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Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper
I love this proverb. In a sentence, it tells so much about balancing meals. Our largest meal of the day should be our breakfast, lunch a moderate one and dinner ought to be minimal. The adage would benefit a lot of people only if they followed it.
But you would ask, why should we follow such meal pattern? Let me explain. To understand it, lets first understand the concept of Metabolism.
WHAT IS METABOLISM?
Metabolism means the chemical processes that are carried in our body continuously to keep us alive. It is a combination of Catabolism (breakdown of food for generating energy) and Anabolism (formation of complex molecules from simple ones). All of this requires energy.
If you have a fast metabolism, that means your body utilizes more energy to maintain bodily functions and if you have a slow metabolism then your body utilizes less energy to carry out vital functions in body.
People tend to gain weight when their metabolism is sluggish. The key to weight loss or weight gain is understanding the concept of Metabolism.
Metabolism is dependent on factors such as age, gender, amount of calories consumed, the type of food eaten, sleeping habits, eating habits and the presence or absence of physical activity.
At the end of a long, tiring day, our metabolism slows down to give our body the much needed rest. If you eat a heavy meal at night, the body will have a laborious task of converting the food into simpler form for assimilation in blood (catabolism) and filling up of body stores from excess molecules (anabolism).
Now, when we sleep, our metabolism drops. Our body is in a fasting state for 9-10 hours. Our metabolism is still low after we are awake in morning. To give it a kick start, we need to refuel the body and break the fast of the night. Hence, a heavy breakfast gives the much needed push to stay active throughout the day.
BENEFITS OF EATING BREAKFAST
Keeps you active
Helps in maintaining weight
Regulates blood sugar levels
Kick starts metabolism
Controls hunger pangs
BREAKFAST AND HECTIC SCHEDULE
We have understood why breakfast is important. But you would say it’s not a luxury to me. What with getting ready for office, college and the reporting time being early morning, I end up skipping breakfast.
But the fact that we shouldn’t be skipping breakfast doesn’t change a bit in spite of our busy mornings. For some people even the thought of eating in morning doesn’t go down well literally and figuratively.
It’s mostly because you have trained your body to skip morning meals, which in turn causes hunger pangs throughout the day and then you end up gorging on food till late night.
The whole cycle gets disrupted causing weight gain. You feel inactive and sleepy throughout the day because you didn’t gee up the metabolism in the morning.
Also, if you have been consistently omitting breakfast then your metabolism will start declining and this will call for weight gain which will in turn invite a host of lifestyle disorders like Obesity, Cardiovascular disorders, PCOD, Thyroid problems, Diabetes, etc.
But then you will say what about busy mornings. I understand, hence I have given few simple tips to overcome this problem.
The best thing is to divide your breakfast into 3 parts as early morning, mid morning and late morning. Let’s see in detail below how that can be done.
A word of caution, avoid junk, fried, oily food at all cost for breakfast. The type of food also matters when you make food choices. Ideally, breakfast should be high in protein and complex carbohydrates. Muesli and milk loaded with almonds, walnuts and black raisins is an ideal breakfast option for those with a bustling lifestyle.
Just after you have brushed your teeth, will be your early morning breakfast.
Have any of the following options which are quick bites and will help you if you feel queasy eating food in morning.
Nuts: 5 almonds, 4 walnuts, some raisins, 2 cashew nuts or you can soak almonds/ raisins/ peanuts in water whole night and have it in morning
Seeds: Handful of pumpkin seeds/ chia seeds/ flax seeds/ sunflower seeds
Tea & biscuits: 1 cup tea plus 4 fibre rich biscuits
After you are done with your mundane chores like getting ready for office, college, bathing, etc. You can make a mid morning snack. This can be had in cab or at office or before leaving home or in Office/ College canteen.
Below options you can include as a mid morning Breakfast:
1 Egg Sandwich
1 bowl Muesli and milk with nuts
A glass of protein rich Smoothies
2 Idli, 1 Dosa, 1 plate Poha or Upma, etc.
This would be around 11- 11.30 am. You can have any of the below during this time.
A glass of Coconut water
Handful of Nuts
Handful of chana
1 katori roasted Makhana (Lotus seeds)
1 katori Puffed rice
Folks, trust me this is doable. I know our schedules are busy but if it’s at the expense of health then an intervention is definitely needed.
Make a habit of putting your health on priority then these amendments will not feel like a burden. Obstacles will come and making it a habit may seem grueling. But I challenge you to eat Breakfast everyday without fail. Let me know the barriers you face in the comments section below and I shall work up a solution for you. Are you ready to make this change for your well being?