What If I'm Not Hungry For Breakfast?
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” -Moms Everywhere
Yes, mom was right. Breakfast is an important way to start the day, for kids and adults alike. Skipping breakfast can lead to erratic eating patterns throughout the day, indulgence in more junk food, and ultimately, weight gain.
Not feeling hungry first thing? You may want to look at what you ate for dinner or snacked on the night before.
According to Sharon Brown, a clinical nutritionist and founder of Bonafide Provisions, as soon as you fall asleep, your stomach goes through a kind of detoxification period to break down the foods you’ve eaten that day and process them into fuel or waste. Then, like clockwork, your large intestine detoxifies the next morning, causing a bowel movement upon wake up. However, if you don't have the sudden urge to go, it may be a reflection of a poor diet. You will not be hungry until your body can produce the bowel movement and rid itself of the toxins and waste. This is common if the foods you eat right before bed are particularly high in fats.
Timing of meals is important also. Eating right before bed disrupts sleep and could cause acid reflux. If your body hasn't had enough time to empty the stomach by morning, then you will still feel full, or if it by chance has emptied in time, it may still be high in digestive acid, also causing you to feel nauseous and have no desire to eat.
Sleep is another factor to consider. If you are not sleeping enough, you body may have not had enough time to process through what you ate. On the other hand, if you are sleeping too long, then your body's normal process of releasing glycogen to wake you up, is increased to a higher amount released, leading to even higher blood sugar, which can also cause you to not feel hungry in the morning.
So what is the solution?
Even if you aren't particularly hungry, it's still a good idea to fuel your body with a little something to give your body, and brain the nutrients it needs to begin your day well nourished and strong. A small handful of almonds, dried berries, and a glass of water might be just what you need to start getting your body the jump start it needs without pushing too much first thing in the morning.
Here are 3 benefits of eating breakfast:
Breakfast jump starts the gut: Studies show that people who begin the day with a balanced breakfast of protein, complex carbs, and fiber tend to eat less junk food during the day because it primes the brain and gut to expect (and crave) nutritious food for the rest of the day.
Breakfast jump starts the brain: When you sleep, you're fasting. Breaking your fast revs up your metabolism, and perks up the brain. Eating a nutritious breakfast and feeding your neurotransmitters, the neurochemical messengers that rev up your brain and steady your moods, will help you feel energized and relaxed during the day.
Breakfast keeps you lean: Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight! Studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner because by "front loading," they prepare their bodies for the rest of the day.
Before you reach for the colorful box of sugary cereal, quick package of instant oatmeal, chocolate chip granola bar, or a pop tart, it's important to understand not all breakfasts are created equal. Your typical box of sugary cereal, instant oatmeal, granola bar, or pop tart, does not fit the bill for a balanced, brainy breakfast.
A brainy breakfast includes foods with the right balance of complex carbohydrates and proteins to both stimulate and relax the brain for optimal performance. Protein perks up the brain, and because the body takes longer to digest protein than complex carbs, it help you stay comfortably full for a longer period. A high fiber breakfast of slow-release carbs prevents mid-morning crashes and sugar cravings.
If cereal is the breakfast of choice in your home, you should look for the following:
Cereal made from whole grains, not just "wheat."
At least 3 grams of protein per serving. (take note of what a serving size is on the nutrition label)
Less than 6 grams of sugar per serving.
At least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
NO hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, no artificial preservatives, artificial colors, or high fructose corn syrup. (check the actual list of ingredients for these.)
Need a great recipe to try? How about Fruity French toast?
Makes: 6 pieces of French Toast
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
6 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup thawed 00% orange or pineapple juice concentrate. (do not dilute)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
6 slices of 100% whole grain bread
Mix all ingredients together except the bread and oil.
Heat the oil on medium low in a skillet. Be careful not to overheat, you do not want your oil to smoke!
Soak the bread in the egg mixture and carefully place it in the skillet.
Brown on both sides and serve
If you're ready to eat and prepare "brainy breakfasts," but need more help getting started, contact me to schedule a pantry makeover-the first step to a healthier you! Want to learn more about making healthy eating and lifestyle? Sign up for one of my workshops designed to equip, educate, and motivate you to your new healthier lifestyle!
What are some of your favorite "go-to Brainy Breakfasts?" Comment below with some of your favorite recipes!