You have probably heard, or your parents told you growing up, that "Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day," and for a good reason! Let's break it down.
As the name suggests, break-fast 'breaks' the overnight fasting period. The clinical definition of fasting is not eating for more than 8 hours. So if you sleep for the recommended 7-8 hours per night, eating at any point the next day will be the act of "breaking your fast."
Over the years, the standard break-fast has become more focused on cereals, bread, and high sugar options. Large companies have made it much more convenient to eat their pre-packaged, to-go meals that save you time in your busy morning.
We totally get it; the morning never seems long enough before the work or school day begins. Do us a favor - take the time to investigate further why the first meal of your day impacts the rest of your day SO much by reading below.
Why is the first meal of the day so important?
You have not eaten, and your body is currently in a catabolic state - this means it is in a state of breaking down larger molecules into smaller ones. Yes, this is when fat burning is at its most efficient, but muscle is also breaking down at this time. When your body has gone without eating for 8+ hours, this is your first opportunity to steer your body in the right direction.
What happens after eating the first meal of the day?
The day's first meal primes your body to regulate its muscle tissue and blood sugar; BUT it has to involve the proper nutrients within it for it to have a beneficial effect on your body.
It all starts with protein!
The first meal of the day should center around a protein source - ideally 40-50g of protein; when consuming this amount of protein within your first meal of the day, your body is now at its best for metabolic regulation. It kickstarts the process of muscle protein synthesis (building/repairing muscle tissue). Protein is also very satiating. The gut releases hormones that tell the brain it is full after eating large amounts of protein. Also, for people struggling with weight management, protein produces a high thermic effect within the body. The amount of calories the body burns increases with the more protein you consume compared to carbohydrates.
High protein examples
- Greek yogurt
- Eggs + egg whites
- Cottage cheese
- Lean meats or sausages
- Protein powders
Although breakfast may be the most frequently skipped meal in America, the first meal of the day continues to live up to its reputation as the most important meal of the day. So, when making your next break-fast choice, consider how much protein you have on your plate. Your first meal can have long-lasting effects throughout your day and long-term health!