Friday, June 15, 2012

Guest Post: Big Up Breakfast

In the spirit of the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games taking place in London, I've asked  Lauren Williams who lives in the UK to be a special guest blogger. Read on to find out her thoughts on Breakfast.

"Big Up Breakfast" It’s one of those phrases that has been drummed into you by your mum since you were crawling around the kitchen when you were three – “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Especially for those of us who are trying to lose those muffin-tops before summer hits.

So to recruit you to Team Breakfast, here are five good reasons you should make time for a meal in the morning.

1. Weight loss
Surely that can’t be right? If you eat more, you’re more likely to lose weight? Kind of – don’t worry, you’re not wasting your time with those early-morning minutes on the exercise bike. Your first meal of the day kick starts your metabolism after its overnight fast (break-fast, get it?) and stops your body going into starvation mode. Eating a balanced breakfast every morning also sets you up for the morning and will mean that you are less likely to pick at those chocolate biscuits being offered around the office at 9:05am.

2. Concentration levels
If you skip breakfast in the morning, you’ll have a hard time concentrating through to lunch time – you’ll also find it more difficult to learn anything new as you will not be stimulated enough to take in new information. Eating first thing in the morning will increase your productivity as well as your focus.

3. Mood
Being hungry tends to cause major mood swings and irritability. We all know the signs – the snappy comments and sarcastic remarks from your other half when they get in from work, only to find out they were too busy to stop for lunch. Nothing but a good meal will sort that out (or maybe that…). Skipping meals means that our body is lacking nutrients and is running on empty, which affects your whole system. Do yourself (and your family) a favour, and start the day sunny-side up.

4. A healthier heart
Getting more than a cup of tea down your throat in the mornings does more than increase your work productivity and your mood – it encourages a healthy heart by keeping blood pressure down and keeping diabetes at bay. Breakfast-skippers have, on average, higher cholesterol than those who eat first thing, which is the primary source of heart disease. By eating every morning, you consume less fat and more fibre which will keep you fuller (and slimmer) for longer.

5. Enhance your immune system
If skipping breakfast is something you’ve made a habit of for quite some time – you probably pick up colds and flus all winter-long. A study in the Netherlands showed that regular breakfast-eaters boost their body’s natural gamma-interferon (that antiviral thing that activates our immune systems) just by eating in the morning. Those that did not eat breakfast regularly – a fry up every Sunday morning when you’re hungover doesn’t count as regular – had 17% less gamma-interferon

Lauren Williams is a freelance journalist, dedicated runner and healthy eater (when she's not nibbling on cupcakes).

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