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Is it Really Bad to Skip Breakfasts? Some Scientists Say No

Is it Really Bad to Skip Breakfasts? Some Scientists Say No

It is commonly known that eating breakfast is important because it helps boost your metabolism. This early meal also helps you lose or maintain your weight by preventing cravings. There are many other benefits to eating breakfast, including enhanced memory, improved cholesterol levels, improved mood throughout the day, improved cognitive ability, and increased attention span. New research challenges the idea of breakfast. Before we explore these theories, let us look at the facts.

One research experiment regarding breakfast intake and weight maintenance was conducted by Monash University Gastroenterologist, Alex Hodge. Dr. Hodge looked at a group of 32 participants who had fatty liver disease. He directed them to fast between 8pm and midday. The research concluded that skipping breakfast could actually help to shed weight. The participants lost weight over the experiment’s 12-week period, reducing their waist circumference. There was also not a significant change in food intake throughout the day despite skipping out on the early morning meal.

Another 16-week research published in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION, examined the effect of skipping breakfast for weight-loss in 309 unhealthy overweight and obese people aged between 20-65 years old. This conflicting research study found that skipping breakfast did not affect the study participants’ weight loss.

However, some researchers say that the conclusions from research studies should be interpreted with caution. You can already notice the stark discrepancy between the two mentioned experiments.

There are limitations in the research studies looking at breakfast effect, including the size of participants. There are also other control factors not accounted for, such as frequency and quality of other meals throughout the day. Nutrition research studies are often very challenging because of the difficulty controlling the participants other lifestyle habits (such as smoking and level of physical activity). They are often not 100% controlled intake studies.

Even though research shows that skipping breakfast does not affect weight, it is advised to not skip long term. Nutrients provided by eating breakfast are important for tackling the day. The experts advise us that breakfast should not be about weight maintenance, it should be about encouraging people to eat healthy. The hope is to form a habit for kick-starting our day with essential nutrients.

A healthy breakfast should include the following:

Whole grains. Examples include whole-grain rolls, bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, low-fat bran muffins, crackers, and Melba toast.

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Lean protein. Examples include peanut butter, lean meat, poultry, fish, and hard-boiled eggs.

Low-fat dairy. Examples include milk, plain or lower sugar yogurts, and low-fat cheeses – such as cottage and natural cheeses.

Fruits and vegetables. Examples include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100% real fruit juice without added sugar, as well as fruit and vegetable blended Smoothies. Make sure you choose low-sodium versions of beverages, though.

By following these guidelines, no matter how busy you are, you will soon see the effects of a quick healthy breakfast. This value should not be underestimated.

Here are some tips for fitting in breakfast on a tight schedule:

Cook ahead. Make breakfast the day or night before.

Prepare. You can also prepare any dry ingredients and any bowls or pans for use in the morning.

To-go. Make an easy to transport breakfast the night before. In the morning, you can just grab it and go.

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Sometimes you have the drive to eat right, but you just need some inspiration for what to eat. An apple is an apple, but about something more exciting?

Here are some examples of quick and healthy breakfast recipes:

Berry-nana Soy Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup vanilla soymilk

1 cup frozen blueberries, or frozen berry mix

1 banana, sliced

1 tablespoon soy protein powder

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1/2 cup ice cubes

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Prep time: 3 minutes

Directions:

Puree all the ingredients in a blender on high, until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Cereal Sundae

Ingredients:

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A bowl of fiber-rich bran flakes (about 1½ cups)

8 ounces of low-fat milk

¼ cup of nuts, or fresh/dried fruit , such as chopped pecans or blueberries.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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