Many of us either eat a big amount at breakfast for energy or some skip breakfast because there's no time or doesn't have the appetite in the morning. Getting the right amount of nutrients is what we want and so mostly do "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper." This saying recommends that breakfast should establish the most important meal of our daily diet, followed by lunch, and end off eith a light dinner. "Studies have shown that a healthy breakfast has wide-ranging benefits for the human body, such as supporting the metabolism, boosting mental alertness and improving digestion," says Susan Bowerman, Senior Director of Wolrdwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife.
Yet according to the Healthy Breakfast Survey conducted in 11 markets across Asia Pacific region by Herbalife, 21 percent of the Filipino respondents do not consume breakfast daily. While those who do, have an unbalanced meal that comproses mainly carbohydrates in the morning. Too often, breakfast is a little more than a toast, white rice, noodles or a cup of tea or chocolate drink - all of which suggest quickly, leaving people hungry by mid-morning.
Skipping a breakfast meal might seem insignifant in the grand scheme of things, but the side-effects could be detrimental to your health in the long run. For a start, skipping breakfast could lead to more cravings later in the day which makes it harder to manage your weight.
Bowerman adds, "In general, we to make bad food choices when we are starving, as we would be more likely to indulge in food. Also, research has revealed that skipping your breakfast could increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes."
By contrast, startting the day with a good breakfast has many benefits. Consuming your breakfast could do wonders for weight management, as food consumption releases gut hormones which control appetite, having a sustained effect throughout the day compared to those who do not, due to the appetite-suppressing effect from dietary protein, thus providing satiety between meals.
But how can we practically incorporate a healthy breakfast into our daily eating habits? According to Herbalife's Healthy Breakfast Survey, the top three motivators for Filipino respondents to adopt a regular breakfast diet are if consuming breakfast contributes to health and well-being; if their breakfast can help in giving them more energy; and if their breakfast can be made more accessible to them.
With this in mind, perhaps making a few simple changes to daily living might do the trick - such as waking up 15 minutes earlier, opting for a quick and nutritious breakfast fix, or getting a freind or loved one to join you for breakfast.
While this marks a positive start to a long-term change in lifestyle habits, the type of breakfast choices one makes will also have an impact on overall health and well-being.
When it comes to selecting just what to eat for breakfast, Bowerman advocates following Herbalife's Global Nutrition Philosophy, according to which our total daily calories should be comprised of :
- 40 percent carbohydrates
- 30 percent protein
- 30 percent fats, along with 25g of fiber and eight glasses of water
"A healthy balanced breakfast should provide you with an adequate amount of protein, while a few pieces of fruit or vegetables can provide sustained energy and fiber. For healthy fats, nuts or avocado can serve as a delicious energy source for your body," adds Bowerman. "And if time is pressing, consider having a protein shake, like the Herbalife Formula 1 Shake - which is easy to prepare and provides all the nutrients required to start your day right."
So, all you need to have a healthy breakfast is a little time and commitment. Choose ingredients that are enjoyable and nutritious, and you can make it a habit to start the day right and will soon enjoy the benefits as you feel and look better, with more zest for life.