To Your Health Part 1: Breakfast Like a King...

The Most Important Meal

Every year Americans are getting fatter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Adult Obesity Facts state that 35.7% of American Adults are obese. Stop and think about what that means. More than one in three Americans are not only overweight, but obese! Medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 more annually in 2008 than those of normal weight, and those costs keep rising. I could speculate on reasons, but that is not why I’m here. I would like to offer a solution. I am writing these articles to offer a way to help people avoid the high costs, not just financially, but physically and emotionally, of being overweight. The “To Your Health” series of articles will offer easy lifestyle changes, which once adapted into a daily routine, will allow readers the ability to lose weight without much effort. It might not be easy at first, but adopt my methods, and I can promise one thing: a better life.

I would like to preface this series of articles with a dash of humility. I do not want to come off as bragging or boasting. I am sharing what I have learned through long trials and many errors in an effort to help people in search of a change of lifestyle. I believe that many people would like to change their health for the better, but may not have any direction to aid them in achieving their goals. It took me a number of years to develop into the svelte figure of a man I am now. Should you find yourself looking to make a change, rest assured, there is no magical secret held by the fit and trim. A successful change for a better life only takes a plan and the ability stick to this plan. Having established my objective, let’s get on with the condescension!

Dedicating oneself to any major change can be a daunting task, so where and how does one begin? As someone who suffers from a crippling inability to begin a task due to being overwhelmed by where to start, I live and breathe this question every day. Just do what I do, grab a proverbial glass, and start washing. What I mean by that is: considering you have to start somewhere, let’s start with the first meal of the day, breakfast. If breakfast is something you don’t eat, you need to start.

Study after study has found that skipping breakfast is one of the worst mistakes people trying to lose weight make. Step back for a second, and think about what it means to skip breakfast. Let’s say your last meal is two hours before you go to sleep. If you sleep the recommended seven to eight hours a night, that is a minimum nine hour fast. Skipping breakfast extends that fast until you decide to eat something, which at that point is likely not going to be a healthy choice due to being so ravenous. 

When you eat breakfast, you naturally begin to taper off your eating later of the day. The cliché of “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper” is sound advice to weight management. It is a cliché for a reason after all. When you skip breakfast, you replace those calories during the day with incessant snacking and by binging on larger portions at lunch and dinner. This is the polar opposite of successful eating habits.

I’ve heard people complain that they are not hungry in the morning, but I promise, start eating breakfast, and your body will adjust quickly. Before you know it, you won’t be able to skip breakfast without major consequences in the form of crippling hunger.

Having established what I consider to be a convincing argument for breakfast, it’s time I impart some words of wisdom. First, I suggest drinking a tall glass, at least 16 ounces, of water immediately upon waking up. This will kick start your metabolism and after about twenty minutes, you should be starting to get hungry. Hungry or not, eat a banana, or a cereal bar. Start small, and you can work your way up to a bowl of cereal. Breakfast is so important that research has shown you are better off eating a bowl of sugary cereal than skipping the first meal all together. You will face the inevitable sugar crash, which leads to the vicious sugar cycle, but it’s a start. Look forward to an article addressing sugar in the near future.

As for what I eat every morning, I practice what I preach. I wake up and go to the kitchen. I pour a glass full of mineral water, as I personally like the bubbly stuff, and put that down before I do anything else. I then prepare my breakfast, which consists of a bowl of nine-grain hot cereal with a couple of tablespoons of honey, a few tablespoons of flaxseed oil, a banana, and handful of blueberries, or whatever berry happens to be in season. Voila! Breakfast is served. Sometimes I will prepared this the night before if I am short on time in the morning.

Other options I can offer include egg white omelets, with whatever kind of veggies you like. Sorry, but you have to skip the cheese, unless you are exercising and you need the fat to burn for energy. Any kind of cold cereal with milk will do, but the closer to whole grains you get, the better off you will be in the end. Remember, this is not a strict regiment. Eating a good breakfast is the important part here, so don’t be afraid to add variety. Cereal one day, fruit another, and maybe eggs and bacon once a week. We are human after all, and all work and no play make us all go crazy. You know what you like, just be sure it’s closer to real food than processed sugar.

There you have it. If you would like more details on the correlation of breakfast and healthy weight maintenance, just enter “the importance of breakfast” into your favorite search engine and read to your heart’s content. The information provided will likely mirror what I have stated, only in more depth. I am admittedly painting with a wide brush here, as I’m not trying to get mired down in redundant details. Next in the “To Your Health” series, I will address the topic of exercise. It’s easier than you think. Until then, have a great tomorrow!

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