Sported to be the most important meal of the day, breakfast is often actually something a lot of us take for granted, in fact, recent studies showed us Brits are more likely to skip breakfast than any of our European neighbours. Indeed, two-thirds of us regularly skip it all together and an ever increasing number say they are more than happy to grab something caffeine based on the way to the office to tide them over until lunch. So if breakfast is all that important why do so many of us miss this morning feast? Convenience? That extra half hour in bed or simply lack of forward planning? We decided to take a look at the most popular morning kick-start sustenance to find out just what you eat really does say about you and how just a few small tweaks to your own morning routine could benefit you and your energy levels for the rest of the working day.
So why is breakfast so important? Did you know that it’s breakfast that kick-starts our metabolism, so if you regularly skip breakfast or substitute food with caffeine your body will actually learn to store fat from other meals, therefore making weight loss even more difficult? So next time you’re thinking ‘beach bod’ or trying to squeeze into your fav skinny jeans don’t skip meals, eat smart instead. When we sleep at night our body gets to work really repairing itself and healing so what we put back into it in the morning to refuel is really important. Dark circles under your eyes? It could be more than just a few late nights, try drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up and you will really start to notice a difference, not only to your under eyes but also your overall skin appearance, morning mental agility and also those weight loss plans.
So now you know why you should be eating breakfast and how a morning glass of water also helps let’s take a look at what types of breakfast us Brits tend to favour and how what we eat really can define our productivity at work.
- Cereal killer- Cereal is hugely popular in the UK with all ages and walks of life, mainly due to its continence and lack of any real meal prep or thought. Simply pour, splash on some milk and you’re good to go. The problem with cereal is just how many of them contain massive hidden amounts of sugar and additives. You may think you’re making a conscious healthier choice by ditching the coco pops for grown-up granola but did you know your average store-bought granola contains 12.5g of sugar per 100g. Now while that might be less than those sugar-laced cereals of our childhood did you know that the average adult bowl full is actually double the ‘serving’ size the cereal manufacturers base their numbers on so you need to double those sugar numbers straight off. In fact, if you ever get the chance to look at the small print of actual portion and serving sizes recommended on most food items you would be surprised by just how small a ‘serving’ actually is and how we are all according to the packet information, massively overeating to begin with.
- Caffeine & hope for the best- Regularly skip breakfast altogether? Coffee on the way to the office and soldier through to lunch? You’re not the only one, 28 percent of us do just that. Now not only is this hitting your wallet hard when you add up all those grand mocha-choca-latte-fartes over the space of the month but it’s obviously not doing the old waistline any favours either. Did you know that a Caramel Latte from some of our favourite high-street coffee shops contains a whopping 20 spoons of sugar? Do you want a muffin with that? Then add another 7 spoons, you get the idea. ‘But my favourite coffee shops do offer ‘skinny’ options’ I hear you cry, yes they do but the fat and sugar content is still less than ideal so early into your day and the lack of any real nourishment and actual real food is also far from a great start. In fact starting your day with no food and pure caffeine and sugar actually, has a negative impact on our concentration and energy levels throughout the day. Due to the lack of real food and the sudden rush of caffeine we get a fake mental boost that peaks too soon and leaves us craving our next caffeine hit to get us through the day. It’s all a vicious circle of unhealthy habits whatever what you syrup-coat it.
- Protein Junky- While starting your day with a protein fix is a healthier option that the two listed above its easy to fall into the continence of shake-drinking morning, noon and night. Yes, those annoying ‘friends’ we all seem to acquire on Facebook and fat-to-thin for cash Z-grade celebs will be happy to peddle you their own wonder brand of protein shakes that ‘do it all’ a balanced diet based on actual food is a better and healthier option not to mention cheaper too. Protein shakes contain lots of hidden ingredients, have a look at the labels, can you pronounce half? Do they sound remotely derived from nature? No, not really. Protein in its natural form is a far better source if you’re looking to eat healthily and stay on track for summer and beyond. Think eggs, nuts in homemade granola and Greek yoghurt, these are all great for breakfast too.
- Grab and go- like the coffee lovers the grab and go breakfast is an obvious unhealthy option. You know the moment you walk into the coffee shop or towards those golden arches that healthy choices come here to die. While no one will deny a sausage and egg McMuffin is great hangover grub once in a while, eating fat and grease on this level on a regular basis will do all sorts of damage in the long run. Bagels, doughnuts, pretty French pastries and Maccies might all look like fun at the time and fill you up for a few hours for just a few quid you will notice your mental stimulation and overall get-up-and-go will soon do just that. A sausage and egg McMuffin contains 46 percent of our recommended daily intake of fat, that’s just on its own, now add in the coffee and the side of hash browns. Time to make some changes we think.
So what can you do in the way of a fast, convenient and filling breakfast on the go that will not only not cost the earth but will leave you mentally equip for the day ahead? We like Overnight Oats as a fast and healthy breakfast on the go. All the prep is done the night before (very minimal) leaving you free to grab and go. Oats will fill you up and also provide you with that protein hit and fibre to keep you trim, add fruit such as your favourite berries and banana for a vitamin and brainpower boost meaning you can ditch the shakes, sugar and caffeine, top with any type of milk you like (think almond, soy or … for added benefits) and leave in the fridge overnight to become deliciously creamy and filling. Perfect to grab on the way to work and enjoy on the train or when you get to your desk. There are also an array of great little jars, cups and containers designed with this sort of convenient eating with no spills on the journey in mind, so there really is no excuse not to try it out. Have a look online for tonnes of fast and yummy recipe ideas and fruit combos to try, you might find your new favourite breakfast could shave pounds off your waist and put them back into your pocket. What’s not to love?