Breakfast is an important meal because you are literally breaking your fast (8-10 hours minimum) and to get started with the day, your body needs the right fuel.
Eating a balanced breakfast is important as it kick-starts your metabolism, your blood glucose metabolism is much better throughout the day, and it boosts your energy levels and also helps you make better meal choices throughout the day. Breakfast is also given a lot of importance in Ayurveda as that is the time our body's 'pitta' (fire or metabolism) is at its peak.
Sahiba Bhardwaj, a Nutritionist & Nutrition Educator helps us look at some common breakfast mistakes that could hamper our metabolism.
Skipping Breakfast: Eating late at night or trying a new diet, cutting calories or maybe you simply don't have the time to eat breakfast. This is the biggest mistake you can make as it will not only dampen your metabolism but also increase your chances of developing health problems like high blood cholesterol, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. But a balanced breakfast can lower those risks and fuel you for the rest of the day.
Bite-Sized Breakfast: Eating just a fruit or a small bite-sized breakfast will leave you hungry and affect your mental focus. Not eating sufficient calories during the day may leave you munching on unhealthy energy-dense snacks later in the day and may lead to weight gain. However, eating a good filling breakfast fires up your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day.
Speedy Eating: Sit and eat. We have always heard that but we tend to ignore it. Always in a rush, we tend to eat fast and take large bites of our food. This as per some studies increases the odds of obesity as it may lead to overeating. Also, as per Ayurveda, when you sit and eat your food, chewing it properly, it improves digestion and absorption of nutrients. So slow down, and savour each bite of your breakfast.
Going low on Protein: A protein-packed breakfast has more benefits than just feeding your muscles. Protein takes longer to break down in the body and hence keeps you full for longer. So make sure your Breakfast has good quality protein that is paired with complex carbohydrates and good fats. Eggs, smoked salmon, nut butter, yoghurt, and paneer are all good protein options. Stay clear of processed meat (sausages, salamis, seeks, bacon etc.)
Saying No to Carbs: Another grave mistake is leaving out carbohydrates completely. You don't have to say no to them, just choose wisely. Include Complex Carbs that are slow energy releasing and don't spike your blood glucose levels and give you energy through the day. Some good ones are steel-cut oats, upma, poha, sandwiches, cheelas with veggies are some options. Avoid loading up on Simple carbs (fruit juices, waffles, pancakes) on a daily basis as they can lead to a sudden dip in energy levels mid-morning.
Don't fear fats and include healthy fats in your breakfast in small portions with your proteins and carbs. Adding avocado or a tablespoon of nut butter to your toast, adding nuts & seeds to your cereal or smoothies, and cooking cheelas in desi ghee are good ways of adding healthy fats. Unsaturated fats and the Omega-3 fatty acids from nuts & flax seeds are good for the heart too.