According to recent figures, over 25 million Brits regularly miss breakfast, a meal considered the most important of the day for centuries. The number is even greater in the US, with a recent study (opens in new tab) claiming nearly a quarter or American’s failing to eat first thing - that’s around 82m people.
But why IS breakfast so great? And how can you ensure you’re making the most of your morning feed? Nutritionist Rob Hobson (opens in new tab) tells us about breaking the fast…
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Why is breakfast important?
Rob explains that breakfast can help boost our concentration and productivity levels. And if you miss it? Rob tells us, ‘Research suggests people who skip breakfast tend to be at greater risk of being overweight. You’ll end up snacking, often on sugary foods.’ We all know that eating just one cookie in morning meetings is unlikely…
When is best to eat breakfast?
‘It depends, but I don’t think you need to eat as soon as you wake up; for many people it’s the last thing they feel like,’ says Rob, who reckons we should try to eat within four hours of waking.
He adds: ‘If you leave in the morning without eating, make sure you have something to hand at work to eat later in the morning.’
What are the best foods to eat for breakfast?
‘Try different foods and aim for a meal of around 500 calories,’ Rob says. Think protein, fibre and carbs. ‘Protein and the fibre in the carbs fills you up till lunch, while the carbs provide B vitamins – essential for energy production.’
Worried about eating carbs? Stop right there. Rob explains we just need to eat the RIGHT carbs, saying: ‘Wholegrain carbs improve mood, balance blood-sugar levels and provide glucose to your brain after a night’s sleep.’
Rob also suggests including fruit or veggies in your brekkie. ‘If you eat three meals a day, and you don’t include any in your breakfast, you’re less likely to hit your five-a-day,’ he says.
Three quick and healthy breakfast ideas
Rob recommends his tried and tested soaked oats recipe. Simply combine oats, apple juice, fruit and yogurt in a bowl and leave in the fridge while you shower. When you’re ready, your oat bowl will be good to go.
Rob says: ‘Boiled eggs are good to eat on the way to work. Cook a batch at the weekend so your next few days are sorted and eat with toast.’ Your hard-boiled eggs will keep in the fridge up to seven days.
Pre-workout protein shake
Hitting the gym? I recommend something light before a morning workout. One scoop of protein powder mixed with water or almond milk usually gives me an energy boost. As for after, Lucy try an egg wrap with spinach or a bowl of oats topped with nuts, yogurt and peanut butter.
Lucy is a freelance journalist specializing in health, fitness and lifestyle. She was previously the Health and Fitness Editor across various women's magazines, including Woman&Home, Woman and Woman’s Own as well as Editor of Feel Good You. She has also previously written for titles including Now, Look, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Red and The Sun.
She lives and breathes all things fitness; working out every morning with a mix of running, weights, boxing and long walks. Lucy is a Level 3 personal trainer and teaches classes at various London studios. Plus, she's pre- and post-natal trained and helps new mums get back into fitness after the birth of their baby. Lucy claims that good sleep, plenty of food and a healthy gut (seriously, it's an obsession) are the key to maintaining energy and exercising efficiently. Saying this, she's partial to many classes of champagne and tequila on the rocks whilst out with her friends.
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