How important is Breakfast anyway?
All of our lives, we have been told that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Don’t ever skip breakfast. If you do, you are setting yourself up for obesity and other health issues. This is what we have been told. Yet, I meet people often who say that they can’t eat first thing in the morning.
The truth is, there are different body types and things change as we age. A good healthy breakfast filled with protein and/or whole grains is wonderful for most of us when we are young. Children do better with cognitive skills, attention spans, etc. when they have proper fuel in the morning. In general, throughout those school years, those who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. Without breakfast, kids can get irritable, restless, and tired.
Our metabolism and eating habits will determine the percentage of lean muscle mass and body fat and where it is located on our body. So, it's important to eat according to your body type to ensure that your metabolism is working at its best.
People with an Apple body shape tend to carry most of their weight around the belly area but have a slimmer lower body. Abdominal fat—usually visceral fat—unfortunately causes many health risks such as an increased risk of heart disease, cancers, and diabetes because it's the type of fat that surrounds your organs. Abdominal fat is known to be detrimental, causing inflammation and insulin resistance, which can lead to metabolic syndrome.
If you're tummy heavy, however, don't despair!
Visceral fat, although very dangerous, is also metabolically active and easier to lose if an appropriate diet is followed.
This type should never skip breakfast.
When consuming the recommended carbohydrates high in fiber, it's important for apple shaped bodies to pair them with a protein or healthy fat to further control blood sugar levels. Healthy fats, such as nuts and fish, are loaded with omega-3s, which have been shown to decrease inflammation. And remember, snacking is important for apple shaped bodies.
People with a Pear body shape tend to carry most of their weight in the lower portions of their body, which is mostly subcutaneous fat. This is also known as fat that can be pinched. While love handles and muffin tops make most of us cringe, this kind of fat isn't surrounding our vital organs, meaning that it isn't as detrimental to our health as the fat you'll find in people with an apple shaped figure.
On the flip side, this type of fat is harder to lose because it's stubborn and not as mobile as visceral fat. You can make the long process a little more fun by spiking your workout routines. This type can get away with skipping breakfast.
Pear-shaped individuals may benefit from a high fiber, lower fat diet with an adequate balance of lean protein because it's much easier to burn carbohydrates than it is fat. Eat several servings of whole grains, like quinoa, brown rice, and whole grain bread, throughout the day.
Some studies suggest that the pear shaped body may be due to increased estrogen levels, so, it’s important to avoid non-organic and processed meats that may contain unnecessary hormones.
Calcium has been shown to influence the way our bodies store fat, making it helpful to load up on Icelandic or Greek yogurt and dark leafy greens. This body type does not do well with juice, smoothies or alcohol; instead, drink lots and lots of water. The sugar content of the above mentioned drinks keep this body type from being the healthiest it can be, and the slimmest it can be.
If you're broader up top, this is the Inverted Triangle body type it's important to opt for complex versus simple carbohydrates; which means: quinoa and oats instead of white rice and potatoes. Fresh vegetables (particularly leafy greens) are also key, as well as eliminating high fat cheeses and processed foods—particularly the salty ones, which can cause bloating.
The hourglass figure tends to be the most desired body shape because those with this figure gain weight evenly throughout their body. When people with this type do gain weight, however, it's most noticeable on or around the face, arms, chest, knees, and ankles.
Hourglass figures should follow an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fresh produce (fruits and veggies) and whole grains (buckwheat bulgur, millet, quinoa…), healthy fats (avocados, salmon, nuts, seeds, olive oil…) and high quality lean protein (turkey, salmon, sole…), beans and lentils.
Like all body types, hourglass shapes should limit processed foods, sugar, caffeine, and high-fat foods. Hourglass bodies, like all bodies, can benefit from including more plant-based proteins, such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu and edamame in their diets because these potent protein sources are also high in fiber and many contain healthy fats.
Advice for all body types: If you are diabetic or have other chronic health conditions, you shouldn’t abstain from eating breakfast. Further, if you exercise first thing in the morning, it’s best to eat after your workout to rehydrate and replenish your lost calories.
And here’s a hint: America is the only culture that has traditional breakfast foods. In almost all other cultures, there isn’t really a specified “breakfast menu.” People simply eat a varied diet regardless of the mealtime or type. Enjoy what you like, as long as it’s healthy. But remember, it’s also important to change it up and eat a balanced diet.
Just one last note: Magnesium is crucial for hundreds of bodily functions, which is why consuming this wonder mineral is associated with better blood sugar control and I recommend it for all body types. Be sure to include almonds and dark leafy greens like spinach and black beans in your diet daily.
Really, the best rule is to only eat when you are hungry. Eating when you are hungry ensures that you don’t overeat later on in the day.
My approach is to get to know yourself and your body's way of communicating. Of course, there are some general guidelines as I stated above, however each person has their own relationship with their body. Whether you are listening or not, your body is constantly sending you signals as feedback of how it is feeling, how well certain foods are received and so on. The sooner you listen, the better off you and your body will be.