FOOD & FITNESS / SEP. 12, 2014
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How to Kickstart Your Workday With a Balanced Breakfast

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important part of your day. It is so crucial for both your mind and body. We work hard during our eight-hour shifts, which is why it’s so important to kick start your day. If lunch is your first meal of the day, you’re not doing yourself any favours.

UK Breakfast Surveys

A total of 2,500 families were surveyed across the UK. Of these families, it was found that a staggering 64% do not eat breakfast. These individuals are either staying in bed, or trying to get to work early. It was found that men skip breakfast most often, as 74% reported lunch to be their first meal of the day.

Another survey questioned 2,000 Brits about their favourite breakfast items. Number one was of course a full English breakfast, followed by a bacon sandwich on white bread. Although these individuals are eating breakfast, their choices are not the best in terms of a productive day.

The Importance of Breakfast

Breakfast is something that is often forgotten or avoided. The reality is, everyone should make a habit of eating breakfast daily. The work week can be hectic, but the following reasons may make you think twice about avoiding tomorrow’s breakfast:

  1. You’re more likely to obtain your nutrients when a balanced breakfast is incorporated into your day. Many individuals are deficient in a number of important vitamins and minerals. People who skip breakfast are generally lacking the required amount of calcium, iron, fibre, and thiamine. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is essential for the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter plays a vital role in our level of concentration, attention, focus, memory, and our ability to learn. Thiamine can be found in whole grain bread, cheese, nuts, seeds, eggs, and spinach. You have plenty of breakfast options regarding this important vitamin.
  2. You are more likely to achieve a healthier weight. Individuals who eat breakfast, tend to be slimmer. This is because they snack less often and are more prone to avoid less-nutritious snacks. Those who eat lunch as their first meal, tend to go home and eat at night. This is hard on your metabolism, and your body will begin to store calories. Gaining weight will not make you feel good when you’re sitting around the office.
  3. You will function better throughout your work day, increasing your performance levels. When you skip breakfast, your brain lacks the nutrients it needs in order to perform to the best of its ability. You will have a hard time focusing, and struggle with problem-solving. When you’re sleeping, you’re not consuming any food. Once you restore your glucose levels, your brain is able to function more effectively. Not only will you have higher cognitive function, but you will increase your energy levels. Breakfast should be providing 25-35% of your daily calorie intake.
  4. You set a good example for your family. If you have kids, getting them into a regular breakfast eating habit is so important. This will allow them to develop healthy eating habits. You can also spend some family time together at the breakfast table before work and school.

 

Breakfast Ideas Before Work

Breakfast does not require a whole lot of time. If you’re avoiding breakfast so that you can sleep longer, why not prepare some options the night before? You can portion out your fruit, or make some bran muffin mix the night prior. Realistically, most healthy breakfast options do not require a lot of time. The following are some great options for a quick, healthy, and easy breakfast.

  1. Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries, Honey, and Granola: Blueberries for instance, are high in antioxidants, which help fight against cancer, memory-loss, and aging. They also provide Vitamins C, E, folate, niacin, and riboflavin. Greek yogurt is low in calories, but provides you with protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and so much more. You can make your own granola mix, which is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fibre.
  2. Whole Grain Bagel with Natural Peanut Butter and Fruit: A whole grain bagel is high in thiamine, in fact it provides approximately 100% of your daily thiamine and riboflavin intake. They’re also high in fibre, iron, and zinc, to name a few. Natural peanut butter provides so many benefits, including healthy fats (which are great for brain function), fibre, protein, potassium, antioxidants, zinc, and more. Try to mix up your intake of fruit, as each fruit provides your body with different benefits compared to the next.
  3. Whole Grain Toast with Eggs and Avocado: Once again, whole grains are essential for a variety of reasons. They are also complex carbohydrates, meaning they release energy more efficiently. White bread for instance, spikes your blood sugar, making you crash easier. Toast up a slice of bread, spread some avocado on, add some sea salt and pepper, then cook up a quick egg. Eggs provide so many beneficial vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, B5, B12, B2, folate, selenium, protein, and more.
  4. A Breakfast Smoothie: This can literally contain anything and everyday. It’s a great way to get your nutrients in. Start with a handful of berries, a banana, some Greek yogurt, a few almonds, some spinach, a orange, and whatever else you have in the fridge. Add a little bit of water and blitz it all up in a blender. You now have a smoothie that you can take on the go.

Don’t sacrifice your health and concentration levels. Having breakfast is easy once you get into the habit of eating. It provides you with so much for your day. Your brain and body do a lot for you during your workday. Work with your body and mind to produce the best results possible.  

Photo credit: Flickr 

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