The One Meal You Should Never Skip
Thinking about skipping breakfast? Think again. We talked with Dr. Andrea Blake, Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Joliet about the morning meal that deserves milestone status in each and every day.

Be Well: What is the big deal about breakfast?

Dr. Andrea: What many people don’t realize is the time between your last meal and when you wake up is a fasting period when your body’s assimilation, healing and restoration mechanisms take place—all of which are essential for optimal health. Eating breakfast is literally the act of breaking that fasting period so your body’s metabolism can jump start. It provides a crucial boost of energy to start the day.

Be Well: So what happens when you don’t eat breakfast?

Dr. Andrea:  First of all, when you don't eat breakfast your body will continue to fast and you won’t have proper energy. The smallest, simplest tasks will seem daunting if you don’t have the energy you need to focus. The other issue with not eating breakfast is related to what happens when your metabolism jump starts. Hormones, such as insulin, are dependent on this process. If you make a daily habit of not eating breakfast, you can put yourself at increased risk of insulin resistance and even diabetes.

Be Well: What if someone is trying to lose weight? Wouldn’t skipping breakfast help?

Dr. Andrea: That’s a great question and a prevalent myth I like to dispel with my patients. Think about eating breakfast as a way of assuring your body that it will have enough calories to function throughout the day. When you do eventually eat a meal after skipping breakfast, you are more likely to eat more or eat higher calorie foods to “make up” for not having breakfast. But your body will wait longer to burn those calories and store more of the nutrients. Several studies have demonstrated that people who skip breakfast actually have a harder time losing weight for this reason.

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Be Well: Ok, so does it matter what you eat for breakfast?

Dr. Andrea: Yes, it does. The best breakfast is rich in protein with healthy fats and low glycemic complex carbohydrates. Healthy fats include coconut, avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, peanut butter and fish.

Be Well: What does that look like? Can you give us some examples?

Dr. Andrea: Sure. I recommend a protein shake or two eggs. Vegetable omelets are also a healthy choice. And you could also consider juicing (fruits and vegetables) as a more gentle approach to getting your metabolism going while providing you with the proper nutrients to start your day. Good examples of low glycemic complex carbohydrates are non-canned legumes, polished or brown rice, sweet potato, oats and bran. Avoid bagels, cereal and pancakes. Studies show that people who choose eggs over bagels for breakfast experience more weight loss and a significant decrease in body mass index or BMI.