Breaking the Fast: 3 Part Series

So, from yesterday’s post we know that eating breakfast is important and will help you maintain a healthy weight, optimal cognitive functioning, and an overall feeling of wellbeing – but how and why?

During sleep, our body takes advantage of the down time to repair and replenish from daily activity.  While we are sleeping, bones are built, tissue repaired and regenerated, muscles grow, and our immune system is strengthened. To carry out the restorative functions of sleep properly, our body turns to energy which is stored in the body in a few forms.

– Blood Glucose

– Glycogen, stored in the liver and muscles

– Protein, which is converted into glycogen

– Fat within the adipose tissue

Structural Formula of Glucose

I’m going to use a car and gas as an analogy to the body and it’s form of fuel – food.  As you can imagine, once we wake up our energy stores are significantly depleted and it’s sort of like a gas tank being on low or empty.  Like a car, without fuel in the form of food we can go a certain distance but we sort of put-put along without much enthusiasm or energy…just scraping by.

Nutritional Value for Dunkin’ Donuts Glazed Donut

Now, imagine what happens when you eat a donut first thing in the morning – it will provide a spike in energy because it’s full of sugar but there are no nutrients.  So we speed along and then come to an abrupt stop because the tank is empty.  You start feeling dizzy, tired, irritable, hungry, and stressed.  This leads cravings, over eating and by this time you’ll eat whatever crappy food comes your way.  A cycle of poor eating often continues for the rest of the day.

While a donut is a good example of a poor breakfast, here are some other not so obvious culprits:

Hidden Culprit: Cereal

– white bread

– low fiber cereals (I have an issue will all cereals but that’s a whole other topic)

– Danish/Croissants

–  Fruit juices

– Granola Bars

– Pop Tarts

There is a light at the end of the poor breakfast habit cycle!  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on breakfast options that will keep you happy and healthy.

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