How many times have you heard the adage, ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar’? Well, don’t dismiss it. This age-old wisdom holds true even today, say nutritionists, dieticians and obesity consultants.
Break your fast – Consulting nutritionist and clinical dietitian Pooja Makhija says, “The most important meal of the day, undoubtedly, is breakfast. The first food intake after a minimum gap of seven-eight hours, it acts as a fuel to jump-start the body.”
Pooja says a person’s breakfast habit decides if his/her body goes into burning (high BMR) or storing (low BMR, high fat-storing) mode.
Nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal says,”You break your night-long fast with this meal. It provides 25% of the total energy and nutrients required by the body. It will boost your energy levels and concentration.”
Missing it is dangerous
No breakfast means a sluggish start to the day. It also makes a person eat larger meals in the course of the day, says Pooja.
“Since activity level, for most people, is maximum in the day, whatever you eat for breakfast is burnt well. So, it can be the biggest meal of the day. In fact, it is the best time for a cheat-meal,” she says.
The best breakfast
Says Deepshikha, “The first meal of the day should be a perfect combination of carbohydrates, protein and fibre.” An ideal breakfast must include all the “five pillars of nutrition”, adds Pooja.
All foods contain inherent or invisible fat.
Vitamins and minerals
Though required in very little quantities, these two are extremely important for a balanced breakfast. Fruits and vegetables are their best sources.
Her breakfast, says Pooja, includes a glass of vegetable juice, three-four egg whites and a slice of bread. “This ensures a complete, nourishing, balanced, supercharging and roaring start.”
Other options for a good breakfast
- Cornflakes/wheatflakes/muesli + milk + fruit
- Upma/poha with vegetables and sprouts
- Idli/dosa + sambhar with vegetables
- Dal paratha + vegetable raita
- Dal chilla with vegetables + bread/roti
- Vegetable sandwich + milkshake
- Egg/sausage + bread + vegetables
Never start your day with caffeine. Eat something (fruit/biscuit/plain milk) first and about 20 minutes later, have tea or coffee.