Find yourself constantly craving food throughout the day? You may need to eat a better breakfast.
The saying that breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day’ goes beyond a simple cliché. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that skipping breakfast is a major cause of obesity, which has quadrupled within the last 30 years.
The reasoning behind this is that when you eat a healthy, protein rich breakfast, your body produces an abundance of neurotransmitters that helps supress cravings for the rest of the day.
The neurotransmitter in question is dopamine. Dopamine is chemical within our brains that is heavily involved in how we process reward, and manage food cravings. When we eat, dopamine is released, making us feel both rewarded and satisfied. However, dopamine is blunted in overweight and obese people, meaning they have to eat more to feel satisfied, further exasperating their situation and causing a cycle that is hard to break.
The research aimed to find a dietary behaviour that was both healthy, and rewarding at the same time – and breakfast high in protein won, being able to effectively supress the cravings for fatty food for the rest of the day. This means that those who do not get a healthy breakfast are more likely to indulge in eating fattier foods throughout the day, increasing the risk of obesity.
So what can you eat? What breakfast will help see you throughout the day without giving into the craving? Well, the obvious ones are eggs and bacon, but they are not so healthy so should be enjoyed in moderation. Try looking at things like fortified cereals that have added protein in them, or a dollop of Greek yogurt on top of your morning meal. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, and will ensure you are not loading up on meat too early in the morning.
If you do fancy a bit of meat, then why not some fish? Smoked salmon is much healthier than red meat, and is laden with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. A bit of smoked salmon on toast can do wonders!
Whatever you choose to do, there are countless options out there, so there really is no more excuse for skipping breakfast! So get creative and beat those cravings!