Breakfast is one of the three integral meals of our day. Arguably, it is the most important meal we will take. However, most people tend to take this for granted and instead opt to skip breakfast, substituting it with a quick gulp of milk or coffee to be early for work or school. While such a habit does accommodate the world’s fast-paced lifestyle, it does so at a high cost.
The term “breakfast” literally does what it says on the tin. The first meal of the day literally breaks the fast we went through during our sleep. Sleep is an awesome reset button for our body. While it is easy to assume we consume little energy during our sleep, our internal system is actually in full swing. Much of our body’s regenerative and restorative processes occur during sleep. As such, we are not exactly at full charge, even if we certainly feel like it.
Ghrelin – The Hunger Hormone
When we enter a fasting state for a long time, the body tends to slowly produce the hormone ghrelin. It’s a signal that the cells in our body have already consumed the readily-available energy they have and are ready to accept more nutrients once it becomes available. In simple terms, ghrelin is the hunger hormone, and this only decreases once we eat.
Upon waking up, the ghrelin in our body is at a high level. This triggers hunger. But when we ignore this urge – especially when we are in a hurry to catch the early morning bus – this hormone will keep on accumulating. By lunchtime, ghrelin will be at such a high level that you will feel extremely hungry and will resort to overeating.
This is detrimental in the long run, especially on a body that learns through habit. Over time, our body will learn that the high levels of ghrelin in the morning are actually normal. It will take more and more ghrelin for us to feel hunger. And this extreme surge of ghrelin will make us overly hungry every single time we need to eat. And when overeating becomes a habit, it will be difficult to reverse it.
From here, the realization should be plain and simple: skipping breakfast has perils. Besides, some eggs and toast in the morning partnered with a cup of coffee will surely help brighten the day ahead.