People who eat breakfast every day will typically get better overall nutrition and have a lower risk of being overweight. However, around 10 to 30 percent of Americans skip breakfast. Although scientific researchers and nutritionists agree that people should eat breakfast, there isn't an agreement in terms of the best time to eat the breakfast. For what to eat, the general rule is that avoid refined carbs, high-fat meats, and sugary processed foods. Opt for whole-grain bread or cereal, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and fresh fruit for breakfast.
When Is the Best Time to Eat Breakfast?
If you don't work out in the morning, you can eat breakfast within an hour or so after waking up. By eating earlier, your blood sugar and insulin levels can be better regulated, and your metabolism gets a kick start. If you wait for too long, you may become too hungry and eat whatever you can find, increasing your risk of eating low-nutrient and high-calorie foods. Regardless of what you do in the morning, you should aim to eat breakfast before 10 am. Several studies have shown that eating a meal before 10 am is linked to having a lower body weight.
What If I Do Exercises in the Morning?
Those who exercise in the morning will find that the best time to eat breakfast is one hour before their workouts. This ensures that your blood sugar levels and glycogen stores are high enough to let you exercise effectively. Without eating, you can get tired more quickly and be unable to perform well. If you don't have time to eat that long before working out, try to have a piece of fruit or some light carbohydrates.
What If I Want to Lose Weight?
If you exercise with the goal of losing weight as opposed to achieving a high-level athletic performance, the best time for breakfast is after a morning workout. A study found that eating a high-calorie and high-fat breakfast after exercising didn't lead to weight gain.
What Are the Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast?
Now that you know the best time to eat breakfast, you have to figure out the ideal foods to eat.
Eating eggs in the morning can help you feel full and reduce the amount of calories consumed at the next meal. They also maintain steady insulin and blood sugar levels. Eggs even contain lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline. Although being high in cholesterol, eggs don't raise the average person's cholesterol levels and they are high in protein.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is another great breakfast choice because of its concentrated protein. Protein will reduce hunger and increase your metabolism better than carbs or fat. Dairy products like Greek yogurt can also increase hormone levels which promote feeling full. It may also contain conjugated linoleic acid and probiotics.
The caffeine in coffee can improve mental performance, alertness, and mood. Caffeine can also boost your metabolism and fat burning rate. As a bonus, it has plenty of antioxidants which help with inflammation, decrease liver disease and diabetes risk, and protect the cells that line blood vessels.
Oats are an excellent source of beta-glucan, a unique fiber that can help reduce cholesterol and promote fullness. Oatmeal also has antioxidants that can decrease blood pressure and protect the heart. Just a cup of cooked oatmeal gives you 6 grams of protein while a cup of steel-cut oats doubles the amount..
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are among the top fiber sources with a single ounce giving you 11 grams. As a viscous fiber, the seeds also increase food's volume as it goes through your digestive system, improving satiety. This is another food with antioxidants.
Berries are yet another delicious breakfast food with antioxidants and they even have less sugar and more fiber than other fruits. Just a cup of blackberries or raspberries has 8 grams of fiber with just 50 to 85 calories. Berries can reduce inflammation, give you healthy cells lining the blood vessels, and prevent oxidation of blood cholesterol.
Nuts can help you lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, and reduce insulin resistance. All nuts have large quantities of good monounsaturated fat, potassium, and magnesium. Some types of nuts also have selenium. Nuts are particularly good for diabetics.
The Best Time to Do Everything for Better Health
In addition to knowing the best time to eat breakfast, you may want to know the ideal time for other daily activities to optimize your health.
- Enjoy the Sunshine: Absorbing about 15 minutes' worth of UV light can make you feel more alert by stopping melatonin (a sleep hormone) release. Just be sure to apply sunscreen and do this before 10 am.
- Go on a Walk: If you like walking, do so between 12 and 2 in the afternoon. This can prevent the afternoon sleepiness due to a natural dip in body temperature.
- Drink Wine: Try to drink wine earlier in the evening, such as between 4 pm and 8 pm so that the alcohol can be metabolized before you go to sleep. Without giving your body time to process the alcohol, you may have issues falling into deep sleep.
- Try a New Workout: Your body temperature peaks between 5 pm and 6 pm, making you more nimble and reducing your risk of injury. Because of this, it is the ideal time to try a new workout or activity.
- Eat Your Dinner: Eat dinner before 8 pm to reduce your risk of gaining weight. If you eat too long after the sun has gone down, you may change your metabolism and gain weight. Eating late at night can also disturb your sleep.