In this week’s Ultimate Transformation Moment, we get back to basics and few things are more basic than the first meal of the day–breakfast.

Studies show that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and still today, many people don’t really understand why. The literal meaning of breakfast is “breaking the fast” of the night. It is the first meal that you consume upon rising from a night’s sleep.

The reason this meal is the most important of the day is rather mathematical. Let’s assume the following: dinner at 6 p.m.; bedtime at 10 p.m.; 8 hours sleep and 6 a.m. wakeup. By 6 a.m. the body has not received any nutrients for 12 hours. If you are like many people, and the morning passes without any breakfast, your next meal may be lunchtime, which means it has been 18 to 19 hours that the body has gone without some form of nutrition.

At this point, the body is beginning to activate starvation mode. This means that when you begin to eat again, your body will hold on to excess calories, because it may not receive food for another stretch of time. You exacerbate this situation when you make unhealthy food choices as the first meal because your body will now store that excess fat.

Avoid mild starvation by beginning your day with a healthy meal. Break your fast in the morning with food that is going to help promote health and will provide the energy you need for your daily activities.

One of the most important things about breakfast is that it gives you a mental edge. This is particularly important for your children. They should be ready to go to school and be ready to work. The brain needs fuel to think, as the body needs fuel to play. As adults, we need to think clearly, as well. If you want those great ideas to flow, begin the day with a healthy breakfast.
Breakfast also activates the body’s metabolism. Skipping the first meal of the day will slow the metabolism, which is counterproductive if your goal is to lose a few pounds. The body uses the food as energy and then eliminates the waste. So, if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, breakfast is a great way to do this.

A few simple meals to start your day could include lean proteins and a carbohydrate but cut back on the fats. Some examples are chicken and turkey breasts that are lean meats. You can also eat oatmeal and fruit, a parfait of yogurt, granola and fruit.

Whole grain toast with a piece of fruit is also a great option. These are foods low in calories but also give you a carbohydrate and a protein–things that are going to give you energy and sustainability.

Be prepared and have the groceries ready that you need. Purchase milk, cereal, oatmeal, and lean meat if desired. You can make enough oatmeal for the entire week. Place servings in little baggies or microwavable containers. Add fruit and eat it on the run. These small preparations will help you have your meals easily prepared and take away the excuse that you don’t have time to eat.
Take the time to begin your day with the best possible advantage.

That’s our Ultimate Transformations Moment. Peace and be more.

Erich Nall is the owner and founder of Ultimate Transformations Training in Los Angeles, Calif. He is the author of “21 Days to Ultimate Health and Wellness.” The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the “Front Page” with Dominique DiPrima.” As founder of Collegiate Search Youth Organization, Erich has been assisting youth in the community for more than 20 years. He can be reached at www.ultimatetransformations.com.