You’re running late for work and first thing on the agenda is a big meeting. You meant to grab a banana and a yogurt on the way out the door but you were in such a rush, they are still sitting on your kitchen counter as you sit in traffic. You finally get to work and plop down in your chair, ready for the meeting, when your tummy starts to grumble.
“Look, everyone,” one of your coworker says. “I brought doughnuts!
Normally, you’d politely say no thank you and opt for a healthier choice, but there’s no other food in sight for the next few hours and your tummy will not shut up. So, should you eat the doughnut, or go hungry?
Of course a nutritious, well-balanced meal is always the number one choice for breakfast, but if there isn’t one available, is it better to eat an unhealthy option or to just skip it completely?
No matter what you eat, breakfast is what kick starts your metabolism each day. It breaks the overnight fast you experience while you sleep, where you body slows down everything, including your metabolism, to rest and repair itself. The food you eat first thing in the morning signals to all your body systems that you’re awake, you’re fueled, and it’s time to get the day started. Without it, your systems never fully turn back on and run on all cylinders.
While a doughnut isn’t the ideal fuel for your body, it will provide you energy in the form of quick burning sugars, holding you over until you can get something with some nutrients in it, and it’ll jump-start your metabolism the same as nutritious one, helping your body to burn off those extra doughnut calories, as well. If you don’t eat anything, you will feel tired and low energy, be unable to concentrate on your meeting, and will walk around with a half functioning metabolism until you do finally have a chance to eat something.
Plus, since it’s breakfast and the first thing you’ve eaten, you have the ability to account for that doughnut by making healthy food choices the rest of the day and working it off, lessening its overall impact, something you can’t do if you eat a doughnut or other high fat, high sugar, low nutrient food late at night.
So, go ahead and eat the doughnut, but! This is only true, of course, if you don’t regularly eat doughnuts and typically have a healthy breakfast. The excess calories in one doughnut will not make you fat, but the excess calories from a doughnut every day just might. Not only that, but processed carbohydrates like doughnuts and bagels burn off quickly, leaving you craving more unhealthy processed carbs to bring your energy levels back up, unlike whole grains and other complex carbohydrates that digest slowly and keep your energy levels stable for hours. If doughnuts or other unhealthy breakfasts are your norm, skipping it will do you a better service by not introducing those unnecessary calories and blood sugar spikes into your body in the first place, rather than relying on your metabolism to (hopefully) make up the difference.