Breakfast in bed

Breakfast in bed; I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t love having breakfast in bed. Have you? To me, any excuse to crawl back in bed after having woken up is a good one. Of course, you would think there’s a risk of falling asleep again but I usually find that once I have gotten up to prepare my breakfast and had one bite of it my priority has shifted from sleep to food. I feel like I have never really grown up when I realise that these are the two things my days revolve around! Does anyone else have that feeling? I can honestly say that I plan my days around my meals and that I get quite panic-y knowing I am not going to get much sleep. Anyways, back to breakfast in bed! Besides it being amazing to spend an extra 10 to 15 minutes in bed, I believe it can also be beneficial if you’re trying to watch your daily calorie intake by avoiding the consumption of ‘unnecessary’ calories, when overeating.

Many people I know (I, too, am guilty of this) have breakfast on the go, standing in their kitchen, whilst getting dressed, reading e-mails, checking Instagram, reading the news etc. You have probably already experienced being stressed out within minutes of waking up because you had already started thinking about work, school or other things to do that day. Let me just make this really simple:

Stress and food do NOT go together. 

If there’s one thing to remember from today’s post that’s probably it. There are two ways in which stress has a negative impact on eating habits:

  1. In the short term: Stress cuts your appetite due to the fact that your body produces more adrenaline leading to a state of high(er) arousal. This then leads you to putting off eating, thinking you are not hungry. If this happens to you in the morning, leading you to skip breakfast you are much more likely to consume more calories through out the rest of the day. It might be because you are more lenient on yourself, justifying your higher calorie intake by telling yourself you haven’t consumed anything at breakfast. It might also be because you are more likely to replace breakfast by grabbing a sugary snack later in the morning, thus starting the day of with a high-glucose meal.
  2. In the long term: Stress also elevates the levels of cortisol in the body. This hormone has been proven to increase people’s cravings for sugary and fatty foods. Personally, I only have to be stressed out for about 30 minutes before I start craving such foods.

Imagine this:

7AM: Your alarm goes off. You stay in bed for another 5 minutes to properly realise it’s time to wake up (for some, already a stressful experience on its own).

7:05AM: You realise it’s Monday and start thinking about all of the things you have to do or the people you have to see that day (or that week). “Let me just grab my phone to check my agenda and emails. Oh god, not that. Oh no, not him!” (I’m letting my imagination go its course here).

7:10AM: You have jumped out of bed, stressing about all of the above, with the added pressure of not knowing what to wear!

7:30AM: You’re ready. You have showered, gotten dressed, put your make-up on, prepared your gym clothes (I hope!) and are basically ready to go. “Oh no! I haven’t had breakfast yet. Should I? I’m sort of hungry, though.” You run in to the kitchen and prepare one of those ‘Oats-so-simple’ things with extra honey and a cup of coffee (Hooray! You’ve gotten your refined sugars and stimulants in for the day.) You eat this really quickly because, can’t be late.

7:37AM: Mhh… That wasn’t all too filling, let me just grab a granola bar in case I get hungry later. Maybe I’ll just have one now and bring another one with me.

7:40AM: You’re out the door, eating the a granola bar that has now become part of your breakfast, still stressing about the rest of the day.

Wow, that was a strangely satisfying piece of creative writing. Now, of course, I am aware that this is not everyone’s daily routine. But, fact is, most of us start our days off stressed. Before sitting down for breakfast we have probably already been stressing for about 30 minutes. As I previously mentioned, to me, that’s enough to start craving sugary and calorie-dense foods! By actually taking the time, maybe just by waking up a bit earlier, and preparing a balanced breakfast that you then enjoy, in your PJ’S, in a still oh-so-warm bed, you’re starting your days off in a relaxed environment. Who wouldn’t want that?

  1. If you manage to keep your phone and laptop away whilst eating, you’re not confronted with (stress-) triggers from the moment you wake up. You need energy to deal with stressful thoughts or situations and most of us aren’t really good at that when we’re hungry and still tired.
  2. By eating in a different room than your kitchen, you avoid the temptation of other foods in your fridge or cupboard, which is a way of avoiding over-eating.

There you have them; the reasons for which I think we should have breakfast in bed more often! One last tip: if you never feel motivated to prepare a nice breakfast in the morning, prepare it the night before. Make some chia pudding, overnight oats or already gather the ingredients you’re going to need in the morning. This not only saves energy but also precious time in the morning.

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