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Many people are tempted to skip meals in an effort to boost their weight loss result . Unfortunately, taking such a drastic step can actually backfire, especially if you choose to skip breakfast. Contrary to what you may believe, research has shown that eating breakfast actually aids your long-term weight loss efforts. People who eat breakfast every day actually consume fewer calories over the course of each day, eat less saturated fat and cholesterol, and are overall better nourished than breakfast skippers.
How it works.
When you first wake up in the morning, your blood sugar is fairly low because you’ve gone without food all night. Low blood sugar causes hunger and low energy levels, and your metabolism slumps. We need to eat breakfast in the morning to return our energy levels to normal, and to rev up our metabolism for the rest of the day.
If you don’t eat breakfast, your blood sugar drops even more, triggering cravings and lack of energy. You’re unlikely to exercise, and you’re very likely to indulge in “craving foods” – for most people, this means simple carbohydrates. You may also find yourself compensating by eating larger portions at dinner time, late in the day, when you’re less likely to burn off the calories you consume.
By contrast, people who eat breakfast every day report feeling more satisfied (and less likely to snack) throughout the day. It also boosts metabolism, keeps your blood sugar more even, and gives you energy to exercise.
But do it right!
Eating breakfast is important, but only if you do it right. Avoid sugary carbs like donuts and waffles, and fill up on protein, whole wheat, and fruits instead. Remember that protein keeps you feeling full throughout the day, so you can fight cravings. Balance your proteins with nutrient-dense whole wheats and delicious fruits, and you’re well on your way to a healthy, balanced diet for the day! And as always, if it comes in a package, be suspicious and read that ingredient list carefully. Freshly prepared food is usually healthier and will better serve your weight loss goals.
Remember to always check with your doctor for the best personalized dietary advice. There are specific medically supervised weight loss plans (like the HCG Diet) where the timing of meals may differ from the norm.
*Hill J, Wing R. The Weight Control Registry. The Permanente Journal, 2003 Vol 7(3)