When we think about dieting, cutting calories is often the first thing that comes to mind. Skipping breakfast can seem like an obvious solution. After all, surely if you skip breakfast, you’ll already have reduced your calorie intake and be on the right track for the rest of the day too? Unfortunately, this is where many people go wrong.
Breakfast does what it says on the tin, it ‘breaks’ the overnight ‘fast’. It’s the first opportunity that you have in the day to kick-start your metabolism and set yourself up to be a fat-burning machine. It quickly brings your blood sugar levels back to normal and helps to keep them steady for the rest of the day. So breakfast not only makes you healthier and gives you an abundance of energy, but contrary to popular belief, it actually helps you lose weight.
So here’s the truth of the matter…if you want to GAIN weight, skip your breakfast.
If you put the facts and figures down on paper, it’s easy to see why people believe that skipping a meal is a good thing when trying to lose weight. When your calorie intake is less than your energy use, then in theory, you should lose weight. Unfortunately though, it’s not that simple and quite often the opposite is true.
Not eating breakfast, results in a slower metabolism for the rest of the day. It can also increase your body’s insulin response, which in turn, increases fat storage and weight gain. Add in the likelihood that by mid-morning you’ll probably be starving and reaching for the biscuit tin and you can easily see how what started out with good intentions, quickly becomes a downward spiral. Allowing yourself to get to the point of feeling totally ravenous, usually results in bingeing on anything and everything in sight; invariably leaving you feeling stuffed, drained and with feelings of guilt and shame.
So what does the research say?
Skipping breakfast means that you will probably end up eating MORE throughout the day, not less.
Research suggests that most people who eat breakfast regularly when losing weight, keep it off. Whereas, only very few people who skip breakfast whilst dieting manage to keep it off in the long term, with many people actually putting MORE weight back on afterwards.
Start the day the way you mean to go on…
Eating a healthy breakfast helps to set you on the right track for making healthy choices for the rest of the day.
On the whole, people who eat a nutritious breakfast tend to eat healthier overall. In contrast, people who skip breakfast are far more likely to continue to make unhealthy choices and spend the day battling sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ instead.
Breakfast replenishes the glycogen stores and refuels your body for the day ahead, giving you lots of energy. Skipping breakfast however, can leave you feeling lethargic and is associated with decreased physical activity. Make it a healthy one and you’ll be kick-starting your day the right way and be ready and raring to go.
Why we’ve got it all the wrong way round…
The majority of us tend to have a large meal and consume most of our calories at the end of the day. Far too many often, we rush through the day, barely stopping to eat and end it with a large dinner followed by snacks in front of the T.V. What do we do with all of those calories? We sleep on them.
By consuming most of our calories at a time when we’re winding down and less likely to use them, we end up storing them as fat instead. By eating a larger proportion of our calories early on, we have far longer to use them.
Croissants and cornflakes aren’t the answer either…
If you begin the day with a sugary or processed breakfast, then you’re not really dealing with the issue either. Not only will you be fast-tracking the day to a sugar crash, but you’ll also find that you tend to eat more throughout the rest of the day too. Even the so-called ‘healthy’ options are usually highly processed and contain as much sugar as the average dessert!
So what’s the answer?
Most of us are really busy in the mornings; either rushing off to work or doing the school run . So with little time, it really is important to plan a breakfast that fits in around your lifestyle. With just a little preparation, a healthy breakfast can take just minutes to make and if you’re really struggling, then why not just whizz up a smoothie to take on the go?
Try to avoid processed cereals and go for either a wholegrain cereal with nuts or other protein-rich breakfast, such as boiled eggs, vegetable omelette, a protein based shake or grilled mackerel.
The reason protein is so great to start the day with, is because it leaves you feeling full for longer, balances blood sugar and also helps to reduce cravings and hunger throughout the day… all the things that you need to help you to lose weight and keep it off.
So next time you feel like skipping breakfast because you’re in a rush, or you’re trying to cut the calories, think again. You could just be missing the very key to losing weight and keeping it off…
If you don’t tend to eat breakfast, how can you begin to plan your day and ensure that you eat a healthy one from now on?
We love to hear from you and you never know how your tips may inspire others, so please share in the comments below.
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