Are you trying to lose weight? One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to eat a healthy breakfast every morning.
Many people are in the habit of skipping breakfast most mornings. Perhaps they are in a hurry to get to work or perhaps they just don’t feel like eating. However, although you might think that skipping the first meal of the day will help you to lose weight, it actually does the opposite.
How Does it Work?
To understand why eating breakfast will help you lose weight, we have to go all the way back to the days of the caveman. Primitive human beings did not always have three regular meals per day as they hunted and gathered for their food. There were sometimes periods of time when the hunting wouldn’t be successful and they wouldn’t have as much to eat. During this time, the human body evolved a method of preserving calories to keep us alive.
This is known as “starvation mode” and it means that our metabolism slows down to a crawl and we store any calories that we consume directly as fat. This is brilliant when you are trying to survive in times of scarcity, but terrible if you are trying to lose weight.
Whenever you skip breakfast and don’t eat until lunchtime, your body has not received food for 15 or more hours. Your metabolism will start to slow down and you will stop producing the enzymes needed to metabolize your fat and lose weight. As soon as you eat something, which will likely be a sugary or fatty treat mid morning because you will be so hungry, your body will immediately store it as fat.
Eating in the morning results in an increased leptin output, which is the hormone which suppresses appetite. Filling up on a healthy breakfast early in the day ensures that the body produces more leptin which will cause you to eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
If you can have a healthy breakfast when you wake up in the morning, you will jump start your metabolism. A study by the National Weight Control Registry found that over 90% of successful dieters have a habit of eating breakfast. These are the dieters who have lost a significant amount of weight and have been able to keep it off for a long time. However, don’t forget that these successful dieters also reported exercising regularly, so this is an important factor in their weight loss.
What to Eat for Breakfast
So we have established that eating breakfast is a good idea, but what should you eat in the morning? If you have a very sugary or fattening breakfast this will cancel out the positive effects because it will add so many calories to your overall day. Instead, try one of these healthy breakfast suggestions:
- Whole grain toast with peanut butter and a glass of orange juice.
- A bowl of oatmeal with berries and nuts.
- Low fat yogurt and fruit.
- A smoothie made from fresh fruit, yogurt and protein powder.
- In Asia it is common to eat soup, rice or even steamed vegetables in the morning, so why not try this?
- Watch out for bagels, as they are actually the calorie equivalent of five slices of bread. Instead, go for a small bagel or only eat half.
- Also, beware of cereals or granolas which have too much sugar on them.
- Eggs make a great protein-rich breakfast and they have plenty of vitamins. Make an omelette or cook a hard-boiled egg.
If you are still hungry after switching to a low-fat breakfast you might need to have a protein-based snack midway through the morning. Try some hummus and vegetables or low-fat cheese to hold you over until lunch time. Also, avoid eating the same thing for breakfast every morning or you will quickly get bored. Switch up a few different healthy options depending on how you feel.
Eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast is one of the easiest ways to start your day off right and get you on the path to weight loss.