Studies show that a very significant proportion of those who manage to lose weight and then maintain their weight loss are people who have been diligent about eating their breakfast. This is why experts recommend that starting the day off right, with a good breakfast, is an important strategy to adopt for people looking to lose weight.
So, why is breakfast so important and what role does it really play in weight loss? Let’s have the mystery unfold…
Cut Calories but Not at Breakfast
We all know that it is important to reduce the number of calories we consume in order to lose weight; to create that all important caloric deficit (by eating fewer calories than you burn). But those calories should be cut the right way. Don’t starve yourself; it is always counterproductive for weight loss. Instead switch from calorie dense food to nutrient dense food.
So a healthy diet should follow that old adage of breakfast like a king, lunch like a commoner and dine like a pauper. The most calories should be consumed at the start of the day, after which you are likely to be most active. The fewest calories should be consumed at dinner time, after which the body will be at rest for many hours.
The Link Between Breakfast and Weight Loss
Firstly a good and healthy breakfast will give your metabolism a good start so that you have more energy to do things and to be physically active through the day. If you have more energy you will burn more calories and help with the weight loss. In fact it has been seen that those who eat breakfast are more likely to exercise.
Secondly, if you have a good breakfast you will not be ravenous for lunch and will end up eating a moderate and possibly healthy lunch.
Thirdly, if you don’t have breakfast, you end up fasting for 15 to 20 hours. This means that the body is not producing certain enzymes that are necessary for fat loss.
Some Good Options
Cereals are always a good breakfast option. Pick healthy options such as whole grain cereals with little or no sugar added. Frozen fruit, a handful of nuts, eggs, peanut butter and yoghurt are great to include. Make sure that you have some form of low fat dairy for breakfast too; calcium is known to help with weight loss. An example of a healthy breakfast is muesli with chopped nuts and dried fruit – a tasty and healthy option; either with or without skim milk.