Most parents would never send their children off to school without a healthy breakfast, but they don’t think twice about skipping the morning meal themselves. Whether it is a weight-loss strategy, or an effort to get an extra 20 minutes of sleep, skipping breakfast will not help you meet your health goals. Consuming the right combination of nutrients for breakfast doesn’t just improve mental performance and give you the energy to fuel your day, but it may also help you lose or maintain your weight.
Breakfast and Weight Loss
The National Weight Control Registry, a study of over 10,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept if off, found that 78 percent of successful weight-loss participants ate breakfast every day. Skipping breakfast can lead to increased hunger, resulting in poor food choices and overeating later in the day.
An ideal breakfast should contain a source of protein. Protein has a satiating effect and makes you feel fuller longer, according to a 2008 study in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Dieters should choose lean proteins or those that contain healthy fats. Lean protein sources include skinless chicken, lean cuts of beef or pork, beans or egg whites. Proteins that contain healthy fats are eggs, nuts, and peanut butter. Be aware of proper portion sizes when consuming proteins with healthy fats. A good protein rich breakfast could include an egg white omelet with vegetables and a piece of whole grain toast.
Whole grains can provide dieters with filling fiber, antioxidants and steady blood sugar levels. Choosing a whole grain for breakfast can help you reach your six to 11 recommended daily servings. A 2003 study in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that women who ate whole grains gained less weight over a 12-year period than women who chose refined grains. Opt for whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, whole-grain cereal or brown rice for breakfast. Add peanut butter and a banana to your oatmeal for a good breakfast choice.
Fruit or Vegetables
Adding fruit and vegetables to all of your meals, including breakfast, can help you lose weight and be healthy. Fruit and vegetables are generally high in water, making them filling with fewer calories. Those high in soluble fiber are particularly helpful in weight loss because soluble fiber expands in your stomach and slows the rate of gastric emptying, making you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Prunes, pears, citrus fruit, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are all high in soluble fiber. Try brown rice with beans and your favorite vegetables for a healthy, well-rounded breakfast.