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You’ve probably read many times that diet specialists and medicos recommend that the best way to start the day is to eat a healthy breakfast. So why is that?
Breakfast is the first meal after your body has been relaxing with sleep. We don’t exert energy when we are sleeping so our metabolism slows right down.
Eating a healthy morning meal re-fuels the body. It provides the nutrients your body needs for normal cell repair and renewal. It gives you a jump-start. It gets your metabolism up and running which helps you burn off more calories in the hours ahead. It sets you up for the rest of the day. Helps you become more alert. It will have a positive effect on your day.
Research shows that people who eat breakfast are more successful at losing weight, because skipping breakfast often leads to overeating as the day progresses.
A night’s sleep also reduces your blood sugar level. Avoiding breakfast means it won’t be able to rise to meet the rigors of the day, and you will probably feel sluggish and unable to concentrate properly until you do eat.
Healthy eating at the start of the day – making it a part of your everyday routine – really can help you lose excessive weight and keep the weight off.
It can actually help you lose weight quicker than if you missed eating altogether. A hormone called Leptin is produced which suppresses appetite and makes you feel full. That in turn keeps you feeling full until lunchtime and less likely to snack between meals and load yourself with excess calories. It can also make you feel less tired, restless and irritable.
Some weight loss dieters choose to miss breakfast altogether in the belief that it helps to lose weight. This is far from the truth. Your body thinks it is still fasting from your overnight sleep, your metabolism remains slowed down and does not burn off many calories as you work throughout the day.
Even if you don’t like eating first thing in the morning – and I used to be just like that – you can easily eat some fruit, down a glass of unsweetened fruit juice, or have some yoghurt. Easy peasy. Fast and simple.
Your food choices will influence the benefit you derive from eating breakfast. The best healthy breakfasts include carbohydrates, protein, fruit and water.
Here are some healthy breakfast ideas:
- Oatmeal – either taken hot as porridge (avoid instant porridge products), or cold with added low fat milk, juice or plain (Greek organic) yoghurt. For more flavor add some berries or nuts and seeds, and/or some honey. I add almonds and sunflower seeds to mine. Oats are packed with fiber and will leave you feeling fuller, longer
- Muesli with yoghurt and fruit. A good protein, calcium and low fat start to the day.
- Eggs – poached and boiled are best. Boiled eggs give you a high quality source of protein.
- Toast made with whole grain bread (avoid white bread) – use peanut butter rather than spread or butter
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies – homemade are better than shop-bought smoothies which often have added sugars or artificial sweeteners. A great way of getting fruit and calcium into your diet.
- Protein shakes with added fruit. These are probably best suited to those who are already fit and healthy and are regularly working out. Most people can get the protein they need from adding whole foods to their diet.
- Whole grain cereals – must be a low sugar type. You should avoid processed cereals that are high in added sugars. You’d be surprised at the amount of sugar in so called ‘healthy cereal’ products. They can make you crave sweet things throughout the day, which will achieve the opposite result to your weight loss goals if you succumb to them.
- Apples, pears, bananas or any fruit you fancy
- And, for good measure, drink some green tea or just plain water.
Breakfast foods are plentiful. Put your mind to it and you’ll easily come up with some recipes of your own. Eating a regular healthy breakfast can help you reach your long-term weight goals and shouldn’t be missed. The health benefits are proven. If you are pushed for time in the mornings, prepare something the evening before, but don’t miss eating this important first meal.
Whatever your age, eating a healthy breakfast really can help control your weight. It will reduce feelings of hunger later in the day, make you feel more energetic and reduce the risk of you snacking ‘on the hoof’.
Burning calories just by eating? Sounds good doesn’t it? Eat breakfast regularly and you’ll appreciate the health benefits as you start to lose weight.