Family having breakfast

A good percentage of the general public and even about 33 per cent of dieters feel that skipping breakfast will aid them in their weight loss efforts. However, the stark reality is that the opposite is actually the case as skipping breakfast tends to instead cause weight gain.

Usually your metabolism is at its lowest in the morning just after waking up with a generally low glucose (blood sugar) level. The brain and nervous system needs glucose to work and when not adequately supplied, the body slows down its breakdown of fat – metabolism – and goes into "starvation mode" so that it can conserve energy.

Breakfast allows you to "break the fast" of not having eaten for the past eight to twelve hours. During this ‘fasting period’ there has virtually been no production of the enzymes that are necessary to metabolize fat to give your energy for better performance and to enhance weight loss. Eating breakfast essentially helps you to jump-start your metabolism.

Conversely, skipping breakfast will make you often feel fatigued, restless or irritable in the morning. Having your breakfast will help to normalize your glucose levels and increase your metabolic rate which in turn increases your energy level.

On a more scientific note, a survey by The National Weight Control Registry of about 2,959 member of its over 5,000 members – individuals who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained it for at least year – revealed that 78 per cent had breakfast everyday while 90 per cent said they had breakfast at least five days a week.

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In the same vein, another recent study also revealed that there was a strong negative correlation between the meal size eaten at breakfast and dinner. The conclusion of the study was that people who ate more breakfast consumed fewer calories for the rest of the day while those who skipped breakfast or ate little breakfast ended up consuming more calories over a 24 hour period.

Therefore skipping breakfast may cause you to eat more later in the course of the day despite the fact that you may appear not to be hungry in the morning due to several lifestyle habits.

Most people skip breakfast because of several reasons amongst which are the fact that they presumably don’t have enough time, are not hungry, are afraid of gaining weight and some don’t just like breakfast foods at all.

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast has the following advantages in helping you achieve your weight loss objectives:

  • Breakfast provides the body with energy to recharge itself after an eight to twelve hours fasting period.
  • Eating breakfast also helps to improve your efficiency at work by increasing your strength, concentration and alertness.
  • A healthy breakfast makes you feel less hungry in the course of the day and helps you avoid unhealthy snacking in between meals.
  • Breakfast also enhances your mood and keeps you more invigorated throughout the morning.

Since the importance of having breakfast cannot be overemphasized, it is therefore best to make sure that your breakfast is healthy to experience any weight loss benefits and should therefore be devoid of pastries, bacon and other high glucose and fat laden calories.

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Instead, endeavor to eat very healthy meals with high fiber content such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. High-fiber foods allow you to eat more and keep fuller for longer and also have fewer calories because of their energy density – the amount of calories in a specified amount of food.

In conclusion, start your day off by jump-starting your metabolism with a healthy breakfast and don’t allow yourself to go hungry in the morning again. If however you don’t normally eat breakfast or feel you don’t have enough time, try making a smoothie and putting it in a travel mug to have on the way to work.