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The Importance of Breakfast

One thing I’ve noticed in all the years that I have worked in both fitness and weight management is the amount of people who skip breakfast.  Either people complain that they don’t have time to eat in the morning or they believe that skipping breakfast will cut calories and therefore, help them to lose weight.  Research has consistently shown that that the people who successfully lose weight are the ones that wake up and eat breakfast.

Why is breakfast considered to be the most important meal of the day?

  1. Firstly: Eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day so that better food choices can be made the rest of the day and portion sizes can be controlled.
  2. Eating breakfast will give you more energy for the rest of the day and studies have shown that people are better able to focus and function throughout the day.
  3. For many people, eating breakfast is part of a healthy lifestyle so they are more likely to set a healthy precedent for the rest of the day by making wiser food choices and exercising.
  4. People who eat breakfast regularly tend to eat fewer calories from fat and have a better vitamin and mineral intake.

So, how can we work breakfast into our busy lives?

  • Prepare the night before by planning what you are going to eat the next morning and have it ready to go.
  • Place a list of foods on your fridge that are quick and easy but also ones that you enjoy.  It will make it easier to choose what to have for breakfast the next morning.
  • Decide to drive through a fast food restaurant on your way to work but know ahead of time what healthy choice you will be ordering.

Finally, the following are some foods that you might consider for breakfast:

  • Protein shakes.  Select already pre-mixed shakes or ones that are easily prepared by adding water.
  • Eggs.  They are great for satiety and that is partly because they are high in protein.  Proteins require more calories to digest.  If cholesterol is a concern, egg whites are also high in protein and a great alternative.
  • Dairy products such as cottage cheese, yogurts and milk are also high in protein but take the carbohydrate count into consideration for the rest of the day.
  • High-fiber complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and cereals will also help to keep you satisfied because fiber increases the sensation of fullness.  Low carbohydrate tortillas are great for using as wraps.  Cheese, eggs, Canadian bacon and deli meat are just some of the foods that you could place inside the wrap.  Just make sure that you are getting adequate protein and keep track of your carbohydrate intake for the rest of the day.

Next time you are tempted to skip breakfast, remember that many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers.

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