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Is Breakfast Important For My Weight Loss?

October 3, 2018 | Categories:

The Weight Loss Rumor:

If you’re trying to lose weight, cutting back calories in the morning—especially if you’re never hungry for breakfast—seems like an easy way to start dropping pounds. Or, if your morning routine is like a circus act trying to get everyone out the door on time, your “breakfast” might just be a large coffee chugged down on your commute to work. To find out how important breakfast really is to weight loss and what it should consist of, I chatted with Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDs, authors of The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat, and the 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size and Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps. Get their expert advice on how to perfect your morning meal.

 

The Verdict:

There’s plenty of research out there that shows eating breakfast can help you lose and manage your weight. According to The National Weight Control Registry, 78% of the members who have maintained their weight loss and kept it off for at least five years eat breakfast every day. 

“We tell our clients that the research shows people who eat a breakfast are better able to achieve and maintain a healthy weight,” says Lakatos Shames. “It doesn’t have to be anything big, just some food to get your body going. People think skipping breakfast is an easy way to start losing weight, but eating something in the morning actually keeps you from overeating later in the day. Overall calorie consumption is decreased when you eat breakfast, but the key is what you eat. If you have a fiber-filled, protein-rich breakfast you’ll be in much better control at lunchtime and eat less.”

So what’s in a “wholesome, healthy breakfast” that’ll keep you full til lunch?

“The combination of protein and fiber is really satisfying and filling,” says Lakatos. “The fiber-rich carbohydrates will fuel your brain, muscles, and it’s going to give you long-lasting energy.”

Combining the fiber with protein means it’ll take your body longer to digest, so you’ll feel full for hours. “Some great breakfasts are eggs with whole wheat toast, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, oatmeal with milk and fruit, or an apple with peanut butter on top,” says Lakatos Shames. “You can also have whole grain cereal and fruit but if you eat it with fat-free or low-fat yogurt, it’ll hold you longer than if you just top it with milk because yogurt has more protein.”

Now that you’ve decided you’re going to become a breakfast eater to amp up your weight loss, how many calories do you need this early in the day? “We recommend about 300 to 400 calories for women, and 400 to 500 calories for men,” says Lakatos. “But you can have a filling breakfast for around 200 calories. I recommend cooking about six egg whites with veggies and serving them up with a slice of whole wheat toast. It’s protein-rich, fiber-rich, and you’re working a serving of vegetables into your day already. Aim for at least 10 grams of protein at this meal.”

Choosing an egg over a bagel may even help you lose more weight, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Researchers discovered that after 8 weeks, the overweight and obese study subjects who ate two eggs for breakfast over the group who ate a bagel of equal calories showed a 61% greater reduction in BMI, 65% more weight loss, their waists shrunk 34% more than the bagel eaters, and they had a 16% greater reduction in percent body fat. Even more interesting was that total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, didn’t differ between the groups.

Learn what celebrity trainers eat for breakfast.

While Lakatos says it’s fine to have a whole grain bagel as part of your breakfast, it’s rare you’ll find one that’s 100% whole grain (they’ll be like a brick, she says). If you think “multigrain” bagels sound like they’d be good for your waistline, slow down—they aren’t as healthy as you’d think. They’re mostly made up with white or wheat flour enriched with fiber, and a few sprinkles of seven grains in there, says Lakatos.

What if you’re one of those people who never eats breakfast because you say it makes you hungrier or you aren’t hungry at all in the morning? “The truth is that if you are someone who’s just not hungry, then most often you will find that if you start having a piece of fruit and a hardboiled egg, within three or four days, your body adjusts and you’ll be hungry in the morning for breakfast, and less hungry later in the day,” says Lakatos Shames.

The Takeaway:

Eat a fiber- and protein-rich breakfast every day, aim for at least 10 grams of protein.

-Try to keep it between 200 and 400 calories.

-Aim to add in a serving of veggies or fruits to get a jump-start on hitting your daily requirements.

-Make sure bread products are 100% whole grain.

Get 8 high-protein breakfast ideas here.

(This article was originally published on Upwave.com.)

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