You may be thinking that skipping breakfast is saving you calories, but think again. Usually this leaves you hungrier later in the morning and later in the day, sabotaging your weight control efforts.
Breakfast is important because it helps you ‘break the fast,’ which jump-starts your metabolism in the morning. It also provides you with needed energy so you can focus on the tasks at hand. Breakfast skippers often replace calories during the day with mindless eating. A nibble here, a nibble there, and by lunchtime you are famished and overeat. Stop this cycle and start thinking about how you can add a quick breakfast to your meal plan.
If you want to be successful at weight loss, act like a successful loser. People who make eating breakfast a daily habit lose more weight and keep it off longer. To fuel up in the morning, try to include a bit of protein with your carbohydrate. Also include fiber – whole grains and fresh fruit. If you eat high-fiber, low-energy, dense foods – such as oatmeal with strawberries and walnuts, or granola with low-fat yogurt, you can eat more and with fewer calories. Try out these quick ideas:
- Cereal and milk – check portion size. Generally it’s 1 cup with 4 ounces of low-fat or nonfat milk.
- English muffins have fewer calories than bagels. Try a wholegrain type; add 1 tsp peanut butter for protein.
- A yogurt with ¼ cup crunchy whole grain cereal or low-sugar granola cereal.
- Oatmeal with fruit and chopped nuts.
- One ounce of cheese melted on wholegrain toast.
Breakfast helps children and teens maintain healthy weights too. Getting something into your children and teenagers before school is better than nothing. If they really don’t want to eat, at least make sure they drink some milk or orange juice. Better yet, arm yourself with some on-the-go ideas for those kids who can’t get out of bed on time:
- Breakfast Square Bars
- A banana spread with peanut butter.
- A fruit smoothie – whip up ½ cup low-fat yogurt, a banana or handful of berries, and two ice cubes. Blend and serve.
- Yogurt with granola
Set a good example for your children and start eating a healthy breakfast every day. It could be your new secret weapon to weight control.
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