Study after study shows breakfast eaters are leaner than breakfast skippers. And the National Weight Control Registry finds people who have lost at least 30 pounds tend to keep it off by eating breakfast. That’s because breakfast eaters tend to eat fewer calories over the course of the day and have better overall nutritional status than breakfast skippers.
When you skip breakfast, your metabolism slows down and your blood sugar drops. That sets you up for a food grab later. The calories you save on the front end of the day will generally be compensated for at the back end — and your rear-end! By skipping breakfast, you’re likely to eat more at lunch and dinner and may feel justified in eating junk (high-calorie snacks) in between.
A Lifetime of Benefits
In addition, an American Heart Association study shows eating breakfast every day may reduce the risk for obesity and insulin resistance syndrome, an early sign of developing diabetes, by as much as 35-50 percent. People who eat a healthy breakfast also tend to have lower cholesterol.
If weight control and better general health aren’t reason enough to eat breakfast, this first meal also improves performance on the job or in the classroom with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and more strength and endurance.
What’s for Breakfast?
For a healthy breakfast, try to choose foods from at least two food groups. Sorry, donuts and coffee don’t qualify. But here are some quick ideas that do:
- Go for protein. Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein that fills you up so you’re not hungry in an hour. Canadian bacon is another good source of lean protein. Try a slice of Canadian bacon, a slice of tomato and an egg on a whole-wheat English muffin for breakfast on the go.
- Get your grains. Whole-grain cereal with skim milk is a great choice for a quick, easy breakfast that offers filling fiber, vitamins, minerals and a calcium boost.
- Fill up on fruit or veggies. Top whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and apple slices. Or whip together a veggie omelet, yogurt and fruit smoothie, or grab a hardboiled egg and banana on the way out the door