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Breakfast Eaters are Smarter and Fitter than Breakfast Skippers

Eat Breakfast Every Day
Eat Breakfast and Live Healthier!

How would you like to lose up to 60 pounds and keep it off for at least six years? According to a study published in Journal of Obesity Research one of the key things successful dieters do is eat breakfast. That's right, the simple act of eating breakfast can help you lose weight and keep it off. Here's why.

Your body constantly needs energy to keep you alive. You need it to pump your blood, breathe and do all those things you do every day. As a general rule, the food in your stomach, the last meal you ate is where your body's energy comes from. A typical meal takes 2 to 4 hours to digest. If it's been LONGER than 4 hours, you still need energy but there's no food left in your stomach to draw from.

When you first get up in the morning, you're body hasn't had any food for 8-12 hours. You're quite literally starving for nutrition. Without food in your stomach, your body has two sources of energy available, fat or muscle. The one that gets used first is muscle. The reason is rooted deep in our genetic makeup.

A pound of muscle burns about three times as many calories per day as a pound of fat. If you were living before modern conveniences, the last thing you would want is a bunch of muscle, burning up calories and making you hungry. In order to help prevent you from starving, your body eliminates muscle by burning it for energy first.


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The purpose of breakfast is to get food back in your stomach and give your body something other than muscle to use for energy. Think of breakfast as BREAKing the nights FAST. If you're not hungry, start by eating something small. You might have skipped breakfast so long you no longer recognize when your body is hungry. After a few days of eating small servings, you'll probably discover you actually do have an appetite.

Saving muscle isn't the only good reason to eat breakfast.

Eating a healthy meal first thing in the morning helps prevent afternoon binges. When you skip breakfast, your hunger grows. By the time lunch comes around you're not just hungry, you're famished. It's hard making a healthy decision when your stomach is growling in anger. If you start out with a healthy breakfast, a healthy lunch is much more likely.

Breakfast makes you more alert and helps wake you up. In fact, eating breakfast boosts your metabolism by replenishing your blood sugar (glucose). The metabolic boost you get from breakfast helps you burn up to 10 percent more calories doing your morning activities.

Eat breakfast and you'll be smarter. It's a fact that our brains run on glucose. When you eat breakfast it boosts your glucose levels. Researchers now know people who eat breakfast have a greater ability to concentrate and show greater improvements in standardized test scores.

The key to a healthy breakfast is eating one thing from three of the following four food groups.

Protein  PROTEIN: Eggs, lean meats, fish or peanut butter are all good protein choices. Skip the egg yolks, higher fat and higher sodium meats.

Dairy  DAIRY: Low-fat or fat-free yogurt, low-fat cheeses and skim milk are good. Avoid dairy products with large amounts of added sugar.

Grains  GRAINS: Whole grain cereals, oatmeal, small or half bagels, whole-grain breads and fat free muffins are all great grains. Make sure you read the nutrition labels though. Just because a bread is brown doesn't mean it's made with whole grains. Look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Fruits and Vegetables  FRUITS & VEGETABLES: Choose whole fruits and vegetable rather than the juices. If you must have juice, drink in small amounts (8 oz. or less) and make sure they have no added sugar. Also avoid vegetable juices high in sodium.

For those of you who don't make breakfast because it takes too much time, your excuses have run out. Grab a couple packets of the low-sugar oatmeals. Get the small cereal boxes and a carton of fat free milk. Chop up the vegetables for an omelet the night before and store them in the refrigerator. A healthy breakfast takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and eat if you do a little prep work. Go to bed and get up 15 minutes earlier and you won't lose any sleep. The benefits are huge, isn't a healthy body worth it?


UPDATE 12/28/2017

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology looked at the eating habits and health of 4,052 middle-aged bank workers. The subjects were men and women with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers discovered a problem with people who only drank coffee, juice or skipped breakfast entirely. Those breakfast skippers were twice as likely to develop clogged arteries (artherosclerosis).

The problem wasn’t simply skipping breakfast, it’s what they ate later in the day. Once hunger did set in, the breakfast skippers made choices that were more damaging to their long-term health.

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5/10/2009
Updated 12/28/2017