Did you know the majority of those who have successfully lost weight, and kept it off, eat breakfast every day?
"People skip breakfast thinking they're cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved," says Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. "Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, bingeing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure."
When we wake up from a good night's sleep our bodies have gone through a pretty long stretch without food. Even though we're sleeping, the body is still tapping into its sources to keep our systems efficiently running. So if you don't fuel the tank before heading out the door, your body will physiologically go into starvation mode -- storing fat -- thinking there's a crisis!
So what does a good breakfast look like?
Personally, I think breakfast should include carbohydrates low on the glycemic index -- such as whole grain toast or oatmeal. This type of carbohydrate is digested slower, to help keep your body fueled throughout the day. Try to also include a protein source -- I prefer egg whites -- and healthy fats -- some options are avocado or yogurt.
Three helpful hints to make breakfast a habit
Start small and light
If you're not used to eating in the morning, most likely you will not have an appetite. This is because the body has adjusted to the fast of not eating breakfast. It's okay to eat even though you're not hungry. Ease into the habit with small portions of easy-to-digest foods that are nutrient-packed. Try a delicious Greek yogurt parfait, or a protein packed fruit smoothie, maybe some protein oats with crunchy peanut butter topping.
Plan it out
Planning what you are going to eat before hand makes cravings easier to avoid. Let's say you know when you wake up you're going to have some avocado toast with egg whites and a coffee. You're more likely to skip the donuts that used to go hand in hand with your morning coffee. You're body is nourished & satisfied, so the mind will not be as interested in the sugary rush.
Get up a few minutes earlier
I'm all for getting as much sleep in the morning as possible but honestly an extra 15 min to prepare a nutritious breakfast is BETTER than the extra sleep. Not only are you allowing time to prepare or eat something quick, you'll also give your mind and body a chance to wake up.