1. Eating breakfast helps you lose weight
"There's well-documented evidence showing that eating breakfast correlates with long-term weight loss and weight maintenance," says Charlene Chen, a clinical dietitian with the Vancouver General Hospital.
Eating regular meals, says Chen, "stimulates metabolism and signals the body to start using fuel, instead of hoarding fuel." When you skip meals, however, the body goes into lockdown mode, burning far fewer calories.
So get your metabolism humming each morning with a healthy meal. Your waistline will thank you.
2. Skipping breakfast is tied to being overweight
Studies have shown that breakfast-skippers – of all ages – are more likely to be overweight than regular breakfast eaters.
In fact, said one study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, skipping breakfast isn't just associated with being overweight, but with obesity. (Overweight refers to having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 per cent, while obesity refers to having a BMI of over 30.)
What's your BMI? Find out here!
Translation: If you aren't already overweight, your breakfast-skipping habit may be pointing you in that direction.
3. Skipping it makes it harder to meet your nutritional needs
According to Canada's Food Guide, adult women need at least seven servings of fruit and veggies per day, six of breads and cereals, two of dairy, and two of meat and alternatives.
Wow! How are you going to pack that into a mere two meals a day? (Answer: You can't!) So start your day by checking off at least two or three servings from the list.
On a diet? No problem, says Chen: Just eat to lose. "Recent studies have confirmed that a breakfast containing 2 to 3 oz of protein is best at inducing weight loss and increasing satiety and fullness," she says.
Chen says you can find that in:
• two or three eggs, or
• two to three tablespoons of peanut butter, or
• 15 to 21 almonds, or
• two or three slices of low-fat cheese
Have some cereal or a slice or two of whole-wheat toast, plus a serving of fruit to balance out the meal for a healthy start.
Page 1 of 24. It's easy, even if you're not hungry
Okay, we'll admit that some mornings the idea of a meal is just unappealing. If you feel queasy at the idea of choking down toast, try a liquid breakkie instead. Concoct a simple DIY smoothie with a banana, handful of berries (frozen fruit makes it a snap), low-fat milk and orange juice.
Or swap your office latte for a Starbucks Vivanno breakfast drink, which provides one fruit serving, 16 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre per yummy, 270-calorie, 16-ounce serving. Add a hit of espresso to the Chocolate Banana flavour for a no-calorie jolt of caffeine.
5. You'll have more energy
Food literally provides you with energy. When you start your day on nothing, you're running on empty. But if you eat up, you've got what you need to make it through your workday, and, hopefully, a lunchtime gym session, too!
6. You're less likely to cheat on your diet
Spacing your calories throughout the day at regular intervals is better than going through a starve-binge routine each day. Don't deprive yourself of breakfast – or other meals for that matter – or you may just find yourself losing control later in the day.
Seriously: would you rather eat a wholesome breakfast and then have one small but satisfying slice of cake at your office colleague's birthday party, or skip breakfast and then gorge yourself on multiple slices of cake washed down with pop?
7. You'll feel smarter
"Eating breakfast provides an energy boost to the brain for mid-morning alertness and performance," says clinical dietitian Chen.
Fuelling up your brain is the right thing to do whether you're at the office, in class, or on the go. After all, who can concentrate when their stomach's rumbling?
8. You're setting a good example for your kids
A University of Minnesota study published last year in Pediatrics found that 25 per cent of teens regularly miss breakfast. Some do so to save time in the morning, but a sizable portion does it in a misguided attempt to lose weight.
An earlier Finnish study found that children who skip breakfast are more likely to have parents who also skip breakfast.
Unfortunately the results of skipping breakfast are the same for youths as adults: less energy and concentration, a higher likelihood of obesity and nutritional deficit.
So eat up, because your kids are watching you!
Start eating together as part of your family routine, or, for those rushed mornings, at least keep an array of healthy on-the-go snacks like cereal bars, bananas and low-sodium roasted nuts in the kitchen and breakfast will become part of your family’s healthy lifestyle.
• 10 ways to sneak exercise into your day
• 8 ways to blast belly fat
• Exercises that will boost your energy
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