The drama aside, it isn’t ironic if it is true. A wholesome breakfast is the best answer if you’re trying to lose weight. Making the first meal of the day count is a tactic which can help you triumph in your weight loss goal. The irony is you will be eating to lose weight with zero starvation.
Singer and fashion maven Kelly Osbourne started her weight loss journey in 2009 and successfully lost a whopping 70 pounds. Kelly swears the key to her dramatic weight loss was indulging in a healthy breakfast.
“The three things I did to really change my diet were: Start eating breakfast, drink water instead of soda, and always have a snack in the evening,” said Kelly Osbourne. For breakfast she had “Raisin Bran with low fat milk, or two egg whites with low fat cheese.”
Although there is no hard evidence on eating breakfast to shed the pounds, it is a scientifically backed up concept and has shown promising results in causal experiments. Since a wholesome meal in the morning jump starts the metabolism leading to long-term fat burning, breakfast consumption plays a significant role in weight loss and has been shown to be a staple in long-term weight management.
According to the National Weight Control Registry, in 2003 about 73% of Americans who lost at least 30 pounds for more than a year and were successful in managing their weight, ate breakfast every day.
Breakfast was deemed to be one of the four most important behavioral factors in weight loss, since indulging in a healthy breakfast was found to have a positive effect on the overall nutritional level. Breakfast eaters have also been found to consume fewer calories, less saturated fat and cholesterol in their diet for the rest of the day.
In the US 31 million people don’t eat their breakfast on a daily basis and the consumption of breakfast decreases with increase in age. Although 92% of children between the ages of 6 to 11 years old consume breakfast, only 77% of adolescents between the ages of 12 to 19 years old eat breakfast. In adults it is estimated 28% of men and 18% of women skip their breakfast every day and the number of individuals missing breakfast is believed to be on the rise.
Other than weight loss, feasting on a wholesome and healthy breakfast is linked with improved intellectual ability. It is suggested breakfast eaters have better cognitive functions, like memory, focus etc, compared to non-eaters.
Why Skipping Breakfast Results In Gaining Weight
Logic would tell us that if we skip meals then our journey towards weight loss would become smooth but in fact it is exactly to the contrary. One of the biggest weight loss myths has been skipping meals to cut down on the weight but in reality the opposite is true. Consuming calories early in the morning is believed to curb the appetite and provide greater energy.
On the other hand, skipping breakfast has been found to lead to low blood sugar which results in hunger, which in turn acts as a precursor to impulsive snacking throughout the day. Low blood sugar may also trigger cravings for foods high in carbs or sugars.
Similarly, a person may compensate for the loss of breakfast by eating double servings or extra portions at lunch and dinner. Breakfast skippers also tend to eat more refined carbohydrates and fats than fruits and vegetables, later in the day. So a nourishing breakfast encourages the body to feel satisfied and full, simultaneously decreasing the chances of overeating for the rest of the day.
Make the men in your life eat breakfast. Do not let them skip it, because it will do them more harm than good. Breakfast skipping men have a 27% more chance of getting a heart attack than those who don’t eat breakfast.
What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them a breakfast?
Harvard researchers have shared that breakfast skippers are more at risk of gaining weight and getting diabetes or hypertension. On a whole, breakfast skippers have 15% more chances of gaining weight and 21% chances of developing diabetes. What is more surprising is the fact that breakfast eaters lead a comparatively healthier lifestyle and are less likely to engage in unhealthy behavior.
Breakfast And Metabolism Boost
You might be wondering what makes breakfast the prime aide for losing weight. The answer lies in the metabolic effects of a healthy meal first thing in the morning.
Evidence from research suggests the nutrient intake and the time of the intake greatly influence the metabolism. High-calorie breakfasts have also been shown to be more beneficial than high-calorie dinner to attain a slimmer profile. Studies also show that eating breakfast regularly results in reduced BMI and body fat.
Metabolism is the sum of all the chemical processes taking place inside our body which maintain the regulation of our cells and organs to keep us alive and moving. If the pathophysiological state of the metabolism is disturbed, it can lead to the metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of several abnormalities and gives rise to obesity, glucose intolerance, inflammation, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and heart diseases, among many others.
The main factor is the body’s master clock called the circadian rhythm, found in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), which is synchronized by the light and dark cycles a person experiences every single day.
The circadian rhythms are responsible for the expression and activity of enzymes and hormones which sustain the overall metabolic activity. Meal time and schedules have a big impact on the rhythmic signals delivered by the SCN throughout the body and a disturbed feeding schedule can in turn disturb the metabolic machinery.
The first meal of the day has a direct role on the body clock, since the availability of nutrients will start the numerous metabolic cycles inside the body. In the same way, if the nutrients are delayed then the metabolic cycles will in turn be delayed leading to disturbances.
On the other hand, the last meal of the day has been implicated in the process of adipose tissue accumulation and lipo-genesis. Delayed meal consumption or avoiding breakfast was also found to delay the activation of the lipid breakdown process called lipolysis.
Such metabolic activation patterns of hormones and cycles show consuming breakfast have a positive effect on the body weight whereas late or night time eating is a precursor of obesity. In simpler words, we can conclude irregular eating patterns such as skipping breakfast have implications in weight gain, appetite, glucose and lipid metabolism.
Slim people always feast on breakfast, but it’s not just eating breakfast which maintains a healthy weight but eating the right things at the right time which leads to a neutrally skinny profile. It has been established that slimmer people tend to manage their breakfast according to the beneficial nutrient profile of certain foods.
Reduce Weight With 7 Healthy Breakfast Options
After reviewing all the pros of eating breakfast and the cons of skipping breakfast you might be left wondering what you should eat for breakfast. What is healthy?
If your goal is to lose weight, then you can enjoy the foods mentioned below in your breakfast for maximum weight loss results.
1. Best Drinks for Breakfast
Just so you know, keeping hydrated is very important for weight loss and a workout is not possible without drinking plenty of fluids. The following drinks are the best options for individuals to start their day and feel stimulated and energetic.
Coffee is associated with weight loss. It is believed the biological components present in coffee such as caffeine, chlorogenic acid and quinides cause weight loss. However, caffeine in coffee may lead to high blood pressure so decaffeinated coffee may be the best answer for individuals looking to shed the pounds. Avoid adding processed white sugar to your coffee for best results.
Vegan Protein Drinks
Vegan protein shakes or smoothies contain plant based proteins which aid in weight loss by stimulating calorie burning and promoting feeling of satiety along with providing the right proportions of proteins and nutrients.
Plant proteins are more preferable for smoothies and shakes since consumption of animal proteins inflict stress on kidneys in humans. Vegan smoothies can be made using different flavored vegan plant protein powders along with soy or almond milk.
Although drinking water in the morning is the ultimate routine for hydration but you can make it more effective by making customized detox water. To make a detox water you can add fruits or vegetables with high antioxidant activity such as, lemons, berries, cucumber etc, to your water which will amplify its nutrient content.
The fruits and vegetables can be added by peeling or slicing them into small portions. Detox water not only provides people with a drink infused with flavors but is also seen to increase the water consumption quota of an individual.
The catechins present in green tea have been found to enhance energy expenditure and fat oxidation in the body, so it may be the best super drink for breakfast, for the prevention of obesity.
Catechins provide beneficial effect even after weight loss has been attained, regulate proper fat absorption and promote the growth of beneficial micro-bacteria present in the human gut, which aid in digestion. 1 mug of green tea with brown sugar is recommended as an early morning beverage. Green tea also contains small amounts of caffeine which gives us the healthy boost to get going.
We’ve all heard proteins are the super foods widely known for their muscle-building and weight loss qualities. But did you know eating a breakfast rich in proteins can lead to better toning of arms, legs, chest and stomach, when trying to lose weight through exercise?
Black beans, enriched with soluble fiber which are known for their effect against belly fat, are a tasty alternative for breakfast. Black beans promote lipid metabolism and curb appetite by promoting a feeling of satiety.
Eggs in breakfast are an excellent source of protein. Research has shown consuming 1 or 2 eggs per day in breakfast can aid in weight loss by providing the proper requirement of proteins. Eggs in breakfast were also found to be beneficial for the liver enzymes and HDL cholesterol.
Greek yogurt is one of the best choices for breakfast since it is packed with calcium, vitamins, proteins and probiotics. It in breakfast reduces constipation and the blood sugar levels along with the curbing of hunger. Yogurt is also known to regulate proper energy balance in the body.
Salmon in breakfast is another excellent choice of meal. Salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation in the body, this helps in weight loss. Salmon can be smoked, fried or steamed and eaten with vegetables or in the form of a sandwich.
Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, lean beef are a good source of protein for breakfast and can be consumed in a variety of ways. Studies have shown consuming lean meats improves the lipid profile of a person.
Cottage cheese is another protein filled option ideal for a healthy breakfast. Regular cottage cheese consumption has been shown to reduce urea production in the body. The dairy item can be eaten along with both fruits and vegetables in relatively simple ways. Cottage cheese can be added to a salad or sandwich for the extra kick of taste with health.
3 – Fruits In Breakfast
Fruits are an excellent choice for breakfast since they contain a high content of fiber and natural carbohydrates. Research has found fruits are an ideal option for breakfast due to the presence of antioxidants such as the compound 2,2-diphenyl-l-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) which is a stable free radical and also reduces risk for chronic disease including cancer and heart diseases. Some of the best options are:
- Apples – excellent source of iron
- Bananas — a rich source of potassium
- Grapefruit and pineapples – source of vitamin C which lowers insulin levels
- Berriesg., cherries, strawberries, blueberries etc—source of dietary antioxidants called polyphenols along with vitamins C and K
- Watermelon — improves the lipid profile and promotes satiety
- Avocados — contains 20 vitamins which reduce abdominal fat
4 – Dry Fruits and Spices
If you are not a big fan of fresh fruits, worry not as you can even eat them in dried form. The antioxidant activity of spices and dry fruits has been implicated in reducing inflammation in the body, which indirectly leads to weight loss. Clinical studies have unearthed some spices have a very high total antioxidant capacity (TAC).
Some spices with high TAC include:
- Black pepper
In the same way nuts with a high TAC include:
- Pine nuts
5 – Vegetables In Breakfast
What better way there is to start your day than by munching on veggies. But not all vegetables are the right choice in breakfast. Here is a list of all the vegetables you can add to your morning meal.
Sweet Potatoes are known for their high fiber content and a low glycemic index and therefore referred to as one of the most nutritive breakfast choices. Additionally, the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are known to be rich in β-carotene also called vitamin A, with some types even having a 100–1600 μg retinol activity, which leads to better functionality in all the organs of the body.
The dietary fibers and antioxidants e.g., vitamin C, lipid-soluble vitamin E and carotenoids, present in brassica vegetables contribute to the first and second line of defense against oxidative stress and promote satiety when eaten. The brassica vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts
Other vegetables which should be added to breakfast for maximum weight loss effect include:
- Bell Peppers — differently colored e.g., green, yellow, orange and red, contain the phenolic compounds such as ‘capsaicin’, ascorbic acid and even pro-vitamin A.
- Spinach — research has found spinach consumption can decrease body fat at an incredible rate. The antioxidants features of spinach are anti-inflammatory. In the same way the ‘thylakoids’ present in spinach curb the appetite and makes one feel full when taken in breakfast.
6 – Seeds
For added results in weight loss a person can also garnish or add a sprinkle of some essential seeds to their breakfast. Some seeds found to be effective in promoting weight loss include:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
7 – Whole Grains
Last but not the least, let us not forget about the right choice of grains one should add to their breakfast. Epidemiological studies have proven the worth of whole grains when it comes to battling obesity. Since whole grains are rich in nutrients and phytochemicals, they are perfect as far as edible options for the first meal of the day are concerned. Some whole-grains include:
- Whole wheat bread
- Brown bread
- Brown rice