- Diet & Weight Loss
The Ideal "Big Breakfast" for Healthy, Meal Weight Loss
Meal weight loss has gained much attention in recent years because research has shown that the key to effective, long term weight loss isn’t in how little you eat, but in what and when you eat. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for weight management because food energy is most efficiently used by the body earlier in the day. Skipping breakfast leads to an unhealthy metabolism and eventual weight gain. During sleep, the metabolism slows and blood glucose levels become low which are the reasons for a lack of energy in the morning.
The body uses glucose to fuel the body and brain. When breakfast is skipped and there are no calories available from food, the body responds by lowering the metabolism to conserve energy, which results in less calories being burned. Missing breakfast also puts the body into a stressed state. The body responds by increasing cortisol production to counteract stress which has the added side effect of increased fat storage attached to it. This combination of low glucose and high cortisol leads to irresistible cravings and hunger pangs later in the day.
In order to supply the energy requirements for fat burning and all physical and mental activities during the day, we need a healthy breakfast containing essential nutrients. These nutrients include enzymes necessary for fat breakdown and weight loss. If you are finding you have no time for breakfast, setting your alarm twenty minutes earlier in the morning will solve the problem. Many people who skip breakfast end up consuming excessive amounts of caffeine as an alternative energy source. Unfortunately, consumming excessive amounts of caffeine makes the body even more susceptible to weight gain.
A health breakfast energizes the metabolism and gives you fat burning energy essential for weight loss. It also gives you a sense of fulness which will eliminate unhealthy food cravings and the desire to binge later in the day. Research has shown that by adding breakfast daily you will consume an average of one hundred less calories daily, which alone will result in a fat loss of ten pounds per year. The most effective meal weight loss plan includes a big breakfast followed by four more small meals evenly spaced by time.
Other benefits that come from eating a healthy breakfast are increased alertness, mental sharpness and a greater ability to focus throughout the day. In addition, an efficient digestive system is the key to effective weight loss. A nutritious breakfast will cleanse the digestive tract, enabling the body to eliminate weight producing bad fats and toxins from the body.
It may seem hard to believe that a healthy big breakfast is more effective for weight loss than a small one. However, a study conducted with overweight individuals showed this to be the case. In an eight month study it was found that individuals who ate a large breakfast lost an average of forty pounds, while those who ate a small breakfast lost an average of only nine pounds.
By the end of the eighth month those who ate the small breakfasts had gained some of the weight back while the big breakfast eaters only lost and continued to lose weight. The small breakfast eaters reported having struggles with hunger and food cravings while the big breakfast eaters found they were less hungry with fewer food cravings.
The best breakfast will include whole grains such as oats or barley, high in fiber and B vitamins to sustain energy and fresh fruit and vegetables for valuable vitamins, enzymes, fiber and antioxidants. Whole foods such as these have a healthier effect on blood sugar levels than foods that contain white flour such as bagels, bread and many boxed cereals, which cause rapid blood sugar changes leading to weight gain. These foods contain simple sugars and carbohydrates which will quickly increase energy levels but will not last long.
Eating whole foods containing complex carbohydrates release energy more slowly, resulting in a gradual energy increase that will last throughout the day. They are ideal for digestion, absorption of nutrients and elimination of toxins which are necessary for effective weight loss. Do you always need to eat a big breakfast? It’s a a good idea most of the time but replacing breakfast with a green drink or smoothy that contain all the vital nutrients, healthy fats, protein and fiber needed to satisfy hunger works well too.