Thursday, May 14, 2009

Start your day right: Breakfast IS for champions

You've probably heard it said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, its a true statement. A common misconception is that skipping breakfast means you are eating less, and will promote weight loss. This is actually not true. Those who skip breakfast usually find themselves starving by lunchtime and make up for the lost calories by overeating. It has been proven that those who eat breakfast will be more likely to lose weight, and maintain a healthy one. Not only does eating breakfast stop you from binging on unwanted calories, it jump starts your metabolism.

When you think think about the basics behind your body's need for fuel, a morning meal just makes sense. After sleeping for 7-8 hours your body has been "fasting." Your body has used the food you ate during the previous day as fuel up until that point, and your morning blood glucose levels are low. Glucose fuels the brain and all physical activity, so starting your morning off with low fuel is a bad idea. If you don't eat and you go on with your normal activities your body slows down your metabolism in order to conserve energy. Also, in response to this perceived deprivation the body increases production of cortisol, the stress hormone that leads to fat storage particularly around the midsection.

Now, I know I know... you're "not hungry" in the morning. It may take your body a couple of weeks to get accustomed to eating breakfast. BUT it will happen, and you'll get to the point where you'll wake up hungry! If you're in a hurry plan out your breakfast the night before. Find things that are easy to grab and eat on the run.

When picking your breakfast options choose foods:
-high in fiber (this will keep you fuller longer)
-low in fat
-nutrient dense/a combination of macronutrients (you want to make sure you're not just eating straight simple carbs, add in some lean protein)
-a meal averaging around 300-400 calories

Some of my favorite breakfast options are:
-high fiber cereals and skim milk (I love Corn Bran, Frosted Mini Wheats, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, Special K Protein Plus, Fiber One, & Raisin Bran)
-egg white omelet with veggies
-protein shake with fruit and skim milk
-non fat yogurt with strawberries, and Fiber One
-Wheat Toast and an Egg
-Fiber One bar & piece of fruit
-Wheat Pancakes

I am SUCH a believer in breakfast. I seriously get excited to go to bed because I can't wait to wake up and eat breakfast!

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