Eating breakfast every morning is a common trait among people who have achieved weight loss and long-term maintenance. Research now shows that the size of your breakfast may have an impact on reaching your goals. One study found that women who ate a big breakfast (50% of their daily calories) lost more weight and inches around their waist than women eating the same number of total daily calories, but a big dinner. The big breakfast eaters also had a decrease in insulin, glucose, and triglyceride levels after their meal. This suggests that the eating pattern may be protective against diabetes, hypertension, and poor cardiovascular health.
Boost your nutrient intake.
Research shows that people who rarely eat breakfast consume fewer nutrients than regular breakfast eaters. Use the early morning to stock up on valuable nutrients that you may miss out on later in the day. For example, if a woman eats a ½ cup of oatmeal topped with a ½ cup of raspberries and 1 ounce of walnuts for breakfast, she will consume almost half of her recommended fiber intake for the day.
Decrease your risk of disease.
Regularly eating breakfast may have the power to protect your health. Research has found that those who skip breakfast were more insulin resistant (a risk factor for diabetes). One study also showed that men who skipped breakfast had a 27 percent greater risk for heart attack when compared to men who regularly ate breakfast. Additionally, common whole grain breakfast foods, like oatmeal, contain beneficial fiber that helps reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Feel fuller, longer.
A breakfast that is balanced in complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat helps to reduce hunger throughout the day. This decreases the risk of overeating at later meals, helping you to better identify hunger cues and control your daily calorie intake.
Refuel from the fast.
When you wake up, your body is in a fasting state and it is ready for fuel. Eating healthy foods will help replenish your nutrient stores and boost your energy throughout the day. While it’s important to eat only when you are truly hungry, it is also important to realize that years of depriving yourself through dieting can lessen your sensitivity to hunger cues. If you routinely wake up without an appetite, but find you are starving later in the day, slowly incorporate breakfast. You may find your morning hunger returns and by fulfilling it you can better control your food intake.