You’ve probably heard numerous times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day right? And the logic behind that is eating in the am will kick-start your metabolism, which will help you burn more calories throughout the day and it will fuel you for the day ahead, helping you focus at work or school. Many studies have linked breakfast to good overall health, including better concentration and memory, lower levels of bad cholesterol and lower chances of suffering from things like heart disease, diabetes and being overweight. Plain and simple, breakfast is important to your health and getting in the habit of eating breakfast can help you in the long run.
HOWEVER, you shouldn’t just eat anything in the morning, because what you eat also factors into to all the positives of eating breakfast. You can’t just eat sugary cereals or bagels each morning, especially if your goal is to lose weight! So what are you supposed to eat in the A.M. if you want to lose weight? Simple…protein!
The first thing you learn when you’re trying to heat healthy or lose weight is to eat a lot of protein. This is because it helps build muscle and keeps you full longer! This is because protein is a builder and not an energy source so it takes a longer time to digest leaving you fuller for longer. There are numerous studies out there on the benefits of incorporating more protein into you diet and each one concludes that it helps you feel fuller longer, so that you aren’t snacking all the time.
One study done by researchers at the University of Missouri wanted to better understand how a protein-based breakfast would affect women who were overweight or obese. Their findings were that a high-protein breakfast actually made these women feel fuller during the day and they actually ate smaller meals and snacked less than those who didn’t. This study obviously proves that a protein-packed breakfast like eggs or yogurt helps set your eating habits for the rest of the day, helping you lose weight in the long run. The study also believes that a breakfast consisting of eggs rather than bread helps curb snacking later because of hormones. According to the study, eating protein first thing in the morning has an effect on one’s gastrointestinal hormones that signal the brain to adjust satiety and appetite throughout the day.
Also, eating too many carbs for breakfast can slow down your metabolism throughout the day. A sluggish metabolism can oftentimes be a sign that there is some sort of insulin resistance in your body. This means your body has a difficult time moving sugar in your bloodstream into your cells for the fuel you need to get through your day. And when this doesn’t flow right, you actually feel hungrier than you are, causing you to eat when you’re not even hungry. When you wake up in the A.M., your insulin levels tend to be high and then after you eat a carb-filled breakfast, they rise even more then nosedive by noon, leaving you feeling super hungry.
So even if you MUST have a slice of toast in the morning, it’s best that you pair it with more protein to balance things off. But ultimately, if you want to shed pounds, skip carbs so early and opt for pure protein as soon as you get up. Things meals like eggs with veggies, a cup of cottage cheese or some low-fat Greek yogurt.