How Eating Breakfast Regularly Can Help You Lose Weight
For years, diet and nutrition experts have said a morning meal is a wise idea. But after a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study showed that overweight breakfast eaters weren’t any more likely to slim down than those who skipped it, many were left wondering if they should bother, after all.
“Yes, you should eat breakfast,” says Suzy Weems, PhD, RD, a dietitian and professor of family and consumer sciences at Baylor University. But that doesn’t mean you should dig into a stack of pancakes and a plate of bacon. The UAB study didn’t look at what people were eating. It didn’t look at how many calories they were getting, either.
How to Eat for Weight Loss
Opt for protein and fiber. Foods that are rich in protein (like eggs) and those that are high in fiber (like oatmeal and whole-grain cereal) are great choices for dropping pounds and staying at that lower weight. “They satisfy you and keep you feeling fuller longer,” Tracy says.
Don’t forget produce. If you’re like most Americans, you get enough protein and fat — but not nearly enough vitamin- and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
“Think of breakfast as an opportunity to add them in,” Tracy says. Even an apple and a slice of string cheese, or a hard-boiled egg with carrot and celery slices, can get you through until your mid-day snack or lunch.
Count calories. Some breakfast foods are loaded with hidden calories. Some people add five or more fruits to a smoothie, plus protein powder, not realizing how fast the calories add up, Tracy says.
Serving sizes can be tricky, too, so use measuring cups. “One cup of cereal may be less than you think,” Weems says.
The number of calories you should eat depends on your height, weight, weight-loss goals, and activity level.