Breakfast-It Does a Body Good

Make time for breakfast. You’ve
heard this one for a long time and it’s true-breakfast is very important to a
healthy diet. It breaks the fast you’ve had overnight and gets your metabolism
“fired up.”

You actually burn more calories when you eat breakfast; it’s like adding wood
to a fire. When your body goes all night and then all morning without food, it
assumes that you must be facing a famine and potential starvation, so it slows
your metabolism down (the rate at which you burn calories) in order to help you
survive as long as possible. Also, studies have shown that providing your brain
with fuel from breakfast allows you to think and perform better at school or
work.


As far as your weight is concerned, a healthy breakfast (and lunch) helps
prevent overeating later in the day. You don’t save calories by skipping
breakfast because your body (and mind) will attempt to make up for it later in
the day.


One of the most common problems I have encountered with patients seeking weight
loss is that they skip breakfast and/or lunch, eat a very large dinner and then
snack all evening until bedtime as their body attempts to make up for the lost
calories during the day. If you don’t feel that you have time to eat breakfast
at home before work, then try to put a quick breakfast together before you go
to bed. Breakfast doesn’t need to be a four course meal. You could put some
light cream cheese between two bagel halves and put it in a baggie, grab some
orange juice or skim milk and eat on the go. Or, grab a container of yogurt and
put some granola or Fiber One® on top as you head out the door.


You also don’t have to eat traditional breakfast food. Try a ham and cheese
sandwich on whole wheat bread with a banana and some milk or orange juice.
Another quick and easy breakfast is Jimmy Dean’s D-Lights® breakfast sandwiches
found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Other healthy breakfast
options include ready-to-eat cereals with at least five grams of fiber per
serving (e.g., Shredded Wheat, Mini-Wheats®, Raisin Bran, bran flakes, Fiber
One®, All-Bran®, and Kashi®), oatmeal, whole grain bagels, English muffins,
toast (with at least two grams of fiber per serving) with low-sugar jelly or
light cream cheese, whole grain waffles or pancakes, fresh fruit, and skim
milk.


A high-fiber breakfast helps you stay full until lunch without cravings for
snacks. I’ve had the most success with cereals that have at least five grams of
fiber per serving. If you don’t like any of the high-fiber cereals, then try
mixing one of them with your favorite. This way, you’ll get to taste your
favorite cereal and get extra fiber at the same time. For example, mix about
1/2 cup of Fiber One® with Honey Clusters with about 2/3 cup of Cinnamon Toast
Crunch®.


Learning to eat healthier and lose weight so that you can maintain it in the
long-run is all about moderation and compromise. Speaking of compromise, one of
my favorite breakfast treats is biscuits and gravy and every now and then I
give into a craving. In order to save calories, I get the gravy on the side and
spoon just enough over the biscuit to taste it on every bite without drenching
it. Better yet, I make my own at home. Here’s a lower-fat recipe for you to try
at home.


“You’ll Never Know It’s Reduced-Fat, Biscuits and Gravy”

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