Breakfast: Yes, It’s That Important
We’ve all heard the adage, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It’s true. Eating a healthy breakfast not only kick starts your day by replenishing energy stores, it can dramatically affect your weight and health.
Eating breakfast increases the metabolic (calorie-burning) rate allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day. It has been shown to improve focus and mental performance. It also helps in maintaining a healthy weight.
Risks and Benefits Around the Breakfast Table
Research has demonstrated many benefits for breakfast eaters as well as risks for breakfast skippers.
- 80% of participants in the National Weight Control Registry (more than 4,000 people who’ve lost at least 30 pounds and kept them off for a year or longer) eat breakfast regularly.
- People who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day and typically eat 100 to 400 fewer calories per day than those who skip breakfast.
- People who skip breakfast tend to crave more carbohydrates later in the day compared to people who eat breakfast.
- Breakfast eaters are 43 per cent less likely to become obese than those who don’t eat breakfast.
- People who eat breakfast every day are 34 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than breakfast skippers.
What You Eat Matters, Too.
People who eat a breakfast high in simple carbohydrates such as a doughnut or Pop-Tart® can report a feeling of hunger sooner than those who eat a breakfast containing whole grains and complex carbohydrates.
A Canadian study has revealed that patients consuming a high-fat breakfast sandwich experienced decreased arterial blood flow two hours after the meal. Eating a breakfast that includes lean protein and fiber can delay feelings of hunger and prevent overeating the rest of the day.
So, remember what your mother told you. Start the day right. Don’t skip breakfast. But, equally important, avoid the high-fat, high-sugar breakfast at the drive-through or coffee shop. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes in the morning to have a healthy breakfast. Your health may depend on it.
Lawrence A. Wieger, DO
Lawrence Wieger, DO, is a board certified medical bariatrician with Lancaster General Health Physicians Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery, where he oversees medically-supervised weight loss programs.
Education: Dr. Weiger is a graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.