Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eating Breakfast Boosts Weight Loss Efforts

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Should I skip Breakfast , While trying to lose weight?

A. If you're skipping breakfast in an effort to slim down, you might want to rethink your weight loss strategy. A growing body of scientific evidence supports the notion that folks who routinely eat breakfast tend to be thinner -- and healthier -- than those who don't.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, skipping meals seems to promote weight gain, rather than weight loss. Breakfast skippers are more likely to give in to midmorning munching or extra-large lunches.

Either way, they typically consume far more calories than they would if they had eaten breakfast in the first place. The results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that when dieters ate breakfast, they lost significantly more weight than those who routinely missed the morning meal.

The study, led by David Schlundt, Ph.D., at Vanderbilt University, included 52 moderately obese women. The women were asked to follow a calorie-restricted diet and were assigned randomly to one of two groups.

The women in both groups consumed an equal number of calories each day, but those in one group ate breakfast, while the other did not. Women assigned to the breakfast-eating group lost an average of 19.6 pounds in three months, while those assigned to the breakfast-skipping group lost an average of 13.6 pounds.

The results of the Vanderbilt study suggest that eating breakfast promotes weight loss in several ways. The women in the breakfast-eating group ate less at lunch and dinner, and they were less likely to engage in mindless snacking.

According to Dr. Schlundt, "When you eat breakfast, you're not as hungry later in the day. It's hard to stay on your diet and make wise food choices when you're feeling ravenous."

The breakfast eaters also had a lower intake of dietary fat when compared with the women who bypassed breakfast. Schlundt attributed the reduced fat intake to the wide variety of low-fat breakfast foods available.

"A lot of low-fat foods are commonly eaten at the morning meal, including oatmeal, cereal and fruit," he said. "Most of the foods that Americans eat at lunch and dinner have a much higher fat content."

Although the women in the study assigned to the breakfast group were given sample menus, Schlundt noted that the subjects were ultimately responsible for deciding what they would eat for breakfast.

"We told them to try to eat just enough to avoid getting hungry before lunchtime," he said. "We didn't tell them what to eat, but we did ask them to stay away from foods that were high in calories and fat."

Staying away from foods rich in fat and calories means that the "traditional" breakfast of bacon, eggs and pancakes is off-limits.

"Unless you're a serious athlete or you do some type of strenuous manual labor, you don't need a big, heavy meal," said Schlundt. "You just need to eat something light and nutritious to start your day off right."

For some folks, getting out of bed each morning is a challenge in itself, without the added hassle of worrying about what to eat. The good news is that preparing breakfast doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming; it can be as quick and easy as splashing a little milk over some cold cereal.

Whole-grain cereals are an excellent choice. Like most varieties of cereal, they're low in fat and they're fortified with the entire alphabet of vitamins and minerals. But unlike highly refined cereals, whole-grain products are naturally high in fiber, an ingredient known to facilitate weight loss.

Fiber-rich foods provide substantial bulk, filling your stomach and satisfying your hunger. Because they take longer to digest than low-fiber foods, they keep you feeling fuller longer and help you avoid nibbling throughout the day.

Cereals made of bran and shredded wheat are rich in roughage, providing 5 grams of fiber or more per serving. Cereals made of rice puffs or cornflakes typically offer only 1 gram of fiber or less per serving.

Pouring low-fat or skim milk on your breakfast cereal gives you an added weight loss benefit. Regular consumption of calcium-rich dairy products, including milk, has been shown to accelerate the loss of body fat, especially from the abdomen.

Schlundt believes that the morning meal can be a very important part of any weight loss program.

"It takes a little extra time and effort to work breakfast into your day," he said, "but it's definitely worth it."

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."

Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!