Monday, January 17, 2011

High Protein Breakfast Fuels Weight Loss Success

(Article first published as Can You Boost Weight Loss Efforts by Skipping Breakfast? on Technorati.)

The New Year has come and gone and many well-intentioned weight loss resolutions are now a fading memory. One of the big problems many people encounter is whether to eat breakfast, the size of the meal and most importantly, what to eat. A host of research studies have demonstrated the importance of eating a healthy breakfast to rev up your metabolic engine for the day.

In fact, this all important meal can be a key to driving weight loss for many people as it can trigger the body to begin burning fat stores for energy. The key to making breakfast work for you is to know the foods that help to burn fat, and the ones that instruct the body to pack on the pounds and make you more likely to overeat.

Eating the Wrong Breakfast Encourages Weight Gain
A study published in the Nutrition Journal suggests that people who eat breakfast do not compensate by eating less at lunch or dinner. The study followed 300 people who were asked to keep a food journal charting the size of the meal, or whether they skipped breakfast altogether. The study authors noted, "The results of the study showed that people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast."

Participants that indicated they ate a large breakfast consumed on average 400 calories more over the course of the day. The only difference found was that those eating a large breakfast were more likely to avoid a mid-morning snack, but was not enough to offset the large number of breakfast calories consumed. Researchers concluded that eating a large breakfast was not conducive to weight loss efforts because it did not lower total calories eaten for the day.

High Protein Breakfast Drives Weight Loss Results
The most significant point in this study is the glaring omission of the type of foods eaten. Typical breakfast fare includes cereals, pancakes, sugary treats and fruit, all known to spike blood sugar levels and promote fat storage. These types of food make you hungry after a couple of hours as blood glucose sharply plummets, and you go searching for another hi-carb jolt.

The most important thing you can do to start losing weight today is to eat a light to moderate breakfast each day, and be sure to include a healthy protein source. Avoid processed cereals (even multi-grain choices) and minimize calories from refined carbohydrates. Choose eggs, almonds, walnuts or seeds to compliment a small serving of berries as a perfect way to start off your day. Stay away from breakfast meats such as bacon and sausage as they contain artificial preservatives that cause cancer and inhibit weight loss.

Breakfast can be an important tool in your weight loss arsenal when the proper foods are eaten. A meal filled with refined carbohydrates will quickly metabolize to glucose and encourage calories to be stored as body fat. Protein eaten early in the day has the opposite effect, as it encourages increased metabolic levels and slowly converts to energy to fuel your busy schedule. Ensure the success of your weight loss resolution by including a healthy protein source with breakfast.

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