Why Breakfast Is So Important When Dieting

by : Kerry-Ann Crawford

Let's face it, not everyone enjoys breakfast. While most early-to-rise types are ready for food early in the a.m., many who consider themselves night owls cannot stomach the thought. Unfortunately for the night owls, skipping breakfast has many negative consequences, especially when you are trying to lose weight. While theoretically the idea of eating less food by skipping breakfast sounds like a useful idea, practice has shown skipping breakfast sabotages your dieting successes made later on in the day. How could that be? By missing breakfast one would most likely forgo between 300-400 calories. In fact, 10 days of going without breakfast would cause you to lose over a pound, by those counts. Unfortunately, your body knows that it is running without its morning fuel, and finds other ways around the loss.

First of all, by going without breakfast, we leave our body without fuel for nearly 12 hours or more. Sure, you may not be hungry early on, but by lunch or later in the afternoon when you finally give in, you are sure to over eat by more than those calories you missed at breakfast. This is because your blood sugar has dropped so low by that time that you begin to feel shaky, ravenous and irritable. You are far less able to fight temptation when you are caught in the midst of such a strong physical need for food, and much less likely to heed the signs of satiety when it has been so long since you havefed your body. Perhaps you are one of the few that possess an iron will? Maybe you are sure that you will not overeat or choose unwisely. Unfortunately, even with your will of iron, you will still not gain (i.e. lose pounds) by pushing away breakfast. Your body is a remarkably smart machine. If you have not fed it in more than 5-6 hours, but are still requiring it to keep up with your physical tasks, it will respond by slowing down your metabolism. Who would have thought that by eating you would raise your metabolism? Turns out it is true. The process of eating and digesting burns some calories by raising your metabolism. So, how early do you want your metabolism raised?

Finally, choosing to eat in the morning does not just get your metabolism going, studies have shown that women have greater amounts of calcium and fiber intake on the days that they choose to eat breakfast. Both calcium and fiber have been shown to be associated with successful weight loss, so you really do want more of both of those nutrients. Also breakfast eating in children is associated with greater cognitive skills, better moods and better grades. It is not too hard to believe that those same benefits are available to you, and when dieting, do not we all need something to help us with our moods?