Don’t skip breakfast

For every poor excuse to skip breakfast there is an even better reason to eat it.

You’ve heard it from your parents, teachers, coaches, and now you’ll hear it from me: Eat your breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day.

Breakfast provides us with an important set of nutrients, including dietary fiber, iron, calcium and B vitamins. But, does including this morning meal sabotage efforts to curb calories because it means eating one more meal?

The common assumption is that eating breakfast will contribute to weight gain because of the additional calories that are consumed. Most dieters believe that if they ‘save’ the calories from breakfast, they will have eaten less calories overall by the end of the day.

This is simply not true.

Skipping breakfast to save calories is an unsuccessful and futile approach to managing your weight. If you fail to include this important meal, you will be running on fumes all morning, energy levels will plummet and you will only end up overeating at your next meal (making up for those calories you thought you ‘saved’).

So what should you eat?

The best

Whole grain cereal with low fat milk or calcium-fortified soy milk, 1-cup berries.

Small homemade low-fat bran muffin, 1 oz. part-skim cheese, 1 orange.

Bowl of oatmeal with raisins, low fat milk or calcium-fortified soy milk, ½ grapefruit.

The worst

Fast food sandwiches (egg and cheese croissant/bagel can pack up to 600 calories and 35 grams of fat).

Store-bought muffins, donuts, pastries, scones (can add 500-700 calories and 20-30 grams of artery clogging fat).

Cereal bars (not enough…you’ll be hungry in an hour).

Bagel and cream cheese (beware of large bagels, some are the equivalent of eating five slices of bread).

No breakfast at all.

In a rush? No problem. Rev up that metabolism by eating something small at home or on the way to work – a piece of fruit, a single serving of low-fat yogurt or a small low-fat latte will do the trick!

Remember, by eating breakfast (and snacking on wholesome foods), you will have more energy to be more active and burn off those unwanted calories.

A good breakfast doesn’t have to take a lot of time. The important thing is to fuel your body properly for the day ahead.

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