By: Dr. Lisa Herbert
Often people will skip breakfast in an attempt to lose weight. Bad idea! Why? After sleeping all night your blood sugar levels have started to get low enough that your body goes into survival mode. Anything left over, your body puts into reserve as body fat. Skip breakfast and that fat storage continues right into lunch.
It is much better to maintain an even blood sugar and insulin level by eating a sensible breakfast. I just gave you permission to eat! The problem is, the choices that we make for breakfast may not be as healthy as we think.
CEREALS – This is probably the most common breakfast choice for its convenience. First off, most people eat two to three times the actual serving portion. Go ahead, measure it. Pretty grim right? Also, most cereals are sugar, even the “healthy” ones. They may not have high fructose corn syrup, but they are still high in sugar. Be sure to read your labels.
EGGS – I’m a big fan of eggs in the morning. One whole egg and then additional egg whites with some veggies is an outstanding start to your day because you get some protein which will stick with you so you aren’t hungry an hour later. A LITTLE cheese if it suits you and a little fruit on the side is an ideal breakfast in my book. Did you know that it actually takes more calories to digest protein than carbs? So by eating a high protein breakfast you’ve already given your metabolism a kick start.
CARBS: Muffins, bagels, pancakes, most cereals, etc. Any of these usually pack a calorie wallop. Especially if you’re eating out. Portions are out of control. Insulin levels will spike and you will most likely be tired and hungry in no time at all. Reserve these for special occasions. Know that some breakfast options at restaurants will run well over 1000 calories. And donuts,danish, or those strawberry or chocolate something or other pancakes? Those count as dessert as far as I’m concerned.
BEVERAGES: Coffee, tea, juice…whatever your taste may be, most people forget to account for the calories they drink. If orange juice makes your morning, remember to account for those calories. Coffee and teas are fine but if you’re drinking a café mocha something or other, those can run more calories than your meal. And for goodness sakes, no energy drinks. Those of you that read my articles already know how horrible I think those are for you.
OTHER STUFF: Smoothies, yogurt, and convenience foods. Life is busy, so it’s not always feasible to make things from scratch. There are some good ready made options out there. Just be sure to read labels. Greek yogurt is a better option than regular because it is higher in protein. Smoothies can be great because they contain veggies (Bob Harper of The Biggest Loser has said that even though fruits and vegetables are carbs, he’s never known anyone to get fat on fruits and vegetables). And even some frozen convenience or prepackaged foods can be a better option than a drive through. Just read your labels. So your mom was right. Breakfast is an important meal, don’t skip it. You’ll actually lose weight easier by eating a smart breakfast and you’ll feel better through your day.
Dr. Lisa Herbert is in practice with her husband, Dr. Joe Herbert at Wadsworth Chiropractic. They believe you are what you eat and that movement is essential to good health. You can learn more about them at the Facebook page of Wadsworth Chiropractic or go to wadsworthchiro.com.