Weight Loss Strategies: Eat Breakfast
Weight loss is hard work! You want to use strategies that will work — strategies proven by research to be effective. In this series, we previously looked at two of those strategies, make the unknown known by keeping a food log, and watch less TV. Today’s weight loss strategy is eat breakfast.
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This research is based on studies from the National Weight Control Registry, which is a group of people who have lost weight and successfully kept it off. In order to be a member of the registry, members need to have lost 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year. Many of us who are in the registry have lost even more weight and kept it off for an even longer period of time. I’ve lost 100 lbs and kept it off for over 10 years now.
One of the strategies found true for people in the National Weight Control Registry is that almost everyone in the registry eats breakfast. You might hear this advice often on TV and online, that in order to lose weight you need to eat breakfast. Why is this true?
Many people who are overweight or have unhealthy eating habits don’t eat breakfast. They say, “But I’m just not hungry in the mornings!”
When I was overweight and not eating in a healthy way, I wasn’t hungry in the morning, either. The reason I wasn’t hungry in the morning is that I had binged or overeaten a lot of my calories late into the evening the night before. My pattern was to not eat breakfast, eat a later lunch, a huge dinner, and then snack and eat into the evening while watching TV.
Gradually over time as I have become more healthy, I have shifted those calories to earlier in the day. Now my life style has changed so that I get up early in the morning and exercise, and I am so ready for breakfast by the time breakfasts comes, because usually I have already been exercising for an hour.
My day continues when I often have a mid-morning snack. I have a pretty good sized lunch and dinner. If I work out again after dinner, then I might have a little something before bed, but I’m not eating and eating in the evenings, which is honestly what I used to do. In the past, I watched TV and continuously snacked. I went to bed stuffed, so of course I wasn’t hungry for breakfast.
Shifting your calories to breakfast creates a healthier mindset. This will take some time. You might worry about overeating too many calories during breakfast and then running out later in the day. If you fear you’ll be starving by the time evening comes, try this suggestion as you are making the change. Write down your calories for dinner first, so you don’t have to worry about running out, and then use what’s left for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Give yourself time to make the shift to eating breakfast daily. Gradually, eating a healthy breakfast will become part of your normal routine.