Once upon a time, conventional wisdom held that what and how much you eat — and exercise — determines the weight you carry. On their busiest days, modern folks are bound and determined to use their conventional ovens — microwaves — to get some food-related sustenance in their stomachs in time for work. On their better days, people are more health-conscious, and ye olde health wisdom has changed in lieu of that: avoid sugar and processed foods, and make your plate colorful.
It’s not so much the what and how you eat, but when you eat that determines how those calories and food choices affect your whole health and weight gain. Now research suggests that those who ate one to two meals daily lost weight more than those who ate a solid three meals a day and snacked between each meal. The participants who chose breakfast as their big meal of the day possessed healthier weights than those who skipped the traditional first meal of the day.
The connection between disease, lifestyle and diet are real, but the time of day you focus on having your biggest meal is surprisingly more vital than anyone knew. Or, was it? Everyone grew up hearing that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, but simply accepted it like a folk saying: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. As it turns out, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
Big Breakfast Still Wins No Matter What
But what if you switched the study up? Researchers in a previous study focused on 93 obese and overweight women, placing them on set diets for 12 weeks. They all consumed 1,400 calories daily of the same healthy meals.
The major difference was that one group ate breakfast as their biggest meal of the day, while the other ate dinner. Both groups experienced weight loss, but those in the breakfast group lost more weight at 17.8 pounds and three inches around the waist, revealing improvements in belly fat, cravings and blood sugar.
Optimize whole health and weight loss by developing a dedicated meal schedule, with breakfast as the biggest meal, in additional to traditional focus on nutrition and exercise. Even when you eat the right foods, eating them at the wrong time slows down your weight loss efforts and can prove harmful — those in the obesity study experienced a rise in triglycerides — a kind of fat — even though they experienced weight loss, too.
Skip late night snacking and wait for breakfast to lose weight and lower blood sugar related risk factors. You’ll improve your overall health and lower your chances of heart disease and diabetes.
The American Heart Association also released a statement that timing snacks and meals is a healthier eating strategy, as timing meals affect one’s internal clock. In previous animal studies, when animals received food while inactive, such as sleeping, it reset their internal clocks and altered nutrient metabolism, boosting weight gain, inflammation and insulin resistance.
On average, 20 to 30 percent of American adults skip breakfast and are more likely to have diabetes, be obese and possess inadequate nutritional levels.. Those who consume breakfast on a daily basis prove less likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol.
How to Plan a Healthy Breakfast
Raise your hand if you’d rather sleep in than eat breakfast. Most people need more shut-eye, but that’s accomplished by going to bed earlier to wake up and improve your whole health by eating your breakfast.
Get it, guys? Eat breakfast if you care about living a long and health life. Toss an apple in for good luck.
What foods should you focus on? Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and poultry are good options, avoiding excess salt, added sugars and limiting red meat. What about a poached egg over salmon on an English muffin or avocado toast?
Start with small steps to make your breakfast healthier each morning. 80 percent of consumers are breakfast freezer foodies, with 25 percent nomming on the go. That’s okay, but focus your attention on the labels to check for added sugars and other unhealthy items. Think of balanced meals in a new way, consuming 20 percent protein, 30 percent fats and 50 percent carbohydrates on your plate.
Optimize the health factor of the breakfast you typically consume, such as adding nuts and fruit to your oatmeal, cereal or Greek yogurt — which is a probiotic and good for your gut health, by the way.
As the cheapest meal of the day, it’s easier to grab and go breakfast at a fast food restaurant every morning. Focus on eating in when you can, but if you eat breakfast out, go with a basic egg, meat and fruit side.
Don’t miss out on breakfast, guys. It really is the most important meal of the day, because it’s more about when you eat healthily — and that’s the start of the day!
So, get your sleepy, grumpy self up. Drink your juice and eat a healthy meal. Your health matters.