Weight management is all about balancing “Calories In” (eaten) vs. “Calories Out” (burned). If weight loss is your goal, it does not matter what time you eat your Calories, as long as you don’t eat more Calories than you burn. Everyone’s Calories needs differ and change throughout life, so contact me for individual recommendations.
So, if it’s all about a balance, what is all the hype about not skipping meals, and especially breakfast? There has been lots of research done to determine the most effective weight loss strategies and ways to prevent regain, and one of the most common actions taken by people who successfully lost weight and kept it off is: eating breakfast. So, while it doesn’t matter what time you eat, there are logical reasons why breakfast may help you burn a few more Calories or eat fewer Calories during the day.
There are 3 ways to burn Calories: basal metabolic rate, physical activity, and thermogenesis (hint, hint: this is digestion!). If we eat breakfast, thermogenesis starts earlier and helps the body burn more Calories than if the digestive system “sleeps-in”. Remember: digestion burns Calories; BUT, Calories eaten at this meal still count and add-up if we over-do it!
So, thermogenesis helps us burn more Calories, but how can breakfast help us eat fewer Calories? Won’t we eat less if we skip a meal? Well, not necessarily! Think about it: what happens when we wait until we are STARVING to eat? What types of foods do we choose? How much do we eat?
I don’t know about you, but don’t get in my way if I haven’t eaten all morning and there is food in sight! It is easy to over-eat when hungry, so try to avoid getting to that point. A small breakfast or snack with protein and fiber can help curb your appetite all day long!
So, does breakfast lead to weight loss? Well…no, not exactly. Just because you eat breakfast, does not mean that you will lose weight; BUT, breakfast can help regulate how much we eat during the day and may help boost the metabolism early in the morning! What is your favorite breakfast? What about your favorite on-the-go snack or meal? For me, I usually start my day with a piece of fruit (fiber) and cottage cheese or peanut butter (protein).