I’m helping a client with her diet; she wants to lose weight and has questions about whether or not to eat breakfast and if so, what type of food is a wise choice. She has skipped breakfast in the past because it makes her sleepy afterwards. I’ve blogged before about skipping breakfast (the mini-fast) IF your goal is to lose weight AND you are going to exercise first thing in the morning. If that is the scenario, then by all means skip breakfast; your body will become ketonic and you will burn plenty of fat calories by the time lunch rolls around. Then you can eat breakfast. If you are not going to exercise in the morning, skipping breakfast is a bad idea. It can help you get your daily requirement for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and most studies show that it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight, control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and improve your sensitivity to insulin, which lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes. Also, breakfast gets your brain going, says Christine Gerbstadt, M.D, M.P.H., R.D., a physician and nutritional consultant in Sarasota, Fla. Breakfast swiftly replentishes the blood’s circulating levels of glucose, the brain’s most immediate energy source. However, eating a high-carbohydrate breakfast with simple sugars the primary source will give you an immediate pick up with a corresponding crash soon after. Try these components for a good breakfast. Aim for about 12 grams of protein from eggs or yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, or skim milk. Eggs are very filling, and keep me from wanting to snack mid-morning. Choose complex carbs such as whole grain cereal or bread, fruits, or vegetables. Good fats like salmon, creamed herring, olive oil, nuts, or seeds. Avoid refined sugar (a little in your coffee is ok), and limit full fat meats like ham, sausage, or bacon. I eat a lot of berries and yogurt, but for variety I’ll eat steel-cut oatmeal with figs or dates and seeds in it, or whole grain toast topped with peanut butter, sliced banana, and honey on top. Sometimes I’ll eat more non-traditional foods like herring with whole wheat pita, apple slices, and avocado. These types of breakfasts provide a slower release of glucose into the blood and prevent the drowsiness that comes from a “lumberjack-type” meal.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.