Thursday, February 9, 2012

Skinny Habit: Breakfast

Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are healthier and more likely to lose weight. Excuses for not eating breakfast like “I'm not hungry”, “I don't have time” and “I don't like breakfast foods” do not make breakfast any less important.

These are facts, proven by research.

Here are some quotes by respected experts on the subject:

"People who skip breakfast altogether are 450 percent more likely to become overweight," - David Zinczenko, Author of Eat This, Not That
Research results in his words

Women who don't eat breakfast are four and a half times more likely to be obese than women who do.” - Jillian Michaels, fitness expert, author of Master Your Metabolism

Skipping breakfast actually increases your risk of obesity.” - Katherine Zeratsky, nutritionist

"Breakfast skippers set themselves up for failure." - Milton Stokes, dietician

Skipping breakfast, after fasting for 16 hours, causes your body to rely on adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline is the fight or flight hormone that gives your body energy in a crisis, however adrenaline causes stress to your body and depletes it further of its resources. This is damaging to your body.
Cortisol is high in the morning. It increases energy by breaking down body tissue. If you don't eat breakfast, cortisol increases. When this hormone is elevated for too long, it also is very damaging to our bodies. Apparently this not only causes soft round tummies but increases stress AND causes brain cell damage too (which might be why you're still not eating breakfast :).
More information on cortisol from

Not eating breakfast creates unstable blood sugar causing greater hunger later, resulting in overeating at lunch and dinner. 

And naturally, if I don’t eat when I get hungry – then by the afternoon I'm so preoccupied wanting food, my eating is out of control. I grab the first food in sight (often nothing nutritious) and guzzle it down. From Ditch Diets Live Light

You're putting yourself into starvation mode (your body is hanging on to fat – a natural response built in for times when your next meal is unknown) your body is more likely to hang on to what you eat.
I read somewhere that starvation mode is a myth so I've posted an excerpt from a book written by a neurosurgeon who suggests otherwise.
She Eats Like a Bird and Still Gains Weight!

Research shows that eating breakfast results in overall less calorie and fat intake throughout the day.

By the way – for those who aren't hungry in the morning, I found this (annoying yet helpful) article interesting:

No appetite or no desire for food in the morning is a sign of excess cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. What this means is that your body is holding so much stress that it was not able to recover effectively throughout the night. Your hectic or stress-driven lifestyle - or just too many coffees - has charged you up so well throughout the day that your body was unable to release 'winding down' hormones at night.
From Why You're Not Hungry In The Morning

Make breakfast count by including nourishing foods such as fruits, veggies, and foods high in protein and fiber.

Eating high carb foods like sugary cereals, bagels, pancakes or donuts are likely to cause a blood sugar crash later resulting in cravings, feeling tired and eating too much.

Suggested reading:

Don't let the words like vegan and sprouting scare you off. This article has some valuable advice:
Eat This Not That: Breakfast Edition
(Not to be confused with David Zinczenko's Eat This Not That)

Healthy Breakfast Ideas (WebMD)
(Note: I do not recommend eating unnatural foods such as products made from soy and egg substitutes as a habit.)


Sarah said...

Interesting read. I have never liked eating breakfast but then by 11:00 I am wanting to eat anything and everything. Most days my breakfast consists of all natural or organic yogurt with blueberries. Is that good?

aMY g said...

Yogurt and blueberries are both very good for you and a good choice for the weight conscious.
I would like to point out that if you eat that too often, you're likely to get burnt out on it.
Also, if you end up feeling hungry in a couple of hours, try eating a handful of nuts with it for the protein. Something about combining protein and carbs keeps you full longer.

Sarah said...

I can do that!