Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Believe In Breakfast

And weight loss will be your reward.
By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

You've heard that old saying, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper? This age-old advice is based on scientific evidence that recommends consuming the bulk of your calories during the day when you are the most active. Unfortunately, most of us eat our largest meal at dinner, when we are the least active, chow down on a sizeable lunch, and skip breakfast -- to save calories.

Break the fast

After a good night's rest, your blood sugar or glucose level is low. Skipping breakfast allows the body to stay in the hibernation-like state, which burns only minimal calories.

Believe it or not, you can actually lose weight by eating breakfast because the food in your stomach boosts your metabolism.

It's true, your body needs to get its metabolism revved up, and the only way to do it is with a nutritious meal. Kick start that engine with a healthy breakfast and you will help keep blood sugar and hormone levels stable while your metabolism hums along at a higher level, burning more calories.

Advice based on science

I'm not a breakfast eater, and neither are 95% of overweight individuals. But science suggests that we would benefit if we adopted the habits of people who eat breakfast and have proved to be more effective in managing their weight.

  • The National Weight Control Registry, a center that tracks individuals who have lost 30 pounds and kept it off for a year, found most successful losers start the day with breakfast.
  • A recent study at Vanderbilt University found that women who ate breakfast were better able to stick to their diets and lost more weight that those who skipped breakfast and cheated on their diets.

Stop those cravings

The advantage of a healthy breakfast is that it can stabilize the hormones and blood sugar levels to prevent potential bingeing and overeating during the day. It might give you the power to pass on those doughnuts in the break room.

You can do it!

Not eating breakfast is just a bad habit that needs breaking! Start simple, try a small meal or meal replacement, then gradually experiment with a variety of foods that appeal to you. It is important that the meal contain complex carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat so that it keeps you satisfied until lunch.

Sample meals

  • Bowl of whole grain bran cereal, skim milk, and sliced banana
  • One egg, whole wheat toast, and glass or orange juice
  • Two pancakes, blueberries, and café au lait
  • 1/2 bagel with peanut or almond butter and glass grapefruit juice
  • Small bran muffin with raisins and glass of skim milk
  • Low-fat yogurt and a small bowl of low-fat granola

Checking your weight less often can mean that you might wake up one morning and discover that you gained 10 pounds. That can be pretty discouraging, and it might cause you to just give up.

Remember

Breakfast does not need to take a lot of time. You can save time by setting out everything you need the night before. All you need is an extra 10 minutes, and if that is all it takes to help you be slimmer and healthier, isn't it worth it?

Be creative -- breakfast can be last night's leftovers or a fruit smoothie. Just do it!

Reviewed on January 30, 2004

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections