Eat Breakfast, Lose Weight
The morning meal is the most important one for weight loss
People who are successful at maintaining a healthy weight have long known
the value of eating breakfast. Breaking the fast after a night's sleep gets
your metabolism perking, and is one of the secrets to weight loss.
In fact, breakfast can be the most important meal of the day -- especially
if it consists of cereal. Research shows that people who frequently have cereal
for breakfast tend to have healthier weights and lower body mass indexes (BMIs)
than those who don't eat cereal, or who skip breakfast.
Breakfast and Your BMI
Overall, breakfast skippers have higher average BMIs than breakfast eaters,
according to a 2003 study. This study also showed that people who ate cereal
breakfasts tended to consume less total fat and cholesterol, and more fiber,
than noncereal eaters.
Another study showed that people who skipped breakfast tended to eat more at
lunch -- and throughout the day -- than breakfast-eaters.
Because cereal tends to be lower in calories and fat than many other
traditional breakfast foods, having it for breakfast can help you lose weight.
Of course, cutting calorie intake at any meal can reduce the overall calories
you consume. But this is especially true of the morning meal, as calories eaten
in the morning have been shown to be particularly satisfying.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which
examined the diets of 4,218 adults, profiled breakfast eaters as older, white,
nonsmoking, regular exercisers who are trying to control their weight. Survey
results published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association in
2005 showed that breakfast-cereal eaters -- particularly women -- were more
likely to have healthy BMIs of less than 25.
Not only do frequent cereal eaters eat less fat than their counterparts,
their diets tend to be higher in important nutrients like calcium, iron, and
Cereal is considered a "vehicle food," because it's usually eaten
with other nutritious foods like dairy products, fruit and/or nuts. A bowl of
whole-grain cereal topped with low- or nonfat milk or yogurt, sliced fruit, and
a few nuts contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, lean protein,
complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber -- all for less than 250
A balanced cereal breakfast helps give you the energy to get your day off to
a great start. And protein and fiber give it enough staying power to keep you
feeling full until lunchtime.
Ready-to-eat cereals are usually fortified with nutrients like vitamin A,
folate, iron, fiber, zinc, and magnesium -- nutrients that are typically
lacking in the diets of many adults and children. The best part is that these
nutrients are delivered for relatively few calories; most cereals have only
110-120 calories per serving.