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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

Breakfast: The Secret Weight Loss Tool

"Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first." ~Josh Billings

Our obsession with losing weight is nothing new. What is new to many is the actual benefit of eating a healthy breakfast, and what it can do for our weight loss. We all know we aren’t supposed to skip breakfast – we hear all the time how it’s “the most important meal of the day.” But do we believe it?

If you want to lose weight, you’d better believe it.


Researchers from the National Weight Control Registry reported that eating breakfast was an important weight control strategy. "Most -- 78% -- reported eating breakfast every day, and almost 90% reported eating breakfast at least five days a week - which suggests that starting the day with breakfast is an important strategy to lose weight and keep it off," says James O. Hill, PhD, of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Eating breakfast prepares our body for the day. If, like most people, you went to bed before midnight last night, and got up sometime around 8:00 a.m., it’s probably been 10 hours or more since you ate. That was the last time your body received any of the fuel it needs to run on. If you were in a hurry this morning, and skipped breakfast, you deprived your body of the nutrients it needs to perform at full capacity for you. Your metabolism kicks in to overcome the deprivation. It’s a fact: The body needs food to run on. When it doesn’t get what it needs, it thinks it’s starving. So, the next time you do give it what it needs – your next meal – it holds onto that and stores the majority of it as fat to use as energy when it needs it later on in the day.

If you are counting calories and skip breakfast in an attempt to eat less, you’re actually sabotaging your efforts. Again, uncertain of when the next meal is coming, your body will store the majority of what it receives as fat for later use. And, to compensate for the absence of one meal, you usually end up overeating at your next meal anyway. Or worse, you give into temptation before you make it to your next meal.

Your metabolism can be trained to work for you. When you give your body breakfast each day, it recognizes the consistency of receiving food. It is then free to release the nutrients, and fats, to do the work the body needs.

A healthy breakfast provides you with carbohydrates to get you going, and proteins to keep you going. Choose foods high in quality protein, and fiber. Like whole wheat bread, fiber rich cereals, oatmeal, cream of wheat, peanut butter, yogurt, milk, eggs, cheese, or even a healthy trail mix. One of my favorites for a quick-fix breakfast is a slice of whole wheat toast, two tablespoons of peanut butter and a banana sliced on top. Delicious and nutritious.

WIN, Weight Control Information Network, an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), offers these quick breakfast ideas:

» low-fat yogurt sprinkled with low-fat granola

» oatmeal with low-fat or fat-free milk, or soy-based beverage · whole-wheat toast with a thin spread of peanut butter

» fruit smoothie made with frozen fruit, low-fat yogurt, and juice

» low-sugar cereal with soy-based beverage

Check out these links for some additional breakfast recipes:,1-0,healthy_breakfast_ideas,FF.html

Remember, losing weight isn’t always about limitations. Eat a big, healthy breakfast: It can be the most important meal of the day for those who want to lose weight.

Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: A Better You is published every Saturday.


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