Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One simple change to lose more weight

Memorial Day marks the start of poolside fun.  It also reminds us that it’s swimsuit season once again… 

Often people will react to the thought of being seen in a swimsuit by beginning yet another “diet.”  Instead, why not start incorporating some habits that yield a more permanent weight loss and a healthier lifestyle?  One simple habit to start with: eating breakfast.  My clients often ask, “But if I eat breakfast, that’s just more calories.  How can eating more result in more weight loss?”  Preliminary research done at the University of Missouri and published in the May 2011 issue of Obesity shows that eating breakfast reduces hunger cues throughout the day, so you’re less likely to reach for impulse snacks and overindulge at meals.  The study compared MRIs of adolescent girls who 1) skipped breakfast, 2) ate cereal and milk for breakfast (18 g protein) or 3) ate waffles made with protein powder accompanied by yogurt (50 g protein).  Both breakfast meals contained 500 calories.  According to surveys and MRI scans of participants, eating breakfast led to increased fullness and reductions in hunger throughout the morning.  The higher protein meal led to even greater changes in appetite and satiety (fullness).

This research supports similar studies done on the topic.  Breakfast counts!  According to the researchers, 60% of adolescent girls currently skip breakfast.  This indicates that breakfast-skipping could be a contributor to overeating and obesity.  It’s important to note, however, that breakfast must fit the goals of your otherwise healthy diet.  Sorry bacon, sausage and egg-eaters—this isn’t the go ahead to consume high-fat protein-rich breakfasts on a regular basis.  Get your protein from lean sources like low-fat dairy, nuts and peanut butter.  And even if it is just cereal and milk, eat your breakfast!  Read more about the study here.