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Breakfast and Weight Loss - Is it really important?

Breakfast is probably the most overlooked meal of the day. Many people don't have time, some believe that skipping breakfast will actually help with weight loss and others just don't enjoy food in the morning. If you fall into one of these categories and want to lose weight you may want to reconsider for all the following reasons.

Fuel for the day.

The most obvious benefit of a healthy breakfast is that it gives your body the fuel it needs to get your day started. You don't expect your car to drive without any petrol, but it is surprising how many people expect their bodies to perform in peak condition when they haven't eaten for more than 12 hours!

Without a new energy source (i.e. food), your body starts to slow down, and many people report feeling tired, with muscle fatigue, cravings, headaches, lack of concentration and memory, anxiety, nervousness, indecisiveness etc by mid morning.

Mid morning cravings.

Have you ever felt the almost uncontrollable need for something sweet and sugary around 10:30 in the morning? Do you regularly eat a slice of cake, a chocolate bar, a couple of sweet biscuits, or a sugar filled museli bar with your mid morning coffee? If so it's probably because you haven't had a healthy breakfast, and your body is lacking energy. To compensate, you start to crave something sweet, so that your body gets it's next hit of sugar - something it can quickly turn into energy.

Unfortunately, when this happens, you tend to crave all those little things you know you shouldn't really haveÉ but you're too busy to find something else so you just make do.

Whilst your mid morning sugar hit makes you feel better for a short while, your body will quickly store much of that sugar for later use, causing your energy levels to plummet on the "blood sugar rollercoaster".

Overeating.

Having skipped breakfast and had a high carb snack mid morning, you are ravenous when you finally get a chance to stop for lunch. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast does not give you a "credit" that you can use up at lunch, but because you're so hungry, you tend to prepare/buy a little more than you really need. Because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it is full, you have overeaten before you know it.

Kick start your metabolism.

Many people complain that their metabolism is too slow to lose weight. The fact is that skipping breakfast will actually tell your body to slow its metabolism even further! Don't waste a whole days "dieting" effort by skipping breakfast and slowing your metabolism further.

See also the article "Metabolism - Get Your Motor Running."

If you are not used to eating breakfast, you will need to change your habits slowly. Start by eating a small meal and having a small amount to drink (water or a protein shake is preferable to caffeine or sugary fruit juices). As your body becomes used to eating first thing in the morning, slowly increase the amount of food you eat to a more normal serving size.

Lo-carb doesn't just mean bacon and eggs for breakfast either. Try Empower's FibreX Breakfast Cereal for a wholesome start to your day!

Remember - a healthy, nutritious breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Start out healthy and you'll tend to stay that way throughout the day.