Updated: Dec 15, 2020
If you’ve hit a weight-loss wall, it may have more to do with what you’re not eating than what you are. Dietitians say skipping meals to meet your daily calorie goal could actually keep you from achieving long-term weight loss!
Regularly skipping meals may cause you to not only eat larger amounts of food later in the day, but also increase your risk of developing other metabolic changes such as weight gain and elevated blood glucose levels.
Missing breakfast, in particular, may lead to greater fluctuations in blood glucose levels throughout the day, driving both hunger and food cravings. Those who skip the most important meal of the day may be at greater risk of becoming overweight or obese! Think of your body as a car - you need fuel for the roads ahead - not to be parked in the garage. When you eat little all day and then fill up in the evening, you are doing the opposite of what your body needs.
A recently published study of overweight women who consumed a higher-calorie breakfast experienced greater weight loss and reduction in waist circumference compared with those who consumed more of their calories later in the day! Both groups consumed the same number of calories, but those who ate a higher-calorie breakfast experienced more satiety, as well.
To help space out your calories throughout the day, plan a meal or a snack every 3–5 hours and aim to eat within an hour after waking.
If time is the biggest factor holding you back from eating a larger breakfast, make it a habit to plan ahead.
Do as much as possible the evening before. Prepare your breakfast the night before or at least have the ingredients ready to go. This will cut down on decision-making and help you get through the morning without added stress.
A breakfast rich in protein and fibre that contains between 400–700 calories may be the ideal combination for keeping you satisfied and fighting cravings throughout the day. Need some inspiration? Give a few of these options a try:
A breakfast burrito made with a whole-grain tortilla, eggs, beans, avocado and shredded cheese.
Protein pancakes made with eggs, oats and mashed banana, then topped with fruit and drizzled nut butter.
Overnight oatmeal prepared with oats, milk, Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts, seeds and nut butter.
Hard-boiled eggs — which can be made in advance for the week — paired with raw veggies, dip and avocado toast.