Food & Diet
The Unexpected Benefits of a Hefty Breakfast
Who among you here has, in the last few years, sat down and made a proper breakfast? Just a big ol’ breakfast with eggs, beans, protein, fruit and a big fragrant cup of brewed coffee – raise your hands.
That’s probably because a breakfast like that could make you late for work, won’t it? You’d much rather get some much needed zZz’s than prepare yourself a big plate for your first meal of the day.
Calories in, calories out, and since you’re not even fully awake until noon you think you might as well skip breakfast to save some calories. But did you know that a big hefty breakfast has some unexpected benefits? After reading this article you might just decide to spend the extra hours (and calories!) in the morning just to make yourself a glorious breakfast.
- YOU WILL BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
During the night our bodies are at rest and because we aren’t eating anything the whole 6-8 hours that we are asleep, our metabolism slows down. Once we wake up our metabolism remains sluggish and the best way to help it pick up the pace is to eat a healthy breakfast. We would like to put emphasis on the word “healthy”, because while a box of pop tarts might get your body’s metabolism going you can almost anticipate a sudden energy crash an hour later.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey examined the diets of 4,218 adults. They found that adults who had breakfast regularly were more likely to have a BMI lower than 25.
- 3 WORDS: BIG BREAKFAST DIET
Would you believe me if I told you that eating a big breakfast will help you lose weight? It might seem counterintuitive but that’s exactly what researchers from the Tel Aviv University found when they compared 93 obese women and divided them into two isocaloric groups. Participants were aged 30-57 and obese (with a BMI of 25-30).
One group would have a big breakfast (big breakfast group) having 700 calories for breakfast, 500 calories for lunch, and 200 calories for dinner. The other group would have a big dinner (big dinner group) having 200 calories for breakfast, 500 calories for lunch, and 700 calories for dinner. The diets were all moderately rich in carbohydrates and fat, and a total of 1,400 calories each. All the women were expected to exercise for at least 10-20 minutes a day doing at least some light walking. The experiment would last for 12 weeks.
At the end of the 12-week mark, the big breakfast group lost an average of 17.8 pounds each and 3 inches off their waistlines. The big dinner group lost 7.3 pounds and 1.4 inches off their waistlines on average. The big breakfast groups also showed decreased levels of insulin, glucose and triglyceride levels in the blood as compared to the big dinner group.
- IMPROVED CONCENTRATION AND MEMORY
Breakfast helps improve mental performance, concentration and even memory, especially in children.
Children who don’t eat breakfast have less energy and are typically less attentive. Teachers will often comment that children who come to school hungry have trouble catching up with classmates who have healthy breakfasts at home. They also lag behind other students in standardized achievement tests. Because they are hungry they also come to school cranky and are often less than willing to participate in class activities.
In 2005 a journal published a review of 47 breakfast related studies. The conclusion of the review was that there is scientific evidence pointing to the fact that having breakfast increases cognitive function related to memory, which increases school grades as a result.
- REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE
Daniela Jakubowicz, the lead researcher behind The Big Breakfast Diet is an endocrinologist by profession. After the success of her research relating to breakfast and weight loss and proving that big breakfast eaters tend to have more stable blood sugar levels during the day, she decided to examine the possible link between high energy breakfast and low energy dinners with diabetes.
The randomized clinical study is rather small, with only 18 patients (8 male, 10 female) with an average age of 57.8; average weight of 76.8kg; and an average BMI of 28.1 (it’s safe to say most of them were at least obese). All patients had Type 2 Diabetes. One group was given a high energy breakfast diet (Bdiet) and another group was given a high energy dinner diet (Ddiet).
Overall, the amount of calories was the same except that one group consumed most of their calories at breakfast and the other at dinner. The results of the clinical trial showed that there was a significant reduction in overall PPHG (postprandial hyperglycemia or an exaggerated rise in blood sugar following a meal). This indicates that a dietary adjustment (Bdiet) can have therapeutic effects in the optimal management of diabetes.
Studies have also shown a lower incidence of heart disease in middle aged men (ages 42-82) who ate breakfast regularly.