The average person living in America today has a weight problem. There are many reasons why people become overweight, but I believe the main causes of weight problems are related to bad eating habits and too much volume. Too much of anything but water, will make you fat. Too many people eat what they want to eat when they feel like it. They don’t take in consideration their food intake, whether their meal balances with their previous meal. Others just don’t eat and skip meals believing that it can help them with their weight loss.
Skipping meals will never help you lose weight. Actually, it can help you gain weight since it causes your metabolism to slow down and encourages the storage of calories as fat. It lowers your blood sugar therefore causes sudden hunger pangs, food cravings and you end up bingeing.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and studies show that a nutritious breakfast improves physical and mental performance. Skipping breakfast is no shortcut to a slimmer you and it’s likely to shortchange your body on essential nutrients. After an all-night fast, your glucose level is low and a good breakfast will replenish your supply of your blood sugar and keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
You wouldn’t run your car around town with the gas gauge on empty and expect to get anywhere, so you can’t run your body without a little breakfast. The fact is you can’t eat too big a breakfast and you shouldn’t skip breakfast.
A hearty American Style breakfast consisting of 2 eggs, 3 ounces of ham, bacon or sausage, 1 cup of milk, and 2 slices of toast with butter and a spoonful of jam is considered a “too big breakfast”. This type of breakfast would meet the entire days protein needs and you could very well manage eating all that amount of calories in a whole day.
A healthy breakfast should consist of a variety of foods, like low-fat protein, fruits, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. For example, fresh fruit with wholegrain breakfast cereal and low-fat milk or toast with tomato and cheese and a glass of low-fat milk.
Breakfast should contain protein. It helps stimulate alertness and keeps mid-morning hunger away, which is common after having a doughnut and a coffee. Ideally, your breakfast should contain a third of your day’s protein needs. A person at an ideal weight of 120 pounds would need about 43 grams of protein a day.
If you want to add protein to your breakfast, for most of us, the first food that comes to mind is eggs. Eggs are an ideal source of protein but also contain a significant amount of cholesterol. You can find other kind of protein in other foods such as; low fat cottage cheese, peanut butter, smoked salmon, turkey, cheese wedge, milk, low fat yogourt or you might just want to add nuts to your cereal.
Another important part of breakfast is juice or fresh fruit that contains Vitamin C. Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, guavas, melons, papayas, etc. Homemade fresh juice is the best choice, but if you’re not up to making your own, the fresh from concentrate juice would be your best buy.
You should also include carbohydrates into your breakfast menu. Carbohydrates, important for your energy needs, can be found in foods such as whole grain breads or cereals, bran and oatmeal muffin. Try to limit the fat and sugars you put on your cereals, bread or muffin. When buying cereal, read the label and look for a cereal that contains at least 3 or more grams of protein per 1 ounce serving.
A beverage after all this can aid in digesting your foods and will give you a feeling of satisfaction. America’s favorite breakfast drink is, of course, coffee. Breakfast wouldn’t be the same without it. If you can’t go without a coffee, have your juice first then your breakfast and drink your coffee last. That way there will be a little food in the stomach to absorb the acid and maybe you’ll be too full to finish the whole cup.
The most popular cold beverage besides juice is milk and if you are serious about reducing your fat intake, switch to low-fat or skim milk. Do it gradually, by combining both, using a bit more low-fat and adding a bit of whole milk.
If you’re not a breakfast eater, start slowly by incorporating a glass of juice or eating a piece of fruit in the morning. Then gradually build up to a balanced meal by adding foods from the different food groups.
If you need to lose weight, the best way to achieve is by eating the right foods for your body at regular intervals. Food portions have grown so learn to recognize and control food portions.(check out the USDA Food Guide Pyramid for the recommended serving size) If you want a healthy body, a slim body, you need to eat a proper balance of foods. Every meal is important and eating smaller meals and snacks can help your metabolism going throughout the day, allowing you to burn more calories. It will give you more energy and in return you will feel much better.