Skipping breakfast to lose weight? By doing this, you will only end up gaining weight. NutriNeat draws attention to this and some other common breakfast mistakes people make, that can cause weight gain.
Breakfast Bars are (not) Wholesome!
No doubt breakfast bars pack in the oatmeal, but they contain a lot more sugar than you need for breakfast.
Nutritionists and dietitians around the world have been reiterating time and again, the importance of breakfast in our lives. The adage, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper!” has been with us since … I don’t even remember! I think eating breakfast like a king is fine, as long as the fiesta on the table comprises whole grain cereals, 100% fruit juice, and almost low- or no-fat of ‘everything’.
But if the king starts eating pancakes with syrup, quick breads, hash browns, and bacon, as one big breakfast, then he may end up gaining a lot of weight. The next time he sees his weight on the scale, he will swear himself off breakfast to lose weight, only to find out, after weeks of depriving himself, that he has still gained weight. So, how to break this chain, and prevent the universal misery called ‘weight gain’?
Don’t fret, I have listed out a few common breakfast mistakes that lead to weight gain. Read them and be wise!
➢ While sleeping through the night, our body metabolizes the dinner we eat. But as time passes, the blood sugar level in our body gradually decreases, and hits rock bottom as we get up in the morning. Therefore, mornings are the right time to end the period of overnight food deprivation. Hence, the morning meal is rightly called ‘break-fast’.
➢ But people find many reasons to skip breakfast. Whatever may be your reason, don’t skip it, because when you do so, you slow down your metabolism. You need food to kickstart your metabolism. Keep in mind, slower the metabolism, more is the weight gain.
➢ You may be able to reach your workplace on time without breakfast, and also sustain yourself for a few hours without it. But as mid-morning approaches, you will be craving for food, as mad as a March hare.
➢ And when you spot food, you will end up over-indulging and consuming more calories than required. Out of these excess calories, half of them will be the empty calories contributed by sugary liquids that you will grab in a hurry, and on-the-go granola bars.
➢ A plate full of pancakes and waffles topped up with gooey syrups, a few scrambled eggs, some hash browns, and bacon, a couple of bread slices with dripping butter, and a glass of full-cream coffee, for breakfast? Don’t be surprised. There are a few who can shovel down even more than this.
➢ If you want to lose weight, leave the breakfast pastries and cinnamon rolls right where they belong―the display counters. Having a few of the above at a time, is fine, but please spare the sugar. At least for breakfast!
➢ The reason why I’m emphasizing on cutting down the sugar is because it causes a spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a sudden decrease. Due to this effect, you will crave food again, in no less than an hour’s time, and then again over-indulge. This leads to around 400-500 excess calories, per snack, that would cost a lot in the long run.
➢ Proteins are fine, as long they are grilled or baked. For eggs, you can have them boiled or poached. When choosing cereals, opt for whole-grain variants, but ensure that they are sugar-free. Fats are mandatory, but in the form of a handful of nuts. Dairy products are also essential, but in moderation and in low-fat versions.
➢ Be extra careful with the store-brought yogurt though, even the low-fat ones are sweetened. Yogurt made at home will be the best option. It will contain beneficial bacteria, adequate protein, fat, and will not have added sugar.
Coffee with Multiple Add-Ons
➢ There is absolutely no reason for you to give up your morning cuppa. You can very much have your coffee and drink it too, even when trying to lose weight. But bear in mind, brew up your favorite coffee, as close as possible to the original.
➢ What I mean to say is, it’s not the coffee but the add-ons, like sugar, syrups, cream, ice-cream, and sometimes the Irish version, that adds to the pounds. So, there you go, don’t rule out coffee, but ditch the add-ons. Keep subtracting them one by one, and each time you do so, you will be one step closer to a healthy breakfast.
A Glass of (Sweetened) Juice
➢ Gulping down a tall glass of juice at breakfast might be your daily routine, and you may even feel good about it. But the truth is, these store-bought juices are loaded with sugar. Having a glass, once in a while, is acceptable, but drinking it everyday would only mean adding unnecessary calories.
➢ Not just juices, even fruit smoothies contain excess sugar, and should be left out of your breakfast list. A better option would be to extract fresh juice and not sweeten it, or simply eat the whole fruit. The whole fruit would provide the essential vitamins and minerals, along with fiber.
➢ But if you think suddenly leaving juices and smoothies is just too hard for you, don’t fret! The next time you visit the departmental store, pick up those juices that mention ‘100% fruit juice’ on their labels. ‘100% fruit juices’ are not artificially sweetened. They very closely resemble the taste of naturally-extracted juice. In case of smoothies, drink smaller portions or from a smaller glass.
Breakfast Bars and Cocktails!
➢Breakfast bars, aka granola bars, do not help you to lose weight. Amazed?… Because you thought otherwise? While these bars do contain certain ingredients that are healthy, they also contain non-nutritious stuff, and are loaded with sugar in one form or the other.
➢ It is advised that you check the label of the bar, and pick one only if it contains less than 15 gm of sugar,at least up to 5 gm of fiber, and more than 5 gm of protein.
➢ By the word ‘cocktail’, I want to point my finger at all the beverages that contain liquor. Your morning meal is meant to nourish you, rather than knocking you out. At least skip that Bloody Mary or Pina Colada till lunch. Furthermore, having cocktails will add at least 100-150 excess calories to the body.
Not Practicing Portion Control
➢ It’s not only about the number of items you have in your breakfast, but also the portion size. You may have whole-grain cereals with low-fat milk and some lean meat. Fantastic combination for a breakfast! But what if you eat these three things in such an excess that it would suffice the breakfast requirements of at least three people!
➢ It is advised that you stick to one serving of each. I’ll give you a rough idea of portion size. For meat, fish, and poultry, it should be equivalent to the size of a new soap-bar. Fruits and vegetables should equal the size of a tennis ball. While dairy products, like cheese, should be four to five cubes.
➢ For products like pasta, noodles, rice or cereals, the size of your clenched fist should act as a benchmark, and this applies for cooked products. Fats, like peanut butter, salted butter, bread-spreads, or nuts, should be the size of a ping-pong ball.
I would like to end by saying that, add a glass full of water to your breakfast, it will keep you hydrated. Steer clear of the above mentioned breakfast mistakes and avoid the unnecessary weight gain.