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Breakfast: Your Secret Weapon

April 17, 2013
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What do bagels, bran cereal and bananas have in common? They’re good-for-you break­fast foods that could keep you on the weight-loss straight and narrow.

Research has shown that people who skip breakfast may not be as successful with weight management as those people who eat breakfast regularly. Why? Eating breakfast may reduce snacking and overeating.

A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that break­fast eaters fall prey to impulse snacking less often than non-breakfast eaters.

Not all fuels are created equal. Most people will get more mileage from a small bran muffin and a cup of fat-free milk than they do from a large glass of juice. That’s because the sugar in the juice is much more rap­idly used than the energy derived from the muffin and milk.

The most satisfying breakfasts deliver a quick shot of energy (by raising blood sugar rapidly) and then a longer term energy boost from high-fiber, complex-carbohydrate, pro­tein-con­taining foods that slow digestion.

What does that mean for your sugar cereal? Toss a handful into a bowl of low-fat yogurt and then mix it up with some fiber-rich fruit. Other tag-team breakfasts include:

• Low-fat cheese and tomato slices on a whole-wheat English muffin

• High-fiber cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk and dried or fresh fruit

• Peanut butter and jelly on multi-grain bread

• Hard-boiled or scrambled eggs (or egg whites) with a couple of wheat crackers

• Low-fat yogurt and a grain-rich cereal bar

• A banana and a small handful of peanuts or almonds

When time is of the essence, think portable. Try a hard-boiled egg and a couple of crackers or string cheese and fruit. And for those crunch times, keep packets of instant oatmeal, high-fiber breakfast bars and mini boxes of raisins in your desk drawer.

You don’t have to eat really early, but it’s wise to eat within several hours of waking up. If you can’t stomach much, try a few grapes or a wheat cracker and half a glass of juice. After a few days, your body might naturally look forward to this a.m. fuel-up and you can try more substantial meals.

Many people experience less erratic eating patterns (like mid-afternoon and after-dinner munchies) when they eat several small snacks and meals throughout the day.

Article reprinted courtesy of WeightWatchers.com.

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