It might surprise you to learn, that according to a recent study, the answer is eating breakfast. The National Weight Control Registry tracks over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. Eating breakfast is a daily habit for the successful losers.
“Most — 78% — reported eating breakfast every day, and almost 90% reported eating breakfast at least five days a week – which suggests that starting the day with breakfast is an important strategy to lose weight and keep it off,” says James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry’s co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
In a recent study, they found that almost 3,000 people who lost an average of 70 pounds and kept it off for six years ate breakfast regularly. Only four percent of people who never ate breakfast kept the weight off. Both groups consumed the same number of calories and ate the same types of food. The only difference was when they ate their meals.
According to Dr. Laura Lefkowitz, what you eat for breakfast also matters. She advises her postmenopausal women that are trying to lose weight to not eat their fruit serving at breakfast. She says the sugar, even in fruit, can set you up for craving fruit all day along. Instead, she suggests they have their serving of fruit around 4:00pm with a little protein when there is a natural drop in energy.
Dr. Laura does recommend that if you are going to include any kind of grain in your diet, breakfast is the time to consume it. You also want to make sure you’ve got a good source of protein like yogurt or eggs to accompany your piece of toast or small serving of cereal. Needless to say, a sweet roll or sugary muffin is not what successful dieters are having for breakfast.
For more information on why Dr. Laura says it’s so difficult for Prime women to lose and maintain weight loss, read Why Postmenopausal Women Can’t Lose Weight.