I may be beating a dead horse at this point, but I cannot stress how important eating a QUALITY breakfast is. Most importantly, I stress the word quality. Whatever your goals may be, I’m sure preventing fat gain is one of them.
Hopefully you are getting enough sleep at night in the first place (7-8 hours), but then how soon do you eat breakfast? I have had consults where patients tell me, “Well I get up at 6am, and eat my first meal around lunch time, or 11-12 noon”.
What are you doing between waking up at 6AM and 12 Noon that you can’t eat something? Assuming you aren’t eating right before bed, then sleeping, then not eating until the late morning, you are going 12 to 14 hours without any food. When this happens, your body senses starvation and will significantly lower your metabolism, thus decreasing the amount of calories you are burning.
Think of your metabolism as a camp fire. If you leave the fire unattended for 12 hours, will it keep burning? This is the same as your metabolism. If you add some small twigs and paper to the fire, what happens? It gets the fire burning, but it burns up quickly. The idea behind keeping your campfire (metabolism) going all day, is adding big logs (balanced meals) through out the day.
Furthermore, the standard American breakfast is usually very simple carb heavy (cereal, toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc.). While eating something is much better than nothing, because it will keep metabolism running, their are better options when it comes to priming your body for more efficient fat loss through out the day. Simple carb sources are like the twigs or paper on the fire, they work for a bit, but burn up quickly – and you are hungry much sooner.
A recent article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that by eating a protein dominant breakfast, subjects were less hungry throughout the day, and thus less likely to snack before their next meal or even throughout the entire day.
“The consumption of the high-protein breakfast led to increased fullness or “satiety” along with reductions in brain activity that is responsible for controlling food cravings. The high-protein breakfast also reduced evening snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods compared to when breakfast was skipped or when a normal protein, ready-to-eat cereal breakfast was consumed”
Look to incorporate eggs, meats, cheeses, or Greek yogurt into your breakfasts to help reduce cravings, snacking and subsequent weight gain. When it comes to carbs, try to keep it up fruit, or whole grains.
H. J. Leidy, L. C. Ortinau, S. M. Douglas, H. A. Hoertel. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, ‘breakfast-skipping,’ late-adolescent girls. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013; 97 (4): 677 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.053116