Why breakfast matters so much

If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you eat breakfast. Upstate registered dietitian Terry Podolak explains why:

* You need to “break” the “fast” by refueling after a good night’s sleep, ideally with a meal containing protein, fiber and fat. This will help keep you satisfied for four or more hours.

* Studies show that people who skip breakfast are likely to become over-hungry, and then overeat as the day goes on.

* Your metabolism can be altered when you go for longer periods without food.

* More body fat accumulates when you eat fewer large meals than when you eat smaller more frequent meals.

You may not be hungry when you first wake up, but that is OK. Work at being mindful of when hunger kicks in – likely by mid-morning — and have healthy foods at the ready. Some ideas: whole grain toast with peanut butter, yogurt topped with nuts or fruit, quick breads with nuts, seeds or berries, or eggs paired with some fruit.

This is excerpted from “Healthy Eats” on Upstate’s weekly radio program, “HealthLink on Air,” heard at 9 p.m. Sundays on WRVO Public Media.

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