There are so many diets and weight loss methods thrown into the media that it has become hard to determine what is truth and what is fad. According to the Boston Medical Center, 45 million Americans go on a diet each year – but still more than two-thirds of America is obese.
Even though we have all heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” a survey of over 10,000 people found that only 47% were eating breakfast every day of the week.
How To Loose Weight According to Research
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A recent study by Loma Linda University researchers shows a link between meal frequency and body mass index (BMI). Data gathered from over 50,000 participants has brought a few factors into the light when it comes to weight loss.
The following factors lead to the most significant weight loss:
• Eating breakfast instead of skipping it
• Making breakfast the largest meal of the day
And what factors contributed to weight gain?
• Eating more than three meals a day (snacking)
• Making supper the largest meal of the day
In a randomized crossover study the same researchers found that for patients with Type 2 diabetes who were on a hypo energetic diet, eating larger breakfasts and lunches may be more beneficial when compared to eating six smaller meals during the day, to reduce body weight, HFC, fasting plasma glucose, C-peptide, and glucagon, and increased OGIS (Oral Glucose Insulin Sensitivity).
Other studies suggest the same benefits of eating a large breakfast and avoiding snacking. Megan A. McCrory and Wayne W. Campbell explain in their article for The Journal of Nutrition, “Effects of Eating Frequency, Snacking, and Breakfast Skipping on Energy Regulation: Symposium Overview” that regardless of the nutrition levels of the snacks eaten throughout the day, these snacks contribute to daily caloric intake – meaning they are simply added calories, because most people do not decrease the amount of calories that they eat during regular meals. These additional calories lead to weight gain.
“Breakfast meals higher in fiber and whole grains may assist with daily appetite control and prevent weight gain.”
You may be a part of the large group of consumers who believe that not snacking will lead to dangerous cravings and ultimately bingeing. This is a common school of thought, and although it is true that lack of nutrients and excess hunger can lead to bingeing, it is most likely linked to not eating enough at breakfast.
Without the energy that your body needs to make it through the day, snacking seems necessary to keep the munchies at bay. In reality, if you give your body the calories it needs and stay hydrated, you will not feel the two o’clock slump, or the blood sugar drop that leads to “hangry” bingeing.
Take-away’s from the research
• Eat a big breakfast
• Eat a satisfying lunch
• Make dinner the smallest meal of the day
What Kind Of Breakfast Should You Eat?
Our bodies are experts at telling us we are in need of nutrients. In order to get the right nutrition and to feel truly satisfied, we recommend a whole-food, plant-based diet. This diet consists of beans, grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
If you want to loose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, start by swapping out meat and dairy products with plant-based alternatives.
For example, switch milk with almond or soy milk. Instead of eggs, use tofu to make a scramble – it takes on any flavor you choose and has the same texture. Dr. Giebel and his family like to make scrambles with onion and curry powder, stacked high with collard greens.
With a balanced, plant-based breakfast you are sure to feel satisfied until lunch time. The key to weight loss is focusing on caloric density, instead of starving yourself. Plant-based foods have a much fewer calories per serving than animal products – which means you can eat much more of them. You can fill your plate with greens and grains that fuel your body with energy and nutrients, and help you feel full.
What does this look like in reality? Here are a few things that the staff at Lifestyle Eye Center like to eat for breakfast, as busy parents, full-time employees, and college students.
1. Dry rolled oats topped with apple sauce and frozen blueberries, with a splash of almond milk. This breakfast is so fast and so filling! You can experiment with whatever fruits you like, try adding chia seeds, flax seed, or different kinds of plant-based milk.
2. Green smoothie made with kale, spinach, almond milk, frozen banana, almond butter, and cinnamon. This smoothie packs a nutrition punch, and tastes delightful!
3. Avocado toast made with whole-grain bread, topped with almost anything you want! Try sprouts and tomatoes, and add siracha sauce for a little kick! Or lather on a thick layer of hummus and top it off with lightly steamed kale and lemon juice!
4. Breakfast bowls! The options are almost unlimited. Start with a base of grains or legumes – like brown rice, quinoa, or black beans. Then go crazy with the vegetables! My favorite is brown rice and pinto beans, topped with fresh kale and salsa!
These rice bowls are a lifesaver, and they don’t have any added oil. I actually keep them at my desk at work to have when I get into the office on those days that I am extra rushed! You can buy these really affordable rice bowls at grocery stores like Safeway – just be sure and check the label for added oil in the ingredients list!
Getting Started with the Plant-Based Diet
Fad diets and dangerous supplements are everywhere on the market, and we all know that the “shed-pounds-fast” and “beach body” claims are schemes to sell a product.
A whole-food plant-based diet is a way of living a more holistic lifestyle, and is scientifically proven to prevent and reverse fatal diseases. It is the most sustainable way to loose weight and build muscle. Without starving yourself, tedious calorie counting, and expensive pills or boxed meals. The best part? It is delicious! No fake powders or shakes from a can! Just real, whole, delicious food!
We recommend trying out one or both of these e-books by Nutriciously.com. These resources will help you to kick-start your plant-based lifestyle, and to loose weight that stays off!
From A to Vegan
All the ins and outs of the whole-food plant-based diet, with easy actionable steps to get you started. This e-book has everything you need in one place – shopping guides, recipes, restaurant tips, meal plans and more!
Complete Weight Loss Bundle
Find out how the whole-food plant-based diet can transform your body. This e-book comes with 8 chapters of guidance, easy actionable worksheets for motivation and accountability, as well as 33 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!