Want to Lose Weight? Breakfast Like a King.
Lose weight by breakfasting like a king? Well maybe not on its own but there is a lot in the old saying “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dine like a pauper.”
Funnily enough, it’s only in Hollywood that the kings with their nobles and court ate their feasts at night in front of roaring log fires. In reality, they ate these in the mornings while the castle was warmed by the kitchens and cooking. Evening meals were the scraps eaten huddled in front of a fire in a cold and draughty castle.
Eating their main meal of the day at breakfast served a couple of purposes. It broke their fast and it set them up with enough ‘fuel’ for energy for the rest of the day. So it is with us today.
Why a Good Breakfast Help Weight Loss
Modern society and work patterns seem to encourage dashing out of the house grasping a half slice of toast and a cup of tea or coffee, while our main meal of the day happens in the evening. We have this all wrong and our kings of olden time have the right of it.
In the morning, we are at the end of our night time fast of some 7 or 8 hours, our blood sugar, therefore energy levels are low. Having nothing substantial to fuel our bodies’ leads to a number of issues. Energy levels, concentration and reaction times are sub-optimal resulting in a tendency to inappropriate snacking and caffeine to keep us going. Our sugar levels rise quickly, as does our insulin, followed by an equally sharp fall.
The cycle likely repeats through the day.
Where We Go Wrong
At the end of the day, we turn to our main meal just before collapsing in front of the TV, followed by bed. So our biggest food intake is typically in the evening when our energy requirement and expenditure is at its lowest. Result, we store the excess as fat. If we have a glass of wine (or two?) that adds to the problem.
The downside is that alcohol is laden with empty calories, which adds to the dinner load. Sleep is disturbed by the high food intake and the fact that while alcohol helps us relax it causes other disturbances.
At night, our brainwaves alternate between alpha waves (associated with relaxation) and Delta and Theta waves. These are associated with deep sleep and are when the body ‘repairs’ itself. Alcohol encourages alpha wave sleep but disrupts and prevents delta and theta waves.
Result – we wake up feeling tired and so the cycle does repeat itself the next day.
Poor sleep also contributes to weight gain or makes it more difficult to lose weight.
So, have a good breakfast with some complete protein and complex carbohydrates, e.g. muesli with milk and natural yoghurt, or egg and wholemeal, even a tofu smoothie. It doesn’t have to be a lot and protein makes you feel full longer and sustains you through most of the morning.
Have a small snack mid-morning to maintain reasonably stable levels of blood sugar and insulin. Have a light lunch, afternoon snack (nuts, vegetable crudities or fruit – not chocolate biscuits). Follow up with a light dinner in the evening.
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