Breakfast, the metabolic kick-starter

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Published: 10th January 2011
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New research from Tufts University points to breakfast as the real metabolic jumpstart to a weight loss program. According to researchers weight loss is not just about calories in and calories out. It is also about how well a person can adhere to the program over time. It turns out that if a healthy, protein rich breakfast is consumed not only does it jumpstart an individuals metabolism, but the person is more likely to stick with the program for longer resulting in more weight loss.

The research study performed on 70 obese men and women included two groups, both with the same caloric deficit and exercise program but one group was given a high protein, moderate carbohydrate portion controlled breakfast each morning, while the other group was not encouraged to have an early morning breakfast. The study subjects then had their metabolic rates tested throughout the study period and also were monitored for total weight loss.

Turns out that eating breakfast consistently boosts a personís metabolism according to the research. An increase of roughly 5% can be seen over time when a person eats a high protein, calorie controlled breakfast; a number that can really add up over time for more weight loss.

Additionally the subjects that consumed breakfast each morning were found to stick to the exercise program better and followed the calorie restricted diet better which resulted in more weight loss over the six month study time period.

Given that the only difference was breakfast says lead researcher and nutritional science professor Laruen Goodyear, these results are very dramatic and tell us something about the internal clocks associated with healthy living patterns. Our research study was aimed at finding simple ways to make people develop a new and healthier lifestyle, and breakfast does seem to be a very important meal of the day in this regard.

According to Dr. Goodyear, after fasting overnight our bodies stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline can start to rise if a meal is not eaten. This along with helping to control levels of specific hunger hormones such as leptin and ghrelin in the blood and serotonin in the brain can add up to a very negative situation later in the day if breakfast is skipped. So says Goodyear, it turns out that mother was right after all, breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day, especially when weight loss is desired.

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