Weight Management: Tips to Boost Your Metabolism
As you were taught as a child, breakfast is the most vital meal of the day. It is easy to skip breakfast, so read on to find out why you should make eating in the morning a priority.
Breakfast should provide you with at least 25 percent of your daily energy and nutrients. Eating a breakfast high in fiber, with a good protein source that is moderate in fat provides a sustained release of fuel to your brain and body. This will help improve concentration and physical and mental energy levels. Breakfast also helps manage your hunger and cravings, and will promote better food choices throughout the day.
If you delay your first meal until later in the day, your metabolism remains sluggish through the morning and your energy levels will dip. When you skip breakfast, you are more likely to snack more throughout the day, and crave foods and drinks that give you a quick lift (soda, coffee drinks, candy, and processed carbohydrates). These food choices will not provide the needed energy and nourishment that keep you at your best during the day. People who skip breakfast are also more likely to eat a larger meal for supper.
Breakfast skippers are more likely to gain weight.
How can I make a wholesome breakfast?
- Include three varied food groups into your breakfast. Your breakfast should include a carbohydrate (grain food or fruit), and a lean protein (dairy, meat, peanut butter, soy sausage, nuts, egg).
- Choose high-fiber foods such as bran, whole grain breads or cereals, oatmeal, nuts, fruit.
- Eat whole fruit more often than fruit juice.
- Choose low fat milk products such as 1% or skim milk, or low-fat yogurt.
- Select lean meats or meat alternatives (lean ham, soy sausage).
- Make careful choices at fast-food when out to eat — select an English muffin instead of croissant and ham instead of sausage. Limit the cheese, hash browns, and sweet rolls.
- Limit foods that are high in fat or processed carbohydrates, like donuts, sugared cereal or toaster pastries.
You can do it…PLANNING AHEAD and allowing a little extra time in the morning helps you to feel great the rest of the day!
What are some choices for a balanced breakfast?
- Bagel with light cream cheese, an apple and milk
- Toast or bagel with peanut butter and banana slices, and milk
- Oatmeal with milk, raisins and walnuts
- Homemade smoothie with frozen fruit and yogurt
- Bowl of cereal with milk, low-fat yogurt, and a slice of melon
- Scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast and a glass of grapefruit juice
- Whole grain cereal and milk topped with dried or fresh fruit
- Bran muffin, cottage cheese and fruit
- Breakfast sandwich (soy sausage or lean ham with egg) and fruit
People who eat breakfast may notice that they feel hungry by mid-morning. This is a GOOD thing! This is caused by the boost in metabolism that comes with eating breakfast. It is important to eat lunch before your energy level dips. Eating lunch gives you the energy you need to feel good and carry out your daily activities later in the day.
Get into a routine of eating within 30 minutes of feeling hungry…waiting too long adds to that “afternoon slump.” If you cannot get away for lunch when hunger hits, plan for a mid-morning snack to help you make it to lunch time. Eating more food earlier in the day can help prevent over eating at night.
How should I plan for a balanced lunch? PLAN!!!
- Plan your lunches around a range of whole grains, proteins, vegetables and fruits.
- Bring salad and a bit of dressing in a container. Add leftover chicken, tuna, deli meat, beans or tofu for protein.
- Vary your lunches.
- Drink water or milk more often than soda or fruit juice.
- Eat a smaller dinner so you’ll have leftovers for lunch
- Make your lunch the night before so you don't have to rush in the morning.
What are some choices for a balanced lunch that will sustain my energy through the afternoon?
- Hummus on a whole-wheat pita with lettuce and tomatoes, yogurt and grapes
- Tortilla with sliced chicken, lettuce and cheese, milk and raisins
- Bagel with peanut butter, an apple and pudding
- Baked potato with cottage cheese and salsa, a pear and chocolate milk
- Soft shell tacos with Mexican rice and beans, water
- Sandwich on whole wheat bread with turkey, low fat cheese, lettuce and tomatoes; snap peas and cookies
- Leftovers from dinner with fruit, vegetable or salad
- Bean soup or chili with whole grain crackers and melon chunks
Feed yourself well during the day to be at your best. If you haven’t been eating breakfast or lunch, start adding these key meals and give your body up to 2 weeks to adjust to the change. Then you can judge whether this change makes you feel better, gives you more energy, and makes you better able to manage cravings and hunger at night.
Many people report that they eat most of their food after 5PM, feel energized and then stay up too late. Morning comes too soon; they wake up late and run out the door and do not feel hungry for breakfast. It is no surprise that they feel worn out by the end of the day. This cycle repeats and your metabolism slows.
Eat early to energize your brain and body for the day. Then eat less at night.
Do you need help managing weight in relation to your other medical conditions? Would you like a program individualized to your lifestyle? Are you having difficulty knowing how to begin? Is it difficult for you to stay motivated? Then we encourage you to meet with a registered dietitian at any of our locations listed below.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/14/2012
Copyright © 08/31/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#404
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