A while back we reported on a study presented at an annual meeting of the Endocrine Society that showed that people who ate a sizable breakfast lost more weight and kept it off compared with those who ate a small breakfast. The idea was that eating a heavier meal in the morning that was high in quality carbs and protein would control cravings and tamp down one's appetite later on in the day.
The researcher who presented that paper, Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, clinical professor in endocrinology and metabolic disease at Virginia Commonwealth University, recently came out with a book based on that study: "The Big Breakfast Diet: Eat Big Before 9 a.m. and Lose Big For Life" (Workman Publishing). In it she goes into the physiological reasons why a bigger breakfast is ultimately healthier (it stimulates the metabolism and releases serotonin, which helps regulate appetite) and gives tips on how to adjust to consuming a larger breakfast for those who can't stomach eating first thing in the morning. Suggestions for lunch, dinner and snacks are also included, as are foods for vegetarians.
The book provides recipes for such Big Breakfast Diet staples such as the Smoothie (yogurt, whey protein, fruit) and a hearty vegetable stew that Jakubowicz recommends eating if hunger pangs strike during the day or evening. There's also a country-style egg white scramble, plus suggestions for breakfast sandwiches with choices such as turkey, roast beef, smoked lox and--wait for it--corned beef.
Some of the foods may seem unorthodox to those used to grabbing a doughnut and coffee on the way to work, or who have been eating some form of cereal since they had teeth. But in many parts of the world breakfast is a complete 180 from how most Americans eat--an Israeli breakfast, for example, typically includes fresh vegetables, cheeses, bread and eggs.
While we can't guarantee you'll lose weight, there are a number of studies showing that those who eat breakfast on a regular basis are generally leaner, or, if overweight, have more success losing weight. Just step away from the Pop-Tarts.
-- Jeannine Stein
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times