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You Are When You Eat

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 9:22 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
CerealIt’s not difficult to forget breakfast. During the week, any number of variables can take away your morning nourishment. You sleep through your alarm. There’s no hot water. The coffee machine explodes. You have an early meeting. A water main bursts. Somehow, time disappears, along with the opportunity to eat. As you rush out the door, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. After all, you can always grab a snack or wait for lunch. It won’t be a major loss either way. And, in a sense you’re right. Skipping breakfast can actually be a gain . . . to your waist. 

Research has shown that not eating breakfast often adds to your daily calorie intake. By the time you get to lunch, you’re starving. Rather than having a sensible meal, you inhale everything in sight. Your sandwich and piece of fruit turns into a four-course meal. You overeat and not just at lunch. By skipping breakfast, you’re even more likely to snack throughout the day and consume gluttonous amounts at night. Basically, you try to make up for missing one meal, by eating enough for six. And even if you’re able to control the excess, you suffer. You have less a.m. energy, less all-day concentration and more inactivity.  So, remembering breakfast is something you definitely want to do, but it’s not just the act of eating that’s important; it’s also what you eat.

Your breakfast options are enormous. Pop Tarts, sugary cereals, doughnuts and last night’s pizza beckon you from their shelves. But as tempting as they are, they aren’t what you want. When selecting breakfast, you should keep a couple of things in mind. First, the entire meal should take up about 20-25 percent of your total daily calories.   So if you’re on a 2000-calorie diet, have a 400-calorie breakfast. Next, when considering carbs, consider the glycemic index (GI). Studies have shown that eating low-GI foods, such as whole-grains, stone-ground or sour dough bread, and oat-based cereals, help curb your appetite throughout the day. When researchers gave children alternating low-GI breakfasts and high-GI breakfasts, they found that the kids consumed an average of 60 fewer calories on low-GI days  (If you’re uncertain as to where some foods fall on the GI scale, check out the Glycemic Index, with its complete database).  Lastly, try to avoid the processed foods. Whenever possible, make breakfast. On the days you can’t, grab a breakfast bar, preferably a high-fiber, low-sugar one. They aren’t as good as fresh, homemade meals, but they’ll do. Just make sure you get breakfast; it is the most important meal of the day.

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