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Fight Fat with Breakfast

By Gartrell White Sr.

We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; this is truer than we think. I was recently asked by some clients who do not eat breakfast regularly, does it really matter. Starting your day with a good breakfast boosts your energy, increases your attention span, and heightens your sense of well-being. Eating breakfast also reduces your hunger later in the day, making it easier to avoid overeating.

The word breakfast is a compound of “break” and “fast,” referring to the conclusion of fasting since the previous day’s last meal, hence “breaking the fast”. After that fast you can tell the body one of two things. I am going to take care of you by providing you with what you need to get your day started or you are on your own. The “on your own” method forces your body into starvation mode and tells it to store fat because you are not going to provide for it.

Research has shown that eating “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, before you exercise helps burn more fat. These foods are low on the glycemic index or GI. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI. Researchers followed eight overweight, sedentary women who each completed two trials. In the first trial, they ate a breakfast with a high glycemic index three hours before walking 60 minutes.

For the second trial, they ate a low glycemic index breakfast three hours before the same exercise.

The results, published in the May 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition, showed that fat oxidation was twice as great during exercise when women ate low glycemic index carbohydrates for breakfast. What’s more, the women continued to burn more fat for three hours after a low glycemic index breakfast and exercise.

The bottom line: Choosing the right foods will allow you to fight fat with breakfast

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