Lose Fat

Eat More Often, Save Stress on the Scale

Who gets fat, the guy who eats frequently, enjoying five meals a day, or the one who eats less often?

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Breakfast Basics

But all meals are not created equal. Which is most important? The first one, say the researchers, echoing another bodybuilding tradition. Subjects who didn't eat breakfast were 41/2 times more likely to be obese. So whether you're avoiding breakfast to save calories or to save time, it could be killing you.

Breakfast-skippers, the study notes, are more likely to be late-day bingers. It could be that they don't realize how much they're eating, since hunger distorts their perceptions. Regardless, reports suggest that individuals who don't eat a morning meal have a greater overall daily calorie intake than those who do. Moreover, it's not just habitual breakfast-skippers who eat more during the day; missing that meal just once results in higher calorie consumption for the same 24-hour period.

Another study, which used data from the National Weight Control Registry, suggests that dieters who successfully maintain their weight loss regularly eat breakfast, and that the meal may even be a factor in their success.

Furthermore, don't wait too long before scrambling those eggs. "Don't delay breakfast," Smith urges. "Be sure to eat within 1-2 hours of rising. If you don't eat until noon, you'll have been without food since the night before, your blood sugar will be low and you'll be very hungry. You'll eat much more and often many of the wrong foods."

The bottom line is that eating more frequently -- but no less healthfully -- can have a positive impact on both your health and your physique.

 

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