“Obesity is more deadly than smoking”.
That’s a headline-worthy of an eye-roll or two. It oozes scare-mongering and reeks of click-baiting. However, it’s also backed by research. Believe it or not, being obese does increase your mortality risk more than smoking.
Despite this knowledge and the growing number of obesity-related deaths in the United States (as many as 400,000 deaths a year are linked with obesity), this is a problem that just keeps growing. So, what’s the problem, why do millions of Americans find themselves trapped in this cycle, and why are so many diets failing?
The answer may be a lot simpler than you thought.
Countless dieters fail in their efforts because they skip breakfast and set themselves up for failure later in the day. If life was simple, dieting would be as easy as consuming fewer calories, in which case skipping meals would hasten your weight loss. But it’s not quite that simple.
Every time you skip breakfast, you’re placing massive obstacles in your way and increasing your chances of failure. You’re also placing your body under undue stress, potentially reversing some of your hard work and increasing your chances of getting a host of ailments.
Here are just a few of the issues you face when you skip breakfast, all of which can destroy your diet and may lead to additional weight gain.
Evidence suggests that eating breakfast can encourage your body to burn more calories throughout the day. Your body begins to hold onto calories more when it has been deprived for a long time. If you don’t eat breakfast, it enters starvation mode. This means that it’s more prone to holding onto the calories you consume and less prone to using fat as energy.
Instead, it turns to the glucose stored in your muscles, taking valuable energy away from them and making you weak, while also reducing strength and size.
The idea that you need to eat multiple small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism strong has more or less been disproved (although there are some big benefits for certain individuals). However, eating breakfast isn’t about keeping your metabolism ticking over, it’s about getting it started again after spending an entire night depriving it of food.
Cortisol levels are at their highest in the morning, soon after you wake. If you eat breakfast, levels of this hormone drop, and you’ll feel a lot better. Starve yourself of breakfast and they’ll stay high, making you stressed and anxious for the rest of the day.
When you’re stressed, anxious, and agitated, you’re more likely to reach for the comfort food, especially if you’re struggling with your weight and are used to using food as comfort.
Cravings are the biggest obstacle that dieters face. They struggle to battle the constant need for energy-dense foods and adopt an all-or-nothing mindset; their diet crashes in a heap around them just because they had a single candy bar or were tempted by a slice of cake. Those cravings can ruin their day and their mental health and make any diet an instant struggle.
Cravings may also be the reason you’re not losing weight even though you’re cutting your calories for most of the week. Many dieters choose to have one or two cheat days, during which they allow themselves to eat what they want in reward for their hard work during the week. But this could offset all of that hard work.
If your body has been in starvation mode all week and you suddenly supply it with lots of fat and sugar, it’ll be more inclined to store it and you’ll regain that weight.
Breakfast helps to stabilize insulin levels and restore lost glycogen, allowing your body to function as normal. Without breakfast, your blood sugar levels will stay low, which means you’ll be hungrier and more prone to fatigue, concentration issues, and irritability. Not only will these feelings have you reaching for the sugary drinks and snacks, but it will also affect your motivation and make you less likely to exercise.
The solution is simple: Don’t skip breakfast. And that doesn’t mean that you should reach for a high-sugar granola bar or a bowl of cereal. Instead, take the time to prepare something that is rich in protein, fiber, complex carbs, and nutrients, something that will jump-start your metabolism, digestion, and keep your hunger levels low until lunchtime.
If you’re struggling to find the time to prepare, pick up a tub of our Breakfast Protein, which contains all the fiber, protein, and nutrients your body needs. It’s quick and easy to prepare and you can even take it with you and drink on your commute. At just 140 calories per serving, it’s also ideal to enjoy alongside a piece of fruit or even a bowl of oatmeal, giving you a bigger and heartier breakfast on those days when time is on your side.
You don’t need to change anything else. A hearty breakfast like this will do all the hard work for you, eliminating cheat meals and snacks by filling you up, and supporting your metabolism by ensuring everything else works as it should.