“First of all, let’s clarify one thing: having breakfast is essential, especially if you want to lose weight”, explains nutritionist Emanuela Russo
What to eat for breakfast to lose weight? While it is true that nutritionists and dieticians, but also doctors, agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, there are many who skip it, thinking of ‘gaining’ calories to spend on other meals during the day. But this is not the case. Especially if the goal is lose weight. “First of all let’s clarify one thing: having breakfast is essential, especially if you want to lose weight”, underlines Dr. Emanuela Russo, INCO dietician (National Institute for Obesity Treatment) of the IRCCS Policlinico San Donato in Milan.
Why is breakfast so important?
“Breakfast is essential because at the metabolic level it triggers a hormonal mechanism so the metabolism gets used to working from the morning. In this way it will work much faster for energy purposes even during the day. Especially the active breakfast cortisol and insulin, hormones that work to make the best use of reserve fats. Furthermore, having breakfast, the body gets used to eating in a fractional way. Self we eat little and often there is a better response in weight loss than that obtained by dividing the same calories in just two meals ”.
So isn’t it true that in the end only calorie intake matters, but how it is broken down is also important?
“Yes, because if you only have two large meals, a mechanism of use of lean mass to find energy during the day. Furthermore, at a behavioral level, with just two meals, you risk arriving at the next meal much more hungry. And this affects not only the quantity of food, but also the quality and way of eating: faster, chewing less ”.
What shouldn’t be missing for breakfast if you want to lose weight?
“Protein is fundamental and must go hand in hand with carbohydrate, which must be low on the glycemic index. Foods trigger a hormonal response mechanism. If I have been fasting for several hours as happens in the morning and I go to introduce only sugars such as, for example, cappuccino and croissant or biscuits, I pass from a fast to a glycemic peak triggered by sugars. The glycemic peak is immediately buffered by insulin, and so we find ourselves hungry shortly afterwards. For this it is important to put the proteins at breakfast, because they go to move not the insulin but the glucagon, insulin antagonist hormone that goes to give a major sense of satiety “.
What foods do you recommend choosing?
“If you want a sweet breakfast, you can opt for porridge, Greek yogurt or some skyr, which are high protein dairy products. Or even simple milk, pure vegetable, with very low glycemic index carbohydrates such as flakes avena The quinoa and maybe good fats like oil seeds or nuts to avoid the glycemic spike. If you want a savory breakfast, you can take egg whites, sometimes even with the yolk, smoked salmon, sliced without fat, perhaps with wholemeal black bread. A classic continental breakfast that has a good amount of protein that gives a greater sense of satiety and that reduces the glycemic peak during the morning “.
“Fruit is great for breakfast, preferably eaten with its peel fiber. It is good, however, not to eat only fruit, which contains sugars. But a protein dish with fruit is fine ”.
So packaged biscuits and cereals rejected?
“Absolutely yes. In these cases, I always recommend reading the label: so you will discover that sugar is among the first, many, ingredients “.
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