Breakfast is key to shed the kilos

By Sipokazi Fokazi Time of article published Jun 14, 2018

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Have you had a crazy day at work that involved skipping breakfast or you end up munching an energy bar or muffin just to keep going through the day, and after a day of little eating you come home and feel like a feast to reward yourself after a hard day?

If this is your eating pattern, you are not alone.

With so many food trends - eating dinner foods for breakfast, intermittent fasting and making breakfast the largest meal of the day and dinner the smallest, it’s hard to keep up.

We’ve asked picked the brains of nutritional experts, who have different views on the matter. Some suggest that timing may not be important, but portion sizes and the nutritional value of meals is.

Others say that while leisurely eating when you return home from a day at the office is comforting, consuming all these kilojoules late in the day can leave you not only feeling awful but thwart your efforts to shed the kilos.

Lila Bruk, a registered dietitian and Association for Dietetics in SA (Adsa) spokesperson, says while skipping breakfast may work in your favour when you want to lose or maintain a healthy weight, ideally one should eat regularly to maintain energy and improve digestion.

According to Bruk, heavy meals should be eaten at lunch rather than dinner as this has a better effect on digestion and metabolic function while breakfast should be eaten within an hour of waking up to help boost metabolic rate and improve concentration.

“Ideally more carbs and kilojoules should be eaten earlier in the day, so they can be best utilised for energy during the day. Eating regularly assists with weight loss and maintaining weight by keeping hunger levels and blood sugar more stable, thus preventing unnecessary snacking,” she said.

Renny Letswalo, chairperson of Cambridge Weight Plan SA believes that keeping one’s metabolic rhythm steady by eating nutritious calories rather than focusing on meal sizes is the most important strategy.

“The point here is that you want your body to have nutrients throughout the day and when you’re sleeping. If one is going to adopt the heavy and light meals strategy, rather than consistent portion sizes at different meal intervals, then one is probably better eating a medium-sized meal at breakfast, a little heavier at lunch and keeping dinner light,” she said.

Letswalo suggests fasting one day a week to give the body’s organs a rest from the mechanical process of digesting food.

She also believes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

“Losing weight is very scientific in nature and combination of factors helps the body to get into a stage of burning its own fat; skipping breakfast is not one of those,” she says.

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